Having reached a mature age, I feel very weird doing it … but I just love to sled! So although my children are grown up and have moved away and I, therefore, have no one to go with, I go by myself and figure no one that sees me will know how old I am because I get so bundled up. When we get a good snow, the first thing I want to do is go sledding at our country park, Otter Creek. As a child, some of my best memories are of going sledding on a big hill that was across a very busy highway. We were not allowed to cross the highway, so we found a huge culvert that we could walk through to get to the other side. We had to bend over and it could be gross with rags hanging down, but it was worth it to get to fly down the hill on the other side. Getting older does have some advantages since now I can drive to any hill I choose and park. In the above photo those black spots off in the distance are ice fishing tents. I plan to cover ice fishing — which my family (except me) is avid about — again this year in later blogs. They are