SLATER, Iowa --While not famous for snow sports like Colorado there are ways to get outdoors and take advantage of the near record setting snowfall here in Iowa.
“We watch the news and watch Ed Wilson and if there’s snow the next day we get together and we ride” said Barry Starmer.
For the 75 year-old Starmer, snow in the forecast means jumping on his snowmobile and riding with his friends.
“The people that complain about Iowa weather, they need to get out and of course dress warm for it and enjoy mother nature’s beauty because the fresh snow on the trail and also on the trees is just beautiful” he said.
And of course, enjoying the playful jabs of friendships which have stood the test of time.
“The best part about being out on the trail with Barry is you can’t hear him. You got these big helmets on and it’s just complete silence” said Alan, another member of Barry’s group.
Starmer calls this snow the best he's ever seen since moving to Ankeny in the mid-80s. Shawn Birdsall at the Nite Hawk Bar and Grill in Slater calls it good for his trailside business.
“It helps a lot. We have the bike trails outside so we don’t do as much business in the winter as we do in the summer, but the snow helps out when we have this much. We’ll do at least 20 sleds a night we’ll see” said Birdsall.
25 miles away at Seven Oaks Recreation in Boone the snowfall has created near perfect conditions.
“This late season snow has really gotten people pumped up. We’re seeing an increase in the numbers and I guess instead of seeing people being disappointed with the snow we’re seeing a lot more people just being positive about the snowfall” said hill manager Joel Bryan.
Bryan says the natural snow helps keep their runs open longer.
“We’re sitting really good, we’re looking at probably another month of skiing, snowboarding and snow tubing so it’s perfect for us” said Bryan.
Which is great if you want to take a little advice from Barry Starmer.
“Instead of sitting inside the house and griping about it get out and enjoy it!” he said.
Starmer says he and his friends get in 50 to 60 miles on the trails before calling it a day.