How did the Canadian Snow Gauge in Wawa Start? 

Chica and the Canadian Snow Gauge

In the Early Snowmobiling Years, Snowmobilers did not have information on the internet. We were open Year Round and our Snowmobilers came from Michigan, Ohio, Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Tennessee, and Southern Ontario. They desperately needed info on the snow depths and trail conditions. 

They had to phone Hotels, asking about Snow Conditions. They would complain about the POOR conditions of the trails when Hotel/Motel Staff said they were great. Inspiring me to draw this cartoon

Mo's Snowmobile Cartoon


But it was insane back then and we remember talking 8 HOURS a day about Trail and Snow Conditions. It was really hard to clean the rooms, do laundry, Plow, Shovel, etc, when we were on the phone all day long. In the winter months, 2003 & 2004, our 1-800 number Phone bill was $800 a month!

I knew how to run a website back then, so to try to help solve the phone problem, we started a “Snow Cam” for all of our sledders. They could watch the snow pile up on our website. We showed snow depth by stacking the Canadian Snow Gauge in Wawa – 4 Beer Cases High. 

Beer case snow gauge

I photographed snow depths daily, reported trail conditions, designed Trail Maps, listed trail closures/openings, photographed the snowmobilers & put them on the Snow Cam. (Remember, back then, before the age of Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, it was rare to have your photo on the internet.) 

Wawa snow gauge northern lights motel

I took thousands of photos – We had so much fun!! (Many have been uploaded to our Facebook Page)


Wawa snow gauge northern lights motel

Back in 2004, we discovered the first Spiderhole, while John was under the Cottage, fixing frozen pipes!

first spider hole

Even though we went seasonal in 2005, I continued to run the Snow Cam for the dedicated Snow Watchers.

Wawa snow gauge

Wawa snow gauge

Chica showed up in 2011 to help us measure snow. Frosty would come by every once in a while too. (Frosty had a crush on Chica)

Wawa snow gauge

In 2012, I moved the Snow Cam off of my Website and onto Facebook

The 4 Cases are usually buried by the end of February.

Wawa snow gauge

 We never buried 5 cases until 2014

Wawa Snow Gauge

Chica was always so much fun to hang out with… She would join us in Cuba..

chica in cuba

And she was a GREAT Bartender..

chica the bartender

Chica was very concerned about our property damage after the 2012 disaster, and had to check it out.



But 2014’s winter was so BRUTAL, a mean snowman came and ate Chica’s baby! Oh no!

Mean Snowman

Chica Ran away and someone spotted her on the Magpie Reservoir, paddling toward Dubreuilville…

chica in the canoe

She found a new fellow at the Magpie Relay Hotel  and decided to stay. But she’s too busy dating The Groomer Guy, and no longer measures snow. 

Chica at the Magpie

With Chica gone, I stopped photographing the snow for 2 years, but I missed it, and the Snowmobilers missed it. So I stacked it again November 2017 and ran it on the blog. 

December 3 Snow Gauge Wawa