Oh those grandkids….They do keep us young. Such was the case for Olive MacIntosh of Williamsburg, who, with her daughter Marilyn and son-in-law Jim (Adams) visited her granddaughters Kylie and Katherine in British Columbia in September. In addition to a visit to Whistler and a tour of the Olympic site, the family took Olive, who turned 84 just last week, ziplining. Granddaughter Katherine works for Ziptrek Eco Tours, a world leader in the design, development and operation of zipline-based eco adventures. The company’s flagship location is in Whistler. Top left, Olive gives a thumbs up as she is about to take off. Left she is pictured with son-in-law Jim Adams and above she is photographed as she ziplines through the treetops.
Craig Nicholson, widely known as the Intrepid Snowmobiler, had lots of good things to say about the trails he and his tour group were encountering on a six day trip to Eastern Ontario last week.
Interviewed while he was relaxing in the hot tub at the McIntosh Inn in Morrisburg on Monday night, February 6, Nicholson told local press he was impressed with what he and his group of five riders were experiencing in the Ontario Federation of Snowmobile Clubs (OFSC) District 1.
“The clubs down here are doing a fantastic job of grooming,” he said. “We have travelled about 800 km so far, and we haven’t run on more than five per cent bumpy trails.”
“They are doing everything they can with what they have to work with. They still have a base and all they need is two or three inches of snow.”
Nicholson is the National Tour Editor for Snow Goer Canada magazine.
“This essentially means I spend our winters snowmobiling. It’s fun, but it’s a job. You have to get the story. At the end of the day the reader should be able to pick up the magazine and do it [the trip] themselves.”
During the winter season, Nicholson says he and his group can log upwards of 12,000 km. “So we know what a quality trail is like. The guys are saying over and over again that the trails here are as good as anywhere. You can’t get lost on these trails. The signage is great.”
“The only place we’ve been to that is not on board is the City of Cornwall. The Riverside Club grooms as far east as they are allowed to go toward Cornwall.”
Nicholson says that while there is an ‘unofficial’ trail that goes into the city, “Cornwall is missing a huge opportunity.”
The Nicholson group started their tour in Perth and were running a six day itinerary in Eastern Ontario District 1.
While he says he often does a destination tour, a direct route point A to point B, this particular trip was a bit different.
Although there was a definite destination at the end of each day, such as the McIntosh Inn, last Monday evening, the group was “not taking the most direct route each day. We rode 300 km between Hawkesbury and Morrisburg today. We are trying to ride as many of the trails as possible.”
On Tuesday the group planned to leave Morrisburg and end up in Smiths Falls. But to get there they would take trails through Finch and the Bourget area.
Already this winter, Nicholson has been to northern Canada. In March his travels will take him to Alberta.
While he spends much of his winters on tour, the off season is when he does his writing.
He seeks out snowmobile-friendly experiences that will interest snowmobilers, avidly promoting the industry and the destinations he finds.
He points out that, “From a tourism perspective when Americans come up to ride in Ontario, quite often they cross the border and keep going north. There is no reason they can’t cross the border and stay at Cornwall or Morrisburg. The facilities are here.”
“There is also no reason why other Ontario riders can’t come here and stay at Perth or Kemptville, or Morrisburg. It is only a three to four hour drive from the Greater Toronto Area.”
“People don’t think east they think north. It’s really a hidden gem here.”
The Nicholson tour was sponsored by Ontario Tourism in partnership with Snow Goer Canada. Helping Nicholson to put it together were marketing organizations in Lanark, Prescott-Russell and Cornwall-Seaway Valley.
“The article will be out in the fall and it will be a six page feature. We are a national magazine and have a huge subscription base in Ontario.”
Nicholson rode a 2012 Ski-Doo GSX Ltd. 600 into Morrisburg and was accompanied by his wife Marsha, who rides with him on most tours. Four friends rounded out the six person group.
Nicholson says he prefers to ride in a group of six for photographic reasons. He has a core of 10-12 riders to chose from, many of whom own their own companies or are self-employed which allows them to get away easily.
“I have to make sure I have people who are reliable, who are good riders and who know what the mission is. That is first and foremost. They make it possible for me to concentrate on what I need for the story.”
