Gullyrider

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Gullyrider last won the day on September 17 2018

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About Gullyrider

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    Advanced Member

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  • Club
    Hill and Gully Riders (Québec Version"

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  • Location
    Mayo, Québec
  • Snowmobile
    2012 Ski-Doo MX-Z 800

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  1. You're welcome! On a historical note, the birch surrounding the placard was cut almost 50 years ago by John Roos and his son Clinton (extreme right in photo), who was a little gaffer at the time. Before the first generation of Gully Riders built our current clubhouse, the placard hung above the piano in the club's unofficial residence, the dearly departed Long Lake Lodge. Luckily, by the time the Lodge succumbed to fire (sniff ...), the sign had already been moved to it's new home. When something uses the term "autoneige", you know it's old!
  2. Thanks CNC and Eastmark. In Québec, before the club membership more or less morphed into a "trail pass" (it's still a club membership, by the way), we used to have a Family Membership. However, so many people were gaming the system (it's amazing how many 45 year old "dependants" we had) that things changed and the card/sticker became associated with a unique machine. I know it is expensive when you own multiple machines, but administrating it otherwise would be a nightmare. It's worse for our nearby Ontario members who often put both Ontario and Québec stickers on their machines. Dual province stickers were tried and failed, and any proposal that results in lower club revenues just won't fly. By the way, I just checked out the distribution of snowmobile registration fees and, on a Quebec registration costing $94.60 annually, $40.00 is remitted to the FCMQ for distribution to member clubs. As far as membership numbers go, our club's numbers have never been higher. And provincially, it has risen by 5% per year for the past several years and now tops 100,000. However, as far as members who actually realize that they're part of a volunteer organization goes (many pass buyers don't even realize that they are, by default, members of a club), generally the picture is not as rosy. That being said, we're remarkably lucky in our club. As you can see from the attached, we have a good mix of young and old on our Board, and we're pretty successful when it comes to conscripting non-board members to help out with routine trail maintenance and special projects. Things are going great at the moment ... I hope it lasts!
  3. There actually is no difference in the price paid by residents and non-residents. This past season, everyone paid $325 for a season pass if they bought before December 9th. Afterwards, the full season pass rose to $400. Antique sleds (twenty years and older) cost $240 with no pre-season discount. Trail passes sold on the trail were $575 (the price was set that high as a deterrent to sledders taking the chance that they wouldn't get caught). Daily, three-day and weekly passes were also available, and the prices are shown on the FCMQ's website. $42.60 of the season pass was the cost of the $1,000,000 in civil liability that was part and parcel of each trail pass sold. Canadian residents who could show proof of being otherwise insured were eligible for a refund of that amount. I'm not sure if our U.S. neighbours were similarly eligible for that refund, but I can check. The Québec government contributes relatively (and surprisingly) little new money directly into the trail network. Québec residents pay a fairly hefty annual sled registration fee (up around $80.00 per sled) and the government remits a portion of that (around $20? ...again I'd have to check) back to clubs through the intermediary of the FCMQ. However the Québec government work closely with the regional tourism promotion offices who in turn work with the FCMQ. A portion of these offices' budgets are underwritten by the provincial and federal governments. The Federal Government has also stepped up significantly with regional government grants and twice now has contributed over $10 millions dollars towards the purchase of groomers and the improvement of trail infrastructure across the country The Québec and municipal governments also help enforce the mandatory purchase of trail pass/membership cards (the two are synonymous) for people using the trail network. As everyone here knows, club membership is mandatory for anyone using the trail network, and this is enforced mercilessly! The philosophy here is "if you want to play, you have to pay". And, apart from a few whiners on facebook and a couple of forums (not this one!!), everyone seems to agree with that. Just my three cents worth ...
  4. As my buddy Rick always says ..... "snowmobiling didn't turn out to be the paying proposition that I thought it would be ...."!
  5. You don't have to go too far north to find snow cover! I'm only a 20 minute drive north of the Masson-Cumberland ferry, and this is what our place looks like at 9:30 this morning ... at a whopping -9 degrees C.!
  6. We rode through there about three weeks ago and it was awful then. It was the only time my 850 overheated all winter, and the aroma of melting slides wafted through the air. I can't imagine how bad it could be now ....
  7. For pure luxury, hospitality and outstanding value, my recent stays at Le Bannik in Duhamel Ouest, and Hotel Lac Carling north of Lachute immediately spring to mind. We were also very well used at Motel La Bell'Villa in Senneterre recently, as well as at Motel Villa Mon Repos in La Sarre (though trail access to the latter would be a bit of an issue once the weather warms up .... quite a bit of sidewalk running to the trailhead).
  8. Our group of six stayed there this past Saturday evening, and parked two trucks and trailers there for the previous six days. The rooms were very comfortable and well-appointed, and the service unfailingly courteous and accommodating. Both our Saturday evening meal, and our Sunday morning breakfast buffet, were generous, tasty and reasonably priced. You can't go wrong with this establishment.
