For Herb Jacques, snowmobiling is a family affair and one that has been a part of his life for over four decades. From his first ride—a Mercury 340 Trail Twister—to his current choices of an Arctic Cat or a Ski-Doo, riding has offered a way to connect with loved ones in the rural beauty that is The Pas, Manitoba.
"Our region, in my opinion, is second to none," said Jacques, "and if you want to get out and see parts of nature you can't see in the summer, then snowmobiling is the way to do it."
The Pas, located near the Saskatchewan border in central Manitoba, is home to an extensive network of trails that are tirelessly and carefully maintained by a dedicated group of volunteers from the local snowmobile club—the Kelsey Trail Sno-Riders.
"We've got a very good snowmobile club," said Jacques. "Really the biggest thing about snowmobiling in the The Pas is the volunteers who keep the trails safe and open. These folks do a fantastic job and they should be commended on it."
Because of the huge array of choices, Jacques can't really pick a favourite trail, although he mostly sticks to the ones around Clearwater Lake.
"You can ride all the way up to Flin Flon if you want to. I've never done it but my sons have. They're both avid riders."
Although he doesn't ride as much as he used to, Jacques, who owns the Anderson Inn with his wife, Kathy, and her parents, says it comes in waves. As a child he and his family rode a lot, then when he had children of his own the sleds were fired up more regularly and now the next wave is on the horizon.
"When my grandson gets a little older we'll be out there and I'll have a 340 Arctic Cat with a rebuilt motor waiting for him."