THE OF A CLUB In February, the Pequaywan Area Trail Blazers (PATB) of Duluth celebrated a milestone: a new clubhouse and maintenance center. The club is proud of the 40-by 60-foot heated building, which will soon feature a club room and restroom facility. But the clubhouse didn’t just happen: it is the culmination of 31 years of planning and saving money. PATB started in September 1982 at the Pequaywan Inn Resort. Three gentlemen were having coffee and talking about snowmobiling that coming winter. One of the guys said, “Let’s build a trail from the NSSCT to the Inn.” So they called our friends for a meeting at Pequaywan Inn the middle of September. All agreed it was a great idea and DNR and St. Louis County were contacted for all permits. Back in 1982, these items were easy to procure. In October, trail marking and bull-dozing started on the 12-mile stretch. The PATB club was formed on October 1982 and incorporated the same year with the State of Minnesota. At that time, all members needed to be MnUSA members and by-laws were prepared and the club name approved. By May 1988, the club was working with the several partners — including the Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation Board, the Hoyt Lake Snowmobile Club, St Louis County, and Superior National Forest Service — to build bridges in key locations. Through this, a 100-foot long, 12-foot wide bridge was installed across the Cloquet River and six other smaller bridges went in near Hoyt Lakes. All the work was done by club volunteers. To raise money for these projects, the club got creative. In 1984 the club started a roast beef cook-out in the Pequaywan Inn’s garage. It was a great success and this continued until 1993. In 1985 the club started with raffles once a year, with snowmobiling and ATVs alternating as the grand prize. Duluth Lawn and Sport always gave us a factory discount on these machines. This idea continued until 1997. In 1987 pull-tabs started and we had three locations. The money started to roll in. We continued until 1994 when the casinos started. The club started a Pequaywan Expo in 1984, where many of the dealer and clubs brought their wares. It continued until 1997 and was discontinued in 1998 due to lack of interest. Trail planning for the Pequaywan/Hoyt Lakes Trail started in late 1987. This would give us 70 miles of grant-in-aid trails with us receiving the Brimson Trail. The club now grooms about 300 miles of trail each week during snow season. While the founder of the Pequaywan Area Trail Blazer’s original mission has long since been accomplished, its mission continues to be a strong commitment to properly developing, maintaining and promoting snowmobiling throughout its region. Summer 2013 23