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Lake Ripley Ice Track

 

Greetings from Litchfield, Minnesota

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From the travels and adventures of the 

“World’s #1 Trackchaser”

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Lake Ripley Ice Track

Ice oval

 Lifetime Track #2,528

 

 

The EventVideo PlusPhotos

 

 

 

THE EVENT

I am a “trackchaser”. I trackchase. Before you discovered my site had you ever heard of trackchasing? Maybe not? So….what the heck is trackchasing? Sit back, take a read and you’ll be an expert on my hobby of trackchasing when you’re finished.

 

 

Here’s my best explanation.

 

 

Trackchasing is a three-pronged hobby. I’m a racing fan. I love to travel. I love to analyze opportunities to get the most out of everything while saving time and money.

 

 

Trackchasing fills the need for all of the above. The racing part of my trackchasing has me trying to see wheel to wheel auto racing at as many different racetracks as I can all over the world. Yes, all over the world. So far things are going pretty well. As this is written, I’ve seen racing in 82 countries at more than 2,500 tracks. As a matter of fact, I’ve seen racing at more tracks than anyone else in the world.

 

 

Equally important to me are the things I get to see and experience over the “long and dusty trackchasing trail”. I call these adventures “Trackchasing Tourist Attractions”. You won’t want to miss my “Trackchasing Tourist Attractions” page. Here’s the link:  Trackchasing Tourist Attractions or my “Sports Spectating Resume” page, Sports Spectating Resume on my website at www.randylewis.org.

 

 

I live in southern California. That’s probably the most inconvenient location in the country for seeing tracks in the U.S. Most of the racetracks in the U.S. are located well over 1,000 miles from where I live. As a matter of fact, my average trip covers 5,000 miles and more. I take 35-40 of those trips each season. In any given year I will travel well over 200,000 miles, rent more than 50 cars, and stay in more than 150 hotel rooms.

 

 

I get the chance to meet people all over the world. With trackchasing trips to 82 countries and counting just getting the chance to experience so many other cultures, spend time in their homes and meet their friends is a huge reward for being in this hobby. I am indebted to several of these folks for their help and friendship.

 

 

It’s takes a good deal of planning to do the above and not spend my entire retirement portfolio. I enjoy the challenge, the travel and every other aspect of “trackchasing”. In reality, my trackchasing hobby is a lot like being with the carnival. I breeze into town, stay a little while and then head on down the road.

 

 

Today’s adventure was one more of the 2,000 trips that have taken me up, down and around the proverbial long and dusty trackchasing trail.  If you would like to see where I’ve been and experience those adventures here’s the link:

 

 

Randy’s Complete Track List

 

 

If you’ve got a question, comment or whatever please leave it at the bottom of this report.  It’s very easy to do.  Or you can visit me on Facebook.  Thanks!

 

 

Randy on Facebook

 

 

 

 

 

FOREWORD

 

 

Friday, February 8, 2019.

This was going to be my fifth consecutive weekend of ice trackchasing. If all goes well I will have seen racing at ten different ice tracks in 2019 by Sunday night. How does that compare to others? If you were to take every other listed trackchaser in the entire world COMBINED, they have not seen ice racing at 10 tracks this year!

 

 

Carol and I had a good week. The week was topped off by going to the legendary Pauley Pavilion on the campus of UCLA to see the UCLA Bruins play the Colorado Buffaloes. I always send a message to my good friend Frank Eich before each UCLA – Colorado game. I want him to be aware that his Buffaloes are just about ready to be trounced by UCLA. Want to know who won this game? Google it.

 

 

There was a minor downside to attending the basketball game. I think I left my credit card in the credit card machine at the California Pizza Kitchen eatery. However, by the time I realized that possibility I was already home. Tracking down a lost credit card is a hassle. Onward and upward.

 

 

I would start my traveling weekend by wearing shorts and a long sleeve T-shirt. It was a gorgeous blue sky sunny day at our modest seaside cottage in San Clemente. I took a “outbound” photo standing next to our solar system. Boy is that a money saver!

 

 

The night before I left on the trip Carol and I went to Yogurtland for our traditional pre-trip yogurt feast. She wouldn’t be going on this trip. She’s got a bad wheel. That may need to be replaced. More on that later.

 

 

I couldn’t get on my first airplane of the trip without stopping at Rock & Brews at LAX, one of my trackchasing sponsors. I had a chicken quesadilla with the Chicago hotdog to go. I was all set on the food front.

