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NICHOLAS MERCER: A Cold Brook woman is taking a clinic to better understand her snowmobile

Sherri Alexander will be taking her snowmobile to Cormack on Saturday in order to get a better understanding of it during Sledcore's all-female riding clinic.
Sherri Alexander will be taking her snowmobile to Cormack on Saturday in order to get a better understanding of it during Sledcore's all-female riding clinic. - Frank Gale

Sherri Alexander's relationship with a snowmobile starts at a young age in Stephenville Crossing.

The Cold Brook resident remembers jumping on the family machine as a child and heading off for a day of ice fishing, sliding, and other activities in the back country.

Those early adventures on the sleigh planted a seed and a love for traversing the snow caped hills with a snowmobile.

That love went with her later in life.

She fondly reflects on taking trips to the family cabin with her husband and son. Then, Alexander would hop on the back with her husband, while her son rode his own Ski-Doo.

Then, she decided she was ready to have her own machine to ride.

The 46-year-old has been solo riding for the last decade or so. As such, she knows a bunch about being safe, enjoying the ride, and how the snowmobile operates.

Experience will teach you most of what you need to know about the activity. There is no teacher like experience.

"I'd like to be more prepared for the back country." - Sherri Alexander

Still, there are always new tricks to learn and new information to gather.

Alexander and seven other women from around the region are headed to Cormack this weekend for Sledcore's female ride clinic.

It is a one-day event on Saturday where she is hoping to learn something new and increase her comfort level with the skills she does have.

It will be the second time the course is being offered by Sledcore.

I could probably use a course like that. I'm ashamed to admit this, being from the bay, but I have never ridden a snowmobile.

I haven't even started one. I wouldn't know where to begin, actually.

Ready for even more shock?

I've never ridden an all-terrain vehicle either.

The interest was never there. I never had any desire to suit up and head out for a run on the snowmobile.

To tell you the truth, it always seemed boring to me.

I think that viewpoint has shifted more as I developed a desire to visit different parts of the province — mostly for photography reasons.

I think now, though, I'd be up for learning. I wouldn't want to tackle something as formidable as Cain's Quest, but a quick run in behind Corner Brook could work.

Alexander wants to be able to meet any challenge head on in the back country as a result of the course.

She is up for getting even more familiar with how her machine handles different slopes and is looking to pick up a few tips about being safe when out for a ride.

That includes what to watch for with potential avalanches, etc.

"I want to feel more confident mentally when I go for a ride," said Alexander. "I'd like to be more prepared for the back country."

It will be her first time at the clinic, although she attempted to sign up for the inaugural opening. She is going with a friend of hers this year.

The all-female aspect of the clinic will present a comfortable space for learning. It isn't that Alexander doesn't believe she couldn't excel in a mixed environment, but there is the possibility to feel intimidated by having men there.

She has seen more women getting involved in snowmobiling and Alexander still hopes to see that number increase.

From her home in Cold Brook, Alexander can see the parking lot for a snowmobile trail entrance. When she wants, an adventure is just minutes away.

There isn't much like it for her in the world.

"It is like a dream," said Alexander. "It is so refreshing. I love it.

"You get out there and it is nature."

Nicholas Mercer is the online editor with The Western Star. He lives in Corner Brook and can be reached at nicholas.mercer@thewesternstar.com.

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