A prickly situation

Leayon Rodgers, a trail groomer in Porcupine Plain, found himself in a foot of watery slush one sunny day in January

by Patti K. Phillips

Leayon Rodgers (off his sled) and his daughters Melissa and Melanie enjoy the region's trails. Rick Moroz photo

Leayon Rodgers is just one of the many groomers on the trails in and around Porcupine Plain, Saskatchewan. He said there are about 30 people who work to maintain and groom the trails.

“We get families with kids that come out and volunteer," said Rodgers. "Lots of times people will make a day of it with a bonfire and hotdog roast. At the very minimum, we always go out two at a time."

Safety-wise this practice is a good one, especially if you happen to get stuck—which is what happened to Rodgers on one grooming run.

Rodgers' story, which takes place on a sunny day in January, happened at Big Valley Lake.

“I ended up going off into about a foot of watery slush at the end of the lake,” said Rodgers. “Good thing there were two of us, or who knows how long I would have been stuck.”

As it was, it took about an hour to get out of the frigid slush, he said. Using one snowmobile to pull the other machine out, a few muscles, a bit of yelling, and some pulling and tugging, the two were finally able to free Rodgers' sled.

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