BARNES CORNERS Snirt is supposed be a combination of the words snow and dirt. The 11th annual Snirt Run, held Saturday, was dominated by snow, with little dirt in sight.
It posed problems in some areas, but planning and a legislative order for improved signs, barricades and maps reportedly kept damage to a minimum.
From what I saw, the signage was fantastic. It was clear and caused no confusion, said Lewis County Legislator Craig P. Brennan, R-Deer River, who has participated in the ride for several years.
The maps were excellent and the presence of law enforcement was notable, he said.
The legislators brought a resolution requiring Gary R. Stinson, event organizer, to comply with the conditions before county roads would be opened for ATV use for the one-day event.
Tabolt Road was a problematic area, as the road was snow-covered and it is the only connection on the route between the northern and southern sections.
Some ATV operators chose to exit the designated route and enter an area of wooded land that was posted.
By afternoon, however, the snow on Tabolt Road was packed down from ATV traffic and became passable.
In other areas of deep snow, the Barnes Corners groomer was dispatched to pull out stranded drivers.
The snow was not a problem for one group of seven men from Rochester, who were attending their first Snirt Run.
We never rode in it because we dont own 4-wheelers, Daniel P. VanHouter said.
We are the only guys able to go to all the places because were on snowmobiles, Shane P. Arnold said.
Utility-task vehicles participated as well, many illegally.
The Lewis County sheriffs department issued 12 tickets to UTV operators.
An accident at about 11:30 a.m. on Flat Rock Road resulted in broken bones for two participants.
Other than that, we really havent had any issues, Sheriff Michael P. Carpinelli said late Saturday afternoon.
A rollover ATV accident, however, was reported about 7 p.m. at the Barnes Corners Sno-Pals groomer barn. A Lewis County dispatcher said at least one person was transported to Lewis County General Hospital, Lowville, for treatment.
The sheriffs office reported no damage complaints.
Michael Houppert, owner of Ridgeview Inn, said the extra steps taken by his business and the neighboring hotel, Ridge View Lodge, made a world of difference after much damage was caused last year.
A sign was posted on Bardo Road warning that any damage could result in an end to the Snirt Run.
Its been perfect. Weve had no issues. The riders were very understanding and respectful. I didnt have one person on my lawn, he said.
Business owners reported that they thought attendance was down slightly from years past.
Mr. Stinson would not confirm the number of registrants, saying, no comment.
Lewis County officials and event organizers will hold a post-Snirt Run meeting to discuss issues and how to improve the event in the future.
To watch a video of this years Snirt Run, visit http://wdt.me/Snirt-Run.