Candlelighters Snowmobile Rides 2013 - Skyline Sno-Park, Oregon

February 9th, 2013 marks the 30th year the Mt. Hood Snowmobile Club has hosted the Candlelighters Family Snow Day on Mt. Hood. This all day event at Skyline Sno-Park includes sledding, snowmobile rides, games, cocoa, coffee, drinks, snacks, hot dogs and chili. It's a great way to give something special to families who are or have been touched by childhood cancer.

Katie and I volunteered to help by giving snowmobile rides. The really cool thing is as a nurse at a local children's hospital, Katie knows some of the attendees. What a great way to connect and have fun with the children and their families outside the hospital setting.

We arrived at Skyline Sno-Park, about 12 miles SSE of Government Camp off Hwy 26, just before 8 AM. The weather forecast called for a partly sunny sky, calm winds, and a high around 35°F. It was cloudy, foggy, snowing very lightly, and 24°F when we arrived. There were only a few spots left in the Sno-Park, as many club members had spent the night and were already making preparations for the day.

We unloaded our snowmobiles and headed over to the warming shelter to offer a hand. After helping get things set up, Katie and I took a short ride up to the Clear Lake lookout tower. The trail had been groomed the night before, making for a very pleasant ride. When we got back we had a meeting with the other drivers (29 total) as we prepared for two bus loads of families to arrive (approximately 175 people in all) around 11 AM.

Katie Ready to Start Giving Rides     Start Your Engines! - Snowmobile Line-up

When the busses arrived, the fun began. One by one the drivers, including Katie and I, received a rider and off we went. There were three main routes we used: a short 2 mile round-trip behind the Sno-Park, up to Clear Lake lookout tower and back (8 miles), and out to Clear Lake.

Snowmobile Ride to the Clear Lake Lookout Tower     Katie and a Rider

Everyone had a great time, the adults just as much as the children (we took everyone on a ride who wanted to go). There was also a sledding hill for the kids to play and plenty of refreshments that were donated for the event.

The Sled Hill     Candlelighters Snow Day 2013 - Skyline Sno-Park, Oregon

We ended the day around 3 PM, Katie and I both giving about 30 miles worth of rides. There was another driver that went non-stop the entire day and hit 83 miles. Way to go! All the volunteers have such great hearts and love helping out during this event. The families were all very appreciative and many were very happy to see Katie. She seems to be a very popular nurse with many of families whose lives she has touched. We had a fantastic time and look forward to helping out again next year.

Gear List

'02 Polaris 500 RMK Snowmobiles
GMAX GM76X Helmets
Smith Phenom Turbo Fan Goggles
Columbia Men’s Bugaboot Max Electric Boots
Merrell Women's Whiteout 8 Winter Boots
Columbia Men's Echochrome Ski Pants
Columbia Titanium Hightail II Softshell Jacket
Columbia Men's Triple Trail Shell Jacket
Columbia Alaskan Down Jacket
Columbia Ultrachange Parka Inner Jacket
Columbia Sportswear Women's Alpine Alliance Parka
Head Digital Sport Liner Gloves
Outdoor Research Ambit Gloves
Columbia Men's Fast Trek Fleece Hats
Olympus Tough TG-1 Camera
Lifeline Aluminum Sport Utility Snow Shovels
First Aid Kit
iPhone w/NeoTreksGPS
Suunto A-10 Compass


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