Heikki Lunta hits the trails

Official logo of the Heikki Lunta Drifters. Courtesy of Paul Richards.

Continuing with his time-honored association with snowmobiling, Heikki Lunta has been adopted as the mascot of Clarkston, Michigan based snowmobile club, The Heikki Lunta Drifters. Featuring members as far-off as Arizona, the Drifters show how widespread the Heikki Lunta story had become by the turn of the century, and how well-suited he really is to small-group customs.

The Heikki Lunta Drifters at their 2001annual ride through Upper Michigan. Photograph courtesy Paul Richards, aka Sheriff Woody.

As Drifters president, “Sheriff Woody” says, “On a snowless December eve [in 1998] in Upper Michigan, me and the boys were hurting for a taste of the trails- mother nature was not cooperating. A local barkeep told us the tale of Heikki Lunta and said if we were to run around in the snow naked, the snow would surely follow. Never to doubt Finnish folklore, we went for it, and sure enough, 10 inches of that white gold fell that night and that is no bull.” Not only did the Drifters then name themselves after the Snow God, but they created an initiation rite in which potential members must prove their strength by “[snowmobiling] publicly in their underwear.” Again, this reveals that Heikki Lunta provides numerous possibilities for those who use him, and that he is just as important and interesting to those who participate in winter tourism as he is to those who are employed by the industry.

COPYRIGHT:© Hilary Virtanen 2006
Accessibility concerns to sjziemen@wisc.edu