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Northern Lights Trail Blazers love all the snow!

By Staff | Dec 3, 2010

The Northern Lights Trail Blazers plan to be out in full force as soon as they get their trail groomed. This is one group of individuals who loves snow, snow, and more snow.

The local snowmobile club has 72 active families. The club meets on the fourth Monday of each month during the season. The officers are: Joni Bruggeman, president, Steve Jacobson, vice-presient, Tonia Dosch, secretary and state board director, and Jesse Fritz, treasurer.

Randy Knain, Jesse Fritz, and Steve Jacobson are the volunteer groomers and Rick Bruggeman is the trail coordinator. As trail coordinator, Bruggeman oversees the grooming and makes sure all the proper signage is installed. The state has specific guidelines on these.

Grooming begins in the early evening. The snow sets up in about four hours if no one drives on it for a few hours after the base is created.

“It takes 18-20 hours to groom the trail,” said Bruggeman. “There are 115 miles of trail to groom.”

The trail’s southeast loop starts near the east of Northern Lights Inn, Rugby, to Balta, then a west loop from Balta to Rugby. The south warming house is near Balta. The North loop goes to Wolford and back to Rugby. The second warming house is northeast of Rugby.

“If you think of a figure eight with Rugby where the lines intersect in the middle, you can get a picture in your mind of the trail,” said Joni Bruggeman, president of the club.

The Trail Blazers can start grooming the trails on Wednesday, December 1 and grooming ends when the trails are officially closed on April 1, according to state regulations.

“We have 40+ landowners, we have leases with,” said Rick Bruggeman. “Without them the trail wouldn’t be possible.”

An Appreciation Supper is usually hosted by the club in January. The club also sponsors a Fun Run in January. This year Rugby Northern Lights Trail Blazers will be hosting the North Dakota State Snowmobile event in January. More details will be available in a later Tribune. In the spring, a Family Fun Day is held near the north hill warming house for sleds, and sliding and for kids to have rides, etc.

An event that is scheduled for Monday,December 6 is the Youth Snowmobile Safety Course. This will last from 5:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. at the meeting room in the Ottertail Building in Rugby. Youths ages 12-16 are welcome to take this course. It is mandatory for youth ages 12-16 to take the safety course in order to ride the trails.

New members to the club are always welcome. Contact Tonia Dosch at 776-6602 to join.

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