Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Consider this idea

Snow in the flatlands is such a waste. Especially when it’s a big storm, no one can put it to use. But I have a plan.

Mobile groomer squads could go wherever major snowstorms have just hit, to pack and track as much terrain as the local topography allows. That way local cross-country skiers could get right out on a quality product without anyone locally having to tie up a doomed permanent investment in the equipment and personnel.

This would require some sort of government funding, but it’s socially valuable. It would be good for morale, health and fitness. People wouldn’t curse the snow anymore. In places where snow doesn’t come often enough to support a permanent facility, mobile grooming would take advantage of the transient conditions.

The mobile groomers would use large military-style transport planes to bring in state-of-the-art machines. There would have to be several of these strike forces, because, as recent weather has shown, a large storm can affect a number of communities nearly simultaneously.

The groomers would lay down track in public parks and on any private lands where the owners had agreed to allow free access. Depending on the local economy, a local business might provide rental gear, or a mobile rental unit could be sent to meet the residents’ needs.

Some areas that only occasionally receive snow have very enjoyable terrain for cross-country skiing. But a big dump makes too much work for the few local skiers to go tromp out a track for themselves. Mobile grooming would pack out the trails so more people might be inclined to try it.

How much could it cost? Not as much as even a minor skirmish overseas, let alone a protracted war. It would provide another alternative for people who might otherwise be lured into self-destructive habits.

Mobile grooming would be good for society. Write to your senators and representatives today.

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