By Rodney Dragan, aka Webmaster (above)
Sandberg asked what my thoughts were that the Haydays experience for 2015. In short, this was probably one of the best years that I can remember.
Excellent weather (and I mean EXCELLENT), smooth and efficient entry to the grounds, combined with some of the new improvements, and constant maintenance by staff during the event made for a very pleasant weekend.
As for the F.H.U.C.-S.T.I.C.S. group who went, I was elected to pull Brian’s 3-place enclosed trailer with my 238,000 mile suburban. With five of us in the vehicle, the first stop is the traditional Noon break at the Lienenkugel’s brewery in Chippewa Falls, where you can get five samples for five bucks.
Then it’s off to the west side of town for lunch at a wayside where we grill some brats. After last year, Ray was relieved of his duties as the lodging coordinator. No longer are we staying at the Crack Palace in Lindstrom, MN or the Sticky Sheets Inn at Dresser, WI.
We were lucky enough to book a room in the Grandstay at Chisago City. This will be the S.T.I.C.S. Hay Days headquarters from now on.
After checking in of Friday afternoon we drove over to the Hay Days grounds to scope out the activity. On the way there we had to stop at a garage sale that was advertised on the side of the road as a MAN SALE. There, our attention focused on a ’98 XCR 700, the bottom end of a liquid Fuji, some army surplus lanterns, and a women’s purple Arctic Cat suit.
Then we burned down the gravel like a bunch of 16 year olds and stopped at the house of a fellow vintage sled collector, (a guy from the vintage forums) where we had a few beers and looked at his barn full of sleds bearing a wonderful patina (and the kind of handlebar risers that Sandberg prefers). Then it was back to our motel where we cracked out the grill in the parking lot and enjoyed some cold beers in anticipation of Saturday’s treasure hunt.
Now that the Sno-Barons have the operations well in hand, we no longer need to get up at 3:00 a.m. and worry about sitting on the side of the road trying to get into the parking area prior to the firing of the 7:00 a.m. starting-gun. On Saturday the alarm sounded at 5:50 a.m.
We participated in the Lincoln Continental breakfast and then jumped into the suburban for the ride over to the Hay Days west parking area.
The minute that the ignition is turned off, no talking is allowed! It’s every man for himself as we get armed for some serious price haggling and parts hauling the minute that the threshold to the swap is crossed.
Ray won’t allow you to lead or even walk one step in front of him as he is on a mission to retain his highly coveted and deservedly earned title of “swapmaster”. This year he purchased four sets of handlebars, not spending more than $3 on any one.
My mistake came when I realized that everybody in the swap would want to buy my highly desirable Pabst beer can hat (circa mid-1970’s). Many people asked if it was for sale, as I actually had to pose twice for a photo shot. One young hipster asked if he could try it on!
Upon further review it determined that this year’s common non-snowmobile swap item was “clay pigeon thrower”.
The most intriguing item was Burger King suit.
I personally scored a new helmet, some carbides, a $1 Spirit recoil, a free ’72 Panther dash, and a $1 ballpeen hammer. YES, that is my $1 purchase that I used to “hammer” out a deal with Tom Rowland.
Already looking forward to next year. The swap season is here!