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Two Perfect Days in TRF


(10/3/2011)

Arctic Cat Engine Facility in St. Cloud

I was lucky to spend another couple September days in TRF recently.

The drive there was punctuated with a stop at the Arctic Cat Engine Facility in St. Cloud. This is where the company produces its H1 and H2 ATV and Prowler engines, and where future snowmobile engines will be assembled.

 

Country Cat Arctic Cat dealership in Sauk Centre

Next stop, Country Cat in Sauk Centre, Minnesota.

 

Country Cat Arctic Cat dealership in Sauk Centre

The Country Cat crew were busy preparing for their Open House the following day. Brothers (L-to-R) P.J., Mark and Dave Wanderscheid have built a phenomenal Arctic Cat dealership. Very professional, focused and dedicated. I'm going to do a full story on these guys in the near future.

 

Country Cat Arctic Cat dealership in Sauk Centre

One quick peak at the sled they hope will carry P.J. to a fifth Eagle River World's Championship, inside their new race shop. Mark is the crew's mastermind behind building the sleds, working closely with John Hooper.

 

A truck load of Arctic Cat snowmobiles

Back on the road, taking the scenic route north on Hwy 21/32, and passing this truck along the way as it hauls a load of Arctic Cat snowmobiles.

 

I need to slow down on trips to Arctic Cat

Whew! Thanks to the State Patrol officer for being kind to me. I had a momentary lapse of idiocy.

 

 

Homecoming Parade

 While I was learning my speeding lesson, much of TRF was on Main Street, enjoying a homecoming parade that included Arctic Cat snowmobiles and the new Wildcat. Special thanks to Mike Lane for hooking me up with this shot!

 

Arctic Cat XF1100 on the assembly line

On the assembly line: 2012 Arctic Cat XF1100s, looking all shiny and wicked.

 

Arctic Cat XF1100 on the assembly line

There's both a hum of sound and a unique odor to the assembly area that words can't describe, but that leaves me feeling like energy is being created here. I love it.

 

New Arctic Cat Graphics Kits for 2012 snowmobiles

I shot some pix of the new graphics kits from Arctic Cat accessories. There are two hood kits: This Sabertooth Kit...

 

2012 Team Arctic Graphics Kit from Arctic Cat

...and this Team Arctic Kit. There's also Sno Pro and Arctic Cat tunnel graphics kits, shown on both images. More info on these kits in the coming days, here on your fifth favorite web site.

 

Hard at work inside the Arctic Cat lobby

Helping me shoot the pix was Jeff Lane (l), while Rick Stokke acted as our Art Director. I've known both of these guys since the early 1990s, originally from racing. Good guys, even though they're always making fun of me.

 

Doug Wolter at the TRF Homecoming tailgate party

After working hours, I headed over to the football field to hang out at the TRF Prowlers Homecoming football tailgate party. Here's Doug Wolter, Arctic Cat Director of Snowmobile Engineering, flashing a smile while Engineer Mike Tadych (blue, working on the slow-cooker) handles potato-heating duties.

 

Lowell Swenson (from Arctic Cat) Field

As Arctic Cat President in the late 1960s and 1970s, Lowell Swenson had a huge impact on the company. He also had a huge philanthropic impact on Thief River Falls.

 

The Prowlers Win Homecoming

In case you were wondering, the TRF Prowlers won their homecoming game over the Park Rapids Panthers, 33-14. Click Here for a short recap.

 

Tucker Hibbert thrashes on a golf cart

I was also in town for Ana Hibbert's wedding. I promised Ana I wouldn't show the goofball pix I took at the wedding, so instead I'll show you this photo of her brother, Tucker, driving the golf cart while friend/Team Arctic snocrosser Wes Selby hangs on for dear life.

 

Kirk Hibbert waxes philosophically about life

Father of the bride Kirk Hibbert (right) explains to me the joy a father feels when his youngest daughter ties the knot, as well as the intricacies of calibrating the Fox shocks on my Arctic Cat Sno Pro 500.

 

This makes perfect sense

Exactly.

 

The namesake river in my favorite town

It was a beautiful week's end in my favorite town, as well as a perfect beginning for Ana and Adam's new life together.

In just a handful of months, I and many others will be racing down this very stretch of river in the USCC I-500. I wonder if I'll recall this idyllic final day of September, when autumn was in full bloom and the world seemed perfect?



Comments (10):

Dick says:
10/4/2011 9:47:00 AM

John, you were in town and didn't give me a call?

Dick
jimu@sledracer.com says:
10/4/2011 11:24:00 AM

If you were really serious about racing the 500 you'd be running that river right now, getting a feel for the course.
Tom Rowland says:
10/4/2011 12:42:00 PM

Yea...what Jim says above. Take Lindbeck with you.
Eric Leigland/aka IBLEEDGREEN says:
10/5/2011 8:55:00 AM

Good write up John, always entertaining. Are you running the vintage class again in the 500? Sure sounds like alot of interest in running that class this year. I have had 7-8 different guys calling for Tigre parts that are building sleds for it! Have to hold back and make sure I don't sell parts I need for the 2 that my son and I are building/racing.

ps....of course your going to get pulled over by the cops...driving a Ford Focus, those things look like their speeding even when their sitting still!! Lol
John Sandberg says:
10/5/2011 12:17:00 PM

Dick: Sorry, next time.

Jim: I was "mentally envisioning" the entire river. Not surprisingly, I got arm-pump even though I wasn't moving a muscle.

Tom: If Lindbeck wanted to get serious about building upon his legend, he WOULD get is butt in gear on an I-500 race.

Eric: I'm leaning toward doing the vintage class, but I also want to try racing the Sno Pro 500 in that race, too. Toss-up at this point.

The Audi/Mercedes/Ford Focus Wagon is the auto equivalent of the F1100 Turbo Sno Pro. Show it full respect, or be ready to suffer the consequence.
Sven says:
10/5/2011 2:29:00 PM

Is it just me or do you see the irony in a computer generated printed "Written Warning"????
flintstone says:
10/5/2011 9:57:00 PM

country cat and the 2012 F1100 turbo both share something in common..words can not describe how great they are!!!
artdcat says:
10/6/2011 8:05:00 AM

Is that a Gator on the sidelines? WTH? Goob, smile.
Greg Hallstrom says:
10/6/2011 4:34:00 PM

What? You were in Thief River Falls and you didn't go up to Middle River for the Goose Festival? When in Rome do as the Romans do.

You should have given that cop some lutefisk. Lots of Norwegians in that area south of Rollag on Highways 32, 35, and 21. He would have let you off with a smile on that speeding violation.
mr. gainer says:
10/28/2011 2:47:00 PM

arctic cat the best way up to the sky! i m frenchie from québec! we have the best place ever in east of north america for real snowmobiler! auberge du 31 .com, relais la chapelle .com. over 500 miles of best trail in québec provinces.

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