I used to watch Lassie movies when I was little, but they always made me sad. Lassie worked so hard and was only ever awarded with a pat on the head or a “Good job, Lassie!” I thought proper treatment would be to feed her steaks and drive her around in a limousine…
Scott Turner and his collie, Lassie, have been sent to Wapiti National Forest on a mission. Their mission is to assess the current snowmobile situation, and encourage the hundreds of snowmobilers to apply themselves to setting up safety practices for snowmobilers. But it won’t be easy – no one seems to like the idea of safety rules even if they are self-decided and self-enforced.
And then there are the Snow Dust Twins – two happy terrors on snowmobiles, these twins are scared of nothing when it comes to snow and fun. But when an avalanche collapses over the two of them, will the snowmobilers be able to rescue them from death? And will they finally see the prudence of a self-enforced code?
For the entire duration of the story, Scott is trying to convince the snowmobilers to band together and form their own rules of conduct so that the federal government won’t have to do so in their place.
“The Forest Service would very much prefer that snowmobilers, through organizations of their own, establish behavior and safety codes and work among themselves to see that the rules are observed.” [pg. 35]
However, Scott and his friends do believe that if the snowmobilers fail to work out their own codes, then the government should do it for them. This could spark interesting discussion about whether the civil government is responsible for an individual’s unwise behavior.
On one of his rounds, Scott comes across a group of snowmobilers. It is made up of lots of young couples (married and unmarried), and while Scott is there, one of them gets in an argument. To show her anger, the girl, Barbara, decides to ride back with Scott instead of her boyfriend, Jerry. Scott isn’t too keen on the idea (he doesn’t want to anger Jerry) but does not feel that he can deny a woman a ride. Later, two boys tease him.
“Boy, oh, boy! You sure find trouble every time you go out, don’t you, Scott?” Ted said. “You arrest guys for killing elk, you swipe girls, and you catch burglars. How come you’re always in the middle of everything?”
“Just lucky, I guess.” He certainly had fallen into some unusual experiences, and none of them was any help toward getting done the job that he had been sent to do, Scott thougt glumly.
Ted got an impish, teasing look on his tanned face. “The rest of the way down, Barb, you won’t have to hug him so much, like you did up there on the curves.”
“I was merely holding on.”
“Oh, no, Barb! You were hugging him, all right. Wasn’t she, Bob?”
“It was awful,” Bob said piously.
“Let’s get out of here,” said Scott, “before I drown both of them in the snow.” [pgs. 100-101]
Nothing more happens, and in the end, Barbara and Jerry are back together.
Conclusion. An innocent, happy story about heroism and friendship. Not amazing, but good.
Review © 2012 Laura Verret