Two snowmobile drivers racing their sleds across an unfrozen lake

Snowmobile Races… On Water?

A few months ago, we learned that during the summer, Jensen Grove Pond in Blackfoot, ID, holds snowmobile races on the lake. Now, summers here in Eastern Idaho aren’t strangers to cold weather, but thankfully, that’s the exception to the rule, not the norm. That means that these snowmobile races are held across open water and many of the sleds don’t make it all the way across—a mental picture that elicited no shortage of delighted giggles from yours truly. We agreed that we both needed to see this in person someday, and promptly forgot about it.

Until last Saturday.

The sled races came up in conversation again as Brett and I were out running errands, and I did a quick google search to see when the races are held. To our delight, they were scheduled for that very day, as part of Blackfoot’s annual pre-Independence-Day Celebrate Blackfoot festival.

“We’re going,” Brett said. He didn’t have to tell me twice.

So we dropped everything and headed for Blackfoot, where the legend of the summertime snowmobile races unfolded before our very eyes.

Snowmobile Races

The races were amazing. Two riders would line up at the far end of the lake, and when the flag dropped, they’d have about 10 feet of dirt to get up to speed. They’d go zipping across the water incredibly fast.

Or at least, they’d try to. Many of them did make it all the way across the lake (a feat which astounds me even now, after seeing it for myself), but some did not. These would sink like gigantic rocks, leaving their drivers stranded in the lake with nothing but a floating jug to mark the location of their sled’s watery grave. Then they’d dive down and attach a tow rope, and it would take a few minutes to pull the water-logged snow craft from the bottom of the lake. Later, Brett and I got a close up look at two of these soggy sleds, and they were covered in seaweed.

Check out a video of the action below:

Fair Food

What kind of Americans would we be if we didn’t enjoy a sampling of the fair food offered by a few dozen vendors. We opted for BBQ sandwiches and—I kid you not—a literal brick of curly fries. It was a lot of fries. We saw two young girls each carrying one of these large feasts, but even as adults, we couldn’t finish the one we bought to share between us.

The best part of the food experience, however, was the vendor who sold us said brick. He was a personable and funny character from California who tried to trade me fries for my camera. I’ve been wanting to try the 100 faces photography challenge, but as an introvert, asking strangers if I can take their portrait is waaaaay outside my comfort zone. But our new friend boosted my confidence and gave me license to snap my first portrait of a stranger. Only 99 more to go.

Car Show

By the time we made it over to the car show, many of the exhibitors had already left for the day. I was sorely disappointed (I inherited a love of classics from my father), but I was glad to see the few cars that were left. My favorite was a lovely Cutlass painted the same color as my dad’s old stepside.

Next year (and we will be back next year), we’ll have to make the car show our first stop.

The Famous Undercover Band

The live music was provided by The Famous Undercover Band, including Brett’s friend Matt as one of the vocalists. They sang covers from just about every decade and every genre you can think of, and Brett and I had fun tapping our toes and singing along to the music. You can check them out at www.thefamousundercover.com.

If you live in Eastern Idaho, Celebrate Blackfoot is a great way to spend a summer day and get in the mood for the 4th of July. And if you don’t live in Eastern Idaho, you should still put this on your bucket list, because it is awesome.

Thanks for the great time, Blackfoot. We’ll see you next year!

How are you going to celebrate the 4th of July?

Share in the comments below, or over on Facebook! Whatever you do, I hope you have a fun and safe holiday, and we’ll see you on the flipside!

Handwritten "Jess"