Dashing through the snow, in a 1-ton Model T Ford

POLSON — Gil Mangels wasn’t really sure which old snow machine was his favorite.

Striding through a shop building behind his Miracle of America Museum in Polson on Thursday, 80-year-old Mangels stopped beside each of the various historic snowmobiles, snowcats and other early over-snow machines stored inside. He explained when and where each one was made, and why. He recalled who owned it and how he acquired it.

On Saturday, Jan. 14, artifacts from the Miracle of America Museum of historic over-snow motorized travel will be on display — and in operation — for the nonprofit museum’s second annual Winter Fest, held 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

“It’s hard to tell which one is my favorite,” he said, remarking that many of the nearly century-old contraptions still ran well — often a testament to his rebuilding them. Picking a favorite is a common challenge for people with lots of toys. But Mangels has an uncommon number of toys, and his are more artifact than toy.

And on Saturday, Jan. 14, his many artifacts of historic over-snow motorized travel will be on display — and in operation — for the nonprofit museum’s second annual Winter Fest, held 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The

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