 

 

The Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) has long been considered what I would call a “zoo”. However the air service options into and out of Los Angeles can’t be beat. They are now in the middle of a major remodeling at the airport. That’s going to take several years. A rehabbed house is usually not as good as a new house. That is the case with airports as well. Note the picture of terminal three which is the way LAX used to be….and still is in terminal 3 I can’t wait until every terminal has been fully upgraded.

 

 

I landed in Minneapolis without much fanfare. It was cold. When I picked up my rental car I noticed the exterior had not been cleaned. There was a placard inside the car explaining why the car had not been washed. Sometimes they don’t do that in freezing weather to keep the doors and trunk from freezing shut. That wouldn’t be a problem tonight in Minneapolis but it would be later on in the trip when I got up to Canada.

 

 

My Priceline sponsorship got me a great hotel room at the Marriott Minneapolis Northwest. I stayed there two weeks ago. Tonight when I checked I got the same lady, Sheila, to help me. Once again she upgraded me to a king suite, waived the $14 a day enhanced Wi-Fi charge and gave me a complimentary breakfast which normally sells for $19 plus tip. Geez, it Carol had been with me that would have been a $38 breakfast savings. Sometimes the “freebies“ I get are greater than what I paid for the room to get begin with!

 

 

 

Saturday, February 9, 2019.

Today I would be trackchasing on Lake Ripley in Litchfield, Minnesota. My Underground weather app told me the wind chill temperature this morning in Litchfield was 27°F below zero. That’s cold enough for me.

 

 

 

THE RACING

 

 

Lake Ripley Ice Track – Litchfield, Minnesota

The drive out to Litchfield was less than two hours from my hotel’s location. Later on tonight I would be flying from Minneapolis to Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. Before that I had some trackchasing to do with the Central Minnesota Ice Racing Association (CMIRA). 

 

 

Litchfield is the county seat in Meeker County in Minnesota. It’s a small town with a population of 6,726. The city is named after the family of English capitalist E. Darwin Litchfield, a major stockholder of the Saint Paul and Pacific Railroad. Did you know that Michael Shaw was from Litchfield? He was first open heart surgery survivor, from an operation by Drs. Lillihei and Lewis. Litchfield always has a street named “Weisel”.

 

 

Did you know that Minnesota is the land of “10,000 Lakes”? Actually they have more than 11,400 lakes that are bigger than 10 acres in size. I guess that fact doesn’t fit on a license plate nearly as well.

 

 

Like I said it was cold out on the frozen lake. Using the track’s porta potty was a little bit nippy. At least CMIR HAD a porta potty!

 

 

Today there would be UTVs, cars and quads racing on the ice. With CMIRA it’s common that the UTVs get more entries than the cars. That doesn’t happen in very many places.

 

 

I won’t say too much about the racing itself. Your best bet is to take a look at my photo album and my YouTube video. Remember, a picture is worth 900 words or more they say.

 

 

The highlight of the day was meeting UTV driver Mitch Otterson. I also got a chance to spend some time with his parents. They were curious about my trackchasing. Nice to meet a solid midwestern family. Families like this are the salt of the earth in America.

 

 

The races were short today. The UTVs aka side-by-sides and cars raced for five laps on a pretty large ice road course. I’m gonna say the course was nearly a mile long. The quads raced for four laps while the youth quads raced for just three.

 

 

I was dressed warmly. Whenever I wear my ice racing goggles you know it’s pretty chilly and/or windy or both. I wore my goggles today.

 

 

The Central Minnesota Ice Racing Association has each competitor race in two different motos. After the first set of motos are run they take a break for a while and then come back later in the afternoon for the second round of motos. After seeing all of the competitors race in moto #1, which lasted more than two hours, I was on my way.

 

 

The Lake Ripley Ice Track is going to go down in trackchasing lore for a special reason. Today I was seeing my 100th lifetime ice racing track. I’ve seen those races in 20 provinces, states or countries. No one comes remotely close to those totals. Here’s a list of those tracks.

