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A Day at Skime Ranch

 A Day at (Roger) Skime Ranch. Photo by

This past week I was part of a group that spent a day at Skime Ranch, the nearly 4,000-acre cattle farm in Skime, Minn. (yes, seriously) owned by Arctic Cat legend Roger Skime and his wife Bernice.

A Day at (Roger) Skime Ranch. Photo by

The impetus for the trip was a television project by Snowmobiler Television. Pat Bourgeois and Phil Molto were there to capture the essence of who Roger is as well as ride some of the new 2017 Arctic Cat ZR 6000 Roger Skime edition snowmobiles in the area that Roger has probably logged 100,000 miles (or more) during his 55-year career at Arctic Cat. Kale Wainer from Arctic Cat was there to help with the project.

A Day at (Roger) Skime Ranch. Photo by

I joined the trip because, frankly, any chance I get to spend with Roger is worth taking. Roger is my inspiration, hero and friend. And any time spent with him is as good as gets.

Making this particular trip especially good was a dumping of 12-plus inches of snow the day before we arrived. It was full-on deep snow winter when we arrived at the ranch, albeit with a 20 mph wind out of the north and temps hovering around zero. Brrrrr…

We spent an hour shadowing Roger while he fed some of his 500 beloved cattle. Another hour was spent recording an interview with him that covered some highlights of his career, what he learned from his hero Edgar Hetteen, as well as other cool topics. It’s going to make a cool show, set to be aired later this winter (I think) in its Canadian market, and perhaps later on YouTube.

A Day at (Roger) Skime Ranch. Photo by

After the interview we gorged ourselves on an awesome home cooked meal from Roger’s wife Bernice, who is a sweetheart like no other and the foundation for Roger’s lifetime of accomplishment. Bernice is awesome, as everyone who knows her will attest.

A Day at (Roger) Skime Ranch. Photo by

After all that, we hit the ditches and fields in Skime Ranch country. All that new snow on top of a previous foot made for some really awesome carving and jumping.

A Day at (Roger) Skime Ranch. Photo by

Roger being Roger, every time we stopped he was checking over the sleds, looking for cues to what might make for a better future snowmobile. This was the most fresh, dry snow that he’d ridden these production sleds in, and he found a few things that he wanted to address. Like I said, it’s a man doing what he’s done for 55 years: evaluating, testing, thinking. In a word…engineering.

As with every day spent with Roger, there were simply not enough hours to get it all in and feel satisfied. Our crew had to head back home, and with the six hour drive staring us in the face, we had to cut the ride short.

Once again, Roger being Roger…while Pat, Phil and Kale were loading up the trailer, Roger wanted to go on one more quick ride, this time on a competitive brand machine that he was very curious about. For the next 30 minutes, I followed him as he put the sled through a variety of conditions and inputs. Slow and plodding through the ditch; on/off accelerations; wide-open blasts punctuated by periods of just-above-engagement creeping. We scooted through some woods and trails. And of course we did some drag racing before heading back to the gang waiting to head for home.

Testing, evaluating, thinking…it was Roger being Roger.

Thank goodness for that!

Thanks for reading.

A Day at (Roger) Skime Ranch. Photo by

Roger and Bernice.


A Day at (Roger) Skime Ranch. Photo by

Roger parked in front of the house that he grew up in.


A Day at (Roger) Skime Ranch. Photo by

Roger signing a Skime Ranch hat that he gave me. Thanks Roger!


A Day at (Roger) Skime Ranch. Photo by

One last pic (shot by Bernice…thanks Bernice!). From L-to-R: Pat Bourgeois, Roger, Kale Wainer, me, and Phil Molto.



  1. Wow, Truly one of your greatest stories John.That is Rogers life,always trying to make that sled better. My son and i raced Arctic Cat for years. I thought i got to know Roger somewhat. But somehow when we talked,i felt that he somehow knew us better. Great story John.

  2. One of your best yet John! Thank you Roger and Bernice for allowing we Arctic Insiders into your home! A great honor !

  3. Hey good stuff guys! got to hang out with Roger for a bit in November at the plant. the history, thoughts and the northern Minnesota hospitality that we all know sure come through with this couple

  4. Wow! What a great article as usual John, but……………. so many of us saw the title to this story and thought, ” this is going to be a collectors dream story!” PLEASE TELL US THERE IS GOING TO BE A PART II TO THIS!!!!!!!!! I along with many others, can ONLY IMAGINE some of the super cool memorabilia and collectables Roger has stashed away, we wanna see them!!! You know what I mean, like digging through closets, (without sounding like a psycho!), opening up that sealed up box that his been in the attic for 30 years, and uncovering that special “barn find” that Roger has in one of his outbuildings! I met Roger twice, and he is one of a kind, and one of the finest gentleman you will ever meet and talk with. Oh, and as an idea, if you want to financially help out with this site and maybe help pad Roger’s retirement fund, (insert sarcasm here!), how about selling some of those autographed “Skime Ranch” baseball caps for $24.95, I’ll bet you couldn’t make them fast enough, now there’s a cool thing to have!!! So, I will P.M. you my name an address as I want the first one since it was my idea! Lol! Again, thanks for another great article and keep it up, love this site!!!


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