Nicholson was obviously not disappointed in what Eastern Ontario had to offer as a snowmobile destination even though there wasn’t huge quantities of snow.
He suggested that while we all claim the winters are changing, “You can talk to people in the business and they can tell you about the winter 10 years ago, or 15 years ago, when there was no snow.”
“Ontario is so big, there is always winter somewhere,” he says. “If you are serious about snowmobiling you will find it.”
The Williamsburg Warriors Majors claimed their league title Monday, August 20, in a tight, well-played 4-2 win against Prescott. This was the second game of the best of three series, with the Warriors having won a close 7-4 game the previous night. The Warriors placed first in the six team league during regular season play and were given a first round bye. In the semi-finals, the Williamsburg Warriors faced another Williamsburg team, the Thunder. After dropping the first game 6-5 to the Thunder, the Warriors came back with 14-3 and 14-6 wins. In the front row (l-r) are Matt Backes, Thomas Rae, Jack Thom, Kobey Young, Jonah Bennis, Dean Lapier and Kent Young (coach). In the back row are Dwayne Backes (coach), Johnny Testerink, Lucas Bennis, William DeJong, Cal Bilmer, Travis Barkley and Adam Lapier.
It is coming down to the wire for the Morrisburg Junior B Lions, and while the Lions fate has been sealed for quite some time, they have become an important factor for several of the teams in the St. Lawrence Division of the Eastern Ontario Jr. B hockey league.
This past week, the Lions were unable to inflict any damage to other division hopefuls as they fell to the Casselman Vikings in Casselman, 4-2, last Thursday, January 30, and to the Char-Lan Rebels, 8-3, at the Char-Lan Rec Centre, on Saturday, February 1.
The Lions hosted Gananoque last night (Tuesday, February 4) in a makeup game and this, their final weekend of play will feature a home and home series with the Akwesasne Wolves.
The Wolves can be expected to be out in full force as they are challenging the Alexandria Glens for that all important fourth place finish and the St. Lawrence Division’s final playoff spot.
The Wolves and the Glens head into this week’s play tied with 41 points, the Wolves holding a game in hand.
A big match is set for tonight (Wednesday, February 5), when the Wolves take their game to Alexandria.
After that the stats would suggest the Wolves might be in the driver’s seat, as they play the Lions twice in their last weekend of action, while the Glens will be meeting the first place Casselman Vikings twice.
Last Thursday night in Casselman, the Lions kept it even at 1-1 in the first period with Maxime Choquette counting against Lions goaltender Brandon Chilton on the Vikings power play.
Isaac Brownlee answered at 10:07 and that’s the way it stayed until Drew Veenstra gave the Lions the edge 1:30 into the second period.
Choquette counted his second goal at 15:49, and the 2-2 tie lasted until 13:41 of the third period when Taylor Widenmaier counted what would be the winner.
Choquette chalked up his third goal into the empty Lions net for the 4-2 Casselman victory.
The Vikings Gianmarco De Meis gave up the two goals on 19 Lions shots on net, while the Vikings collected their three goals in 37 shots on net.
Saturday night action featured a wide open first period with six goals scored, four by the Char-Lan Rebels.
Justin Rutley opened the Lions scoring with help from William White and Michael Paquette, and Liam Morrow produced the Lions second counter with Cole Blanchard and Isaac Brownlee assisting.
The Lions fell well behind in the second period with Char-Lan counting three in a row before Curtis Evans got them stopped with his goal at 17:56 assisted by Drew Veenstra and AJ Jarvis.
The Rebels counted their final goal, to make it 8-3, early in the third period.
John Gilmer was in net for the Lions, and Ryan Cooper saw action for the Rebels.
Coming up this weekend the Lions will travel to Akwesasne, Saturday night, February 8, for a 7 p.m. game.
They will play their final game of the 2013-14 season on home ice on Sunday, starting at 2:30 p.m.
A reminder that the Lions are inviting all minor hockey players out to their final home game. Those wearing their team jerseys will be admitted to the game at no charge and there will be some draws for prizes carried out.
The Lions are also asking their fans to bring along a food donation for the Morrisburg location of the Dundas County Food Bank.