 

 

Alaska Beluga Lake Ice Track (oval) Beluga Lake
Alaska Big Lake Ice Track (RC) Big Lake
Alaska Lake Wasilla Ice Track (RC) Wasilla
Alaska Peninsula Ice Track (oval) Kasilof
Alberta Lac La Biche Ice Track La La Biche
Alberta Roy’s Lake Spruce Grove
Andorra Grandvalira Circuit (RC) Port d’Envalira
Belarus Stadium Zarya Minsk
British Columbia Barnes Lake Ice Track Ashcroft
Finland Lake Pidisjarvi Ice Track Nivala
Iowa East Lake Okoboji Ice Oval Okoboji
Iowa Crystal Lake Ice Oval Forest City
Maine Moosehead Lake (ice oval) Greenville Junction
Manitoba Crescent Lake Ice Track Portage la Prairie
Manitoba Lake Winnipeg Ice Track Gimli
Manitoba Mazenod Road Pond Ice Track Winnipeg
Manitoba Murdock Road – Water Ski Pond Ice track Winnipeg
Manitoba St. Malo Provincial Park Ice Track St. Malo
Manitoba CPTC Complex Beausejour
Michigan Chippewa Lake Ice Track Chippewa Lake
Minnesota 11th Crow Wing Lake Ice Track Aekely
Minnesota Bass Lake Ice Track (oval) Underwood
Minnesota Big Lake Ice Track (RC) Cloquet
Minnesota Birch Lake Ice Track (oval) Hackensack
Minnesota Borden Lake Ice Track (oval) Garrison
Minnesota Brainerd Intl Raceway Ice Track (RC) Brainerd
Minnesota Camereon Lake Ice Track (oval) Erskine
Minnesota CrossLake Ice Track (oval) Crosslake
Minnesota Crystal Lake Ice Track (oval) Merrifield
Minnesota Garfield Lake Ice Track Laporte
Minnesota KIR Kimball Ice Racing Kimball
Minnesota Lake Washington Ice Track Mankato
Minnesota Mille Lacs Lake Ice Track (oval) Garrison
Minnesota Mille Lacs Lake – Garrison Ice Track (RC) Garrison
Minnesota Peterson Lake Ice Oval Swede Grove
Minnesota Rush Lake Ice Track (RC) Rush City
Minnesota South Lake Lindstrom Ice Track (oval) Lindstrom
Minnesota Trace Lake (RC) Grey Eagle
Minnesota Mille Lacs Lake – Isle Ice Track (RC) Isle
Minnesota Lake Allie Ice Track (RC) Buffalo Lake
Minnesota Mille Lacs Lake – Onamia Ice Track (RC) Onamia
Minnesota Lake Ripley Ice Track Litchfield
New Hampshire Berry Pond Ice Track Moultonboro
New Hampshire Contoocook Lake Ice Track Jaffrey
New Hampshire Lee Pond Ice Track Moultonboro
New Hampshire Northeast Pond Ice Track Milton
New Hampshire Northwood Lake Ice Oval  Northwood
New Hampshire Meredith Bay Ice Oval Meredith
New York Caroga Lake Ice Track (ice) Caroga Lake
New York Honeoye Lake Ice Track (Ice) Honeoye
New York Lake Algonquin Ice Track (Ice) Wells
New York Lake Waneta Ice Track (ice) Dundee
Ontario Clarence Creek (ice oval) Clarence Creek
Ontario Minden Ice Track Minden
Ontario Mission Bay Ice Track Thunder Bay
Quebec Beauharnois Ice Track Beauharnois
Quebec Circuit Jacques Rainville – ice Vanier
Quebec Dupuy Ice Track Dupuy
Quebec Grand Prix De Lanaudiere – ice Lavaltrie
Quebec Issoudun Ice Track   Notre-Dame-du-Sacré-Cœur-d’Issoudun
Quebec Kahnawake Marine – ice (oval) Kahnawake
Quebec Kahnawake Marine – ice (RC) Kahnawake
Quebec Lac Moran – ice Mont Carmel
Quebec Lac Roxton Ice Track Roxton Pond
Quebec Stadium St. Guillaume St. Guillaume
Quebec Ste Clotilda-de-Horton Ste Clotilda-de-Horton
Quebec Ste-Eulalie Ice Track – ice Ste-Eulalie
Quebec Vallee-Jonction Ice Track Vallee-Jonction
Quebec Yamachiche Ice Track Yamachiche
Russia Moscow Central Hippodrome (oval) Moscow
Saskatchewan Rosetown Ice Race Rosetown
Vermont Puffers Pond – F8 Vernon
Vermont Puffers Pond – oval Vernon
Wisconsin Allouze Bay Ice Track Superior
Wisconsin Balsam Lake Ice Track Balsam Lake
Wisconsin Bay of Green Bay Ice Track (road course) Marinette
Wisconsin Buffalo Lake Ice Track Packwaukee
Wisconsin Caroline Pond Ice Track Caroline
Wisconsin Cecil Bay Iceway (oval) Somerset
Wisconsin Fox Lake Ice Track Fox Lake
Wisconsin Gleason International Raceway Gleason
Wisconsin Lake Amnicon Ice Track  Amnicon
Wisconsin Lake Chetek Ice Track Chetek
Wisconsin Lake Dubay Ice Track Knowlton
Wisconsin Lake Magnor Ice Track Clayton
Wisconsin Lake Puckaway Ice Track Montello
Wisconsin Lake Sinissippi Ice Track Hustisford
Wisconsin Lake Speed Ice Track  Tilleda
Wisconsin Lake Superior’s Chequamegon Ice Track Ashland
Wisconsin Lake Wapogasset Ice Oval Amery
Wisconsin Clam Lake Ice Oval Siren
Wisconsin Lake Weyauwega Ice Track  Weyauwega
Wisconsin Marion Pond Ice Track Marion
Wisconsin Rice Lake Speedway – ice Rice Lake
Wisconsin Shawano Lake – North Shore (ice oval) Shawano
Wisconsin Upper Red Lake Ice Track Gresham
Wisconsin Staples Lake Ice Oval Comstock
Wisconsin Lake Wisconsin Ice Oval Poynette
Wisconsin Lake Wisconsin TT Ice Track Poynette

