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Boating Friends Come Together for One-of-a-Kind Snowy Range Experience


The trails and views in Wyoming’s Snowy Range were spectacular to explore during the International Snowmobile Rally hosted by Saratoga Hot Springs Resort. Photo by Jason Johnson

As I sat in the third row of our rented SUV on the drive from Saratoga, Wyo., to the Denver airport, I could only think about my friends in the powerboat community who came to Saratoga Hot Springs Resort for the fourth annual International Snowmobile Rally from as far as Florida, Michigan, New York and even Toronto who had to haul their snowmobiles back home (fortunately the attendee from Brazil rented his equipment).

My travel day back to California with my wife and good friends after a couple of days tackling the trails in and around Medicine Bow National Forest seemed like a breeze in comparison so hopefully everyone had safe travels as I look forward to seeing them again soon at an event with warmer temperatures, more sunshine and less layers of clothing.

As you can see from the photos above, the group representing Speedonthewater.com had a blast at the event.

Along with the event’s founder and host Dr. Michael “Doc” Janssen—the performance boat junkie who rides a snowmobile like he drives a raceboat, fast and on rails—the entire team at Saratoga Resort organized a smooth, fun-filled event with terrific hot lunches on the trails, fantastic dinners and excellent beer courtesy of the resort’s accompanying Snowy Mountain Brewery.

Thanks to all of that—and the amazing teepee-covered hot springs and heated pool—our group has already marked the dates for the 2019 event (Jan. 24-27) and even invited a few more friends to join us next year. I have a feeling the fifth annual event is going to be even better as the buzz continues to build.

Check out some of the highlights—and low points for some—captured during the fourth annual International Snowmobile Rally.

Not only were the two days of snowmobiling I did on Friday and Saturday about as enjoyable as it gets for an activity in 20-degree weather, Saturday evening’s gathering was one of the most fun post-event awards parties I’ve ever attended. Between the news of a college scholarship endowment being set up through the event, which got a much-deserved round of applause, and several speeches followed by a ton of good-humored awards presented in the form of broken parts, shovels, saws, framed polar bear pictures and even a mixture of well-earned “trapper-style” hats in all forms (the photo is a must-see in the slideshow above).

Due to Janssen’s affiliation as an owner of a couple of distinguished Outerlimits Offshore Powerboats, there were quite a few other Outerlimits owners in town, including Rich Sezsnat, Burton and Yvette Kirsten, Jason and Laurie Moe, Dave and Dawn Scotto, John and Julie Tokar, and Mark and Nancy Tuck. But there were also owners of a variety of other boats from Cigarette Racing Team, Fountain Powerboats and MTI, as well as several company owners and representatives such as Tony Canale of Canale Marine and Sonic Boats, Dan Kleitz of Outerlimits, Randy Sweers of FB Marine Group and Rusty Williams of Performance Boat Center.

Here’s a look at several boats owned by some of the participants of the International Snowmobile Rally in Wyoming. Photos courtesy Pete Boden, Erick Bryner, Full Speed Photography, Jeff Helmkamp, Ken Miller and Randy Sweers

All in all, the rally/poker run—an event I had reported on but never attended—exceeded my expectations. Of course the snowmobiling was incredible, but take that for what it’s worth coming from someone who lived most of his life in Southern California and had only rode a snowmobile once before in Canada—Valcourt, Quebec, to be specific, which was awesome too, by the way.

I can say, from someone who has attended dozens of different poker runs, rallies, fun runs, etc., that the event was well-organized, entertaining and provided another fun way to get together with a great group of people from around the world.

Thanks again to Doc and all of his friends, family members and staff who pitched in to provide such a wonderful experience.

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