  9. The word is, the woman who bought it bit off more than she can chew. The building itself might be a tear-down, and she's running into all kinds of municipal government related issues that didn't affect the previous owners because they were grandfathered. We hope that she has deep pockets because we really miss that place (I've been heading over there since I was a teenager and the hotel was actually across the street where the parking lot is now. As for the trails, we had the full of our collective arses trying to recover from that 40+ cm storm. Our Pisten Bully had to run around drag-less to accomplish anything, and, though the John Deere/Gilbert set-up managed to make it's run from our Clubhouse at Lac La Blanche to the TQ 43 in Papineau-Labelle, Wednesday evening, it took him 10 hrs instead of 6. The driver who next headed out with the tractor Saturday night reported back Sunday morning that it was a nightmare to drag, especially on the corners. The nice hard base that we had is now buried, and the new snow is not setting up. Of course, our drivers are encountering the same brain-dead, inconsiderate morons who are continually, needlessly and stupidly hammering their throttles and tearing up the ribbon that we have worked so hard to put down. Forget about eco-freaks and tree-huggers .... once again we are our own worst enemies, and I see no improvement on the horizon (morning rant ...i feel better now!).
  10. Our party of seven stayed there for the first time one night several weeks ago. The welcome was warm and inviting, and the rooms were clean, and very comfortable. Little amenities like Keurig coffee makers in the room (with actual ceramic mugs and utensils) and complimentary water and soft drinks in the room bar fridge make all the difference. The nearby gas station/dépanneur doubles as a liquor outlet, and the restaurant, with a very good meal selection, is about a ten minute walk down the road. Our cost was just under $100 each, including supper and breakfast at the restaurant, but not including room or meal service tips. You can't go wrong with this establishment, and it we'll definitely be back.
  11. You are most welcome. I hope your lad has a fine time.
  12. The Association des Motoneigistes de l'Outaouais maintain the southern section of the TQ 53 and they have parking available at Notre-Dame-de-La-Salette about 30 minutes north of Buckingham along the Highway 309: https://fcmq.qc.ca/fr/clubs/liste-des-clubs/association-des-motoneigistes-de-loutaouais/ Our snowmobile club, the Hill & Gully Riders, also has parking available at our Clubhouse at 149 Chemin Inlet in the Municipality of Mulgrave et Derry. From there you would take the Regional Trail 323 north to the Trans-Québec 53. To get there by truck or trailer, you take Provincial Highway 315 north, and loop around Lac La Blanche. Chemin Inlet is the first turn off after the second white church, directly north of the big lake. The clubhouse is about 30 minutes north of Buckingham, and a kilometre north of the intersection of Chemin Inlet and the Route 315. It's open weekends if you want to suit up inside, and is available to the public at large. There's a large parking lot, and a ramp for off-loading from pickups.
  13. Québec clubs currently enjoy a fair degree of autonomy, but rely on the FCMQ, comprising their elected volunteer representatives, as well as a staff of paid specialists, for technical support and to coordinate their activities provincially. If a club fails, or ceases to exist (and that does happen from time to time for various reasons), the remaining neighbouring clubs may work with the FCMQ to reestablish lost trail links. I know of one instance where the Federation actually stepped in to temporarily manage a club which had fallen into disarray and needed to re-group. In the case of Les Panaches of Lac du Cerf, a depressed local economy and aging population simply led that club to fold. It's probably the availability of local volunteer resources that will dictate whether or not that area gets up and running again. I suspect that it will once the dust has settled. The FCMQ is currently studying various models whereby the individual clubs surrender a measure of their autonomy so that resources can be more evenly distributed throughout the province, and the trail network, the product offered to snowmobilers, becomes more consistent province-wide. This process, known as Vision 20/20, is currently being formulated through discussions at the regional level. We've been a party to some of the early discussions and, trust me, there's still a long way to go. Still, a lot has been accomplished over the past 45 years, and Quebecers have plenty to be proud of. And it shows in the way folks plunk down $325 to $400 each year for a trail pass with nary a complaint.
  14. The club that took care of that section, Les Panaches of Lac-du-Cerf, no longer exists. It's membership slowly diminished, it's Board members became elderly, and, with no replacements, they were forced to close. Club Amico of Notre-Dame-du-Laus was approached to take over that stretch of trail but, with its resources already stretched to the limit, their Board was forced to decline for the time being. Too bad, because the new owners of the Auberge Presqu'ile are doing their best to make a go of it, and that was a really good alternate route into Mont-Laurier.
  15. People have an unclear idea of what the FCMQ is. It is not some sort of large and powerful agency with unlimited resources with the 250 odd Québec clubs at it's beck and call. It is merely a coordinating body whose employees, including it's Director-General, are under the direction of the Administrative Council. This council is comprised of the elected representatives of each of the 13 administrative regions, as well as the Federation President. Those representatives are elected by the member clubs in each region, and are subject to term limits. FCMQ presidents are elected from the ranks of those regional representatives, and are chosen by the administrative council through an electoral process. Only the permanent staff are salaried employees. The Administrative Council, including the President, are all volunteers. To sum up, the FCMQ does not tell the clubs what to do. It coordinates, advises and liaises with the Provincial governments. It is the clubs that tell the FCMQ what to do based on regional and provincial discussions, and not the other way around. Most times, when folks say the FCMQ should do this and that, they are unclear on what it's proper function is, and how it operates. As for off-trail trespassers, the clubs themselves are acutely aware of the issues, and do their best to hinder these entitled, disrespectful jerks. However, as is the case with most volunteer endeavours, resources are scarce, and it's a sad commentary when those resources must be directed into installing thousands of metres of snow fence rather than towards more productive activities such as signing, brushing, bridge building, etc. Right of ways are negotiated by individual clubs, and club directors are the first to know when there is a problem. We were fortunate, in our club, to have had this problem diminish somewhat. I even had a landowner, with a mix of arable land and wooded areas, congratulate me on the good behaviour of our riders during the previous season. This, after years of problems with "free riders" on his property. I do not know to what we can attribute this change but, hey, we'll take what we can get! Most other area clubs have not been so lucky.