Despite frigid temperatures, a record number of snowmobilers gathered at Trailside Park in Pequot Lakes for the 25th annual Antique Snowmobile Rendezvous last weekend.
The Antique Snowmobile Club of America held its winter convention in Pequot Lakes, drawing members and enthusiasts alike to town for the weekend.
A trail ride and cookout Friday, Jan. 18, saw 176 participants, the most sleds in the event's history. Saturday, Jan. 19, 214 antique snowmobiles were part of the showcase and performance demonstration, also a record-setting number.
Participants attended an ASCOA membership meeting Jan. 18 and social dinner Jan. 19.
Guest speakers included Jim Langley of Denver, Colorado, who made a 1966 transcontinental snowmobile trip on a Polaris Colt; Nancy Kimball, a 19-year-old from Park Rapids who drove a 1967 Rustler snowmobile from Winnipeg, Canada, to St. Paul in the second I-500 International snowmobile race; and Mike Hetteen of Roseau, son of Polaris founder Allen Hetteen.
Other guests included members of the Sno Barons snowmobile club, Kevin Thesing of Lakes Printing and Carolyn Buss, the First Lady of Snowmobiling in Pequot Lakes.
Attendees traveled from far and wide for the rendezvous. Dick Hummel and John McGuirk each drove nearly 1,000 miles from Illinois and Ohio, respectively, to attend the convention. Hummel regularly restores vintage snowmobiles, but this year he built his first sled from scratch with parts found at a junkyard.
"My favorite part of all of this is the camaraderie," participant Jim Hicke said Jan. 18. "Everyone chips in in the morning to get (the sleds) all started. It's especially necessary on a day like today."
Hicke has attended the convention for nearly a decade.
ASCOA gave out several awards over the weekend:
Drag race - First place: Jim Sailer, 1966 Polaris Colt, Gilbert. Second place: Clay Kelly, 1965 Arctic Cat 170D, Tipton, Iowa. Third place: Bruce Sampson, 1965 Arctic Cat 100, Hugo.
Oval race - First place: John Hayes, 1963 Polaris K 80 Pacer, Breezy Point. Second place: Rick O'Connell, 1964 Polaris K 80 Pacer, Plum City, Wisconsin. Third place: Aaron Kelly, 1958 Polaris Trailmaster, Tipton.
Reverse oval race - First place: Harvey Denzin, 1964 Polaris K 80 Pacer, Buffalo. Second place: Rick O'Connell, 1964 Polaris K 80 Pacer, Plum City. Third place: Ted Otto, 1962 Arctic Cat 450, Brainerd.
Obstacle Course race - First place: Clay Kelly, 1965 Arctic Cat 170D, Tipton. Second place: Aaron Kelly, 1958 Polaris Trailmaster, Tipton. Third place: Kory Jorgenson, 1965 Arctic Cat 100, East Bethel.
Antique original: 1963 Leschasin, Aaron Fisher, River Falls, Wisconsin.
Antique restored: 1962 Polaris Ranger K95, Tony Rolfes, Sartell.
Vintage original: 1973 Moto Ski Zepher, Kory Jorgenson, East Bethel.
Vintage restored: 1971 Jet Dynamics Sno Bee, Gottschalk family, Kimball.
Mayor's choice: 1962 Skidoo J 62, Scott Mueller, Baraboo, Wisconsin.
Pequot Brush Pilots Club choice original: 1967 Polaris Colt Transcontinental (Vancouver, British Columbia to Portland, Maine), Jim Langley, Denver.
Oldest operational machine: 1952 Ingham Model 102W, Paul Pitzel, Stacy.
Rat sled: 1973 Suzuki, Brandon Lenk, Shevlin.
Orphan sled: 1969 AMF Ski Daddler, Maurice Mcallister, Backus.
Cutter class: 1968 Ski Boose, Todd Hicke, Ham Lake.
Bumpy trail award: 1963 Arctic Cat 450, Wyatt Anderson, Grygla. Transmission fell off, wired it back on and made trip in.
Best suit/costume: 1969 McCulloch snowmobile suit and helmet matching his McCulloch snowmobile, Kevin Albers, St. Augusta.
Farthest drive: John and Jan McGuirk, Sydney, Ohio.
Youngest driver: Oliver Michelson, 9, Dale.
Oldest driver: Harvey Denzin, 74, Buffalo.
Peer's choice (voted by all weekend participants): 1969 McCulloch snowmobile, Kevin Albers, St. Augusta.
Steve McClean of Forman, North Dakota, won a 1972 Suzuki Nomad in the Pequot Brush Pilots Snowmobile Giveaway, donated by Black Pine Beach Resort owners Bob and Lynn Scharenbroich. McClean, in turn, donated the sled to the Gottschalk Family Museum in Kimball for display.