 

 

 

AFTER THE RACES

 

 

This morning I had received news that tomorrow’s ice racing had been officially canceled by the Alberta Oval Ice Racing Series. However, the good news was that I got a message from my buddy Mark Meyer telling me that the lion’s share of the UTV races were still going to show up and race. What did that mean? That meant I was still going to Canada,

 

 

On the way back to Minneapolis I gassed up the rental car, got it all set and returned, and then did some power walking in the MSP airport. Airports are perfect place for power walking. Minneapolis is one of the best because it’s so large.

 

 

Before I left I had a nice pasta dinner from my Priority Pass restaurant sponsor, the French Meadow Bakery. This is one of my favorite meals on their menu. Then I was off to Edmonton where it was going to be cold cold cold.

 

 

So long from Minnesota today. I’m very happy to have seen racing at my 100th lifetime ice racing track.

 

 

Good afternoon from Lake Ripley in Litchfield, Minnesota.

 

 

Randy Lewis – 82 countries – 2,500+ tracks.

 

 

 

 

Minnesota

 

 

The Gopher state

This morning and afternoon I saw racing at my 94th lifetime track in the Gopher state, yes, the Gopher state.  I hold the #1 trackchasing ranking in Minnesota.  I’ve seen 94 or more tracks in seven different states. No other trackchaser comes all that close to matching that stat.

 

 

 

Thanks for reading about my trackchasing,

 

Randy Lewis

World’s #1 Trackchaser

Peoria Old Timers Racing Club (P.O.R.C.) Hall of Fame Member

Minnesota sayings:  “Up North”

 

Even though this might seem like a completely normal directional statement, this saying doesn’t have anything to do with direction. When a Minnesotan says “Up North” what they’re really referring to  is their cabin or to the woods, but those don’t need to be in that direction. So no matter where they are going, they’ll say they’re going “up north.”

 

QUICK FACTS

 

 

LIFETIME TRACKCHASER COMPARISONS 

The threemost important trackchasing comparisons to me are:

 

Total lifetime tracks seen

Total “trackchasing countries” seen

Lifetime National Geographic Diversity results

 

 

Total Lifetime Tracks

There are no trackchasers currently within 695 tracks of my lifetime total.  Don’t blame me.

 

 

  1. Randy Lewis, San Clemente, California – 2,528

 

 

Total Trackchasing Countries

The nearest trackchasing competitor has seen racing in 30 fewer countries compared to my lifetime total. 

 

  1. Randy Lewis, San Clemente, California – 82

 

 

 

Current lifetime National Geographic Diversity results

 

  1. Randy Lewis, San Clemente, California – 4.14

 

 

 

That’s all folks!  Official end of the RLR – Randy Lewis Racing Trackchaser Report

 

 

Click on the link below to see the video production from the racing action today.

 

 

Click on the link below for a photo album from today’s trackchasing day.  You can view the album slide by slide or click on the “slide show” icon for a self-guided tour of today’s trackchasing adventure.

 

 

Getting to and from the ice racing on Lake Ripley. It was a cold day on the ice!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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