I was at Arctic Cat a few days ago, doing some research and gathering info for some stories I’m working on.
Sun dogs barking at the break of dawn.
Every season gives its unique feel to the company. In the spring , there’s a typical buzz that comes with warmer temps and the shedding of jackets. In the summer, I’m always pumped to see ATVs ripping around the Arctic Cat test track. Summer also has a certain “relaxed” feel at Cat.
When fall starts announcing itself, I detect an uptick in intensity. People start working double-time on projects whose deadlines are soon-to-come. Of course, there’s always talk of hunting and what speculation surrounds the first, upcoming races.
The first peek at winter brings a special magic to the company who has produced snowmobiles for nearly 50 years. Tracks in the ditch outside of the plant speak to many possibilities. The air is electric with anticipation. And hope.
Last week saw a good 10-inches of fresh snow and the wonders of winter in full-swing. Snow was piled high in the parking lot.
Two sleds had been ridden into work this day. One was this ZR580.
The other, a 1981 el tigre. Both brought a smile to my face.
The billboard commemorating the 1 Millionth Arctic Cat snowmobile seemed to blend with the accumulated snow, as if the rider were real. Cool.
Inside, 2011 Arctic Cat F8 EXTs were rolling off the assembly line. The warm hum of machinery, tools and people reverberated through the building. This process of producing has an energy that always invigorates me. Whenever I see the sleds and ATVs on their respective lines, I know that somewhere there awaits a rider who will experience incredible joy when they take delivery of their toy.
Those anticipations and connections are what have made this company so important to me, and perhaps to you. There might be an exception or two, but everyone that I know at Arctic Cat understands PERFECTLY what it is to love a snowmobile or an ATV.
Most of these people grew up dreaming of these machines, and have the same passion that all of us share.
Here, snowmobile product manager Joey Hallstrom shows a drawing he created as a kid. That’s a lifetime of loving snowmobiles for Hallstrom, and for hundreds of others who work here.
For now, that’s all the photos I have that I can share. I’ll be back in TRF in the next 10 days, and I’ll get some more photos then.