Page 1 Page 2 Page 3 Page 4 Page 5 Page 6 Page 7 Page 8 Page 9 Page 10 Page 11 Page 12 Page 13 Page 14 Page 15 Page 16 Page 17 Page 18 Page 19 Page 20 Page 21 Page 22 Page 23 Page 24 Page 25 Page 26 Page 27 Page 28 Page 29 Page 30 Page 31 Page 32 Page 33 Page 34 Page 35 Page 36 Page 37 Page 38 Page 39 Page 40 Page 41 Page 42 Page 43 Page 44 Page 45 Page 46 Page 47 Page 48 Page 49 Page 50 Page 51 Page 52 Page 53 Page 54 Page 55 Page 56 Page 57 Page 58 Page 59 Page 60 Page 61 Page 62 Page 63 Page 64 Page 65 Page 66 Page 67 Page 68 Page 69 Page 70 Page 71 Page 72 Page 73 Page 74 Page 75 Page 76 Page 77 Page 78 Page 79 Page 8014 | Snowmobile VERMONT How did you first become involved in snowmobiling? Our oldest son, Dan, got his first snowmobile on Thanksgiving weekend in 1980 with $300 savings earned from delivering the Rutland Herald. From that point on, he kept after me to get one too. It took three years, but I finally did in 1983. This is the story of how Dan came to be in possession of his first snowmobile. I have a brother in- law that likes to shop. So, on that Thanksgiving weekend in 1980, he said, “I’m going to look for a snowmobile for you today, Dan.” Dan picked a few from the classified ads in the Herald and off my brother- in-law went! Sure enough, later that day he arrived back at our house and announced, “I found one for you!” It was a 1970 Arctic Cat Panther with a 246 cc, single cylinder Hirth engine (not very fast), located in East Wallingford, Vt. We immediately went to see it. It was located in a garage and was surrounded on all sides with boxes and other things, so we couldn’t really get a good look at it. I can’t remember if we got it started or not, but Dan made the decision to buy it. Not having a trailer at that time, we had to borrow one from a friend to get it home. It turned out that it needed a track belt. At that time, Arctic Cat had a three belt track, held together with metal cleats riveted to the rubber belts. We tried many ideas to repair the torn belt, to no avail. We ended up replacing the entire track with a good used one. The winter of 1980 was It is with great appreciation and some sadness that VAST is saying “Thank you” and “See you on the trails!” to a wonderful respected volunteer. In the wake of retiring from his eight-year position as Rutland county director and serving on the VAST board of directors, Merritt Budd, 78, was interviewed for this article. He will be missed at our monthly board meetings, but we imagine he will be enjoying more time for his family, local club and getting out on the trails. very low in snow, but for many years we rode that 1970 Panther between Poultney, West Rutland, Proctor and Chittenden. It is probably what started our affinity to the Arctic Cat brand. What was your best snowmobiling moment? The best moment was the first time I rode my 2001 Arctic Cat Pantera, as it was my first new sled. After many years riding old sleds, the suspension, power train and reliability of a new sled was an entirely new experience. It’s hard to measure all the great times I’ve had traveling in the mountains of Vermont with my son, and in recent years, with my friend Ted Wenta. There are a lot of great moments, especially the scenery, stopping to cook soup on the trail and traveling many miles each day on beautiful groomed trails. I also have many fond memories of riding to the Proctor and Poultney Pancake breakfasts and the charity ride-ins for the Vermont Achievement Center. What was your funniest snomobiling moment? A couple winters ago, we were on a long ride up the Champlain Valley when we started to run into patchy snow. There would be short bare sections that would then turn into Thank you for your many years of service, Merritt Budd! Merritt will now have more time to enjoy riding with his son, Dan, and grandchildren, Allison and Jordan. Above, Merritt and Allison take a moment from their family outing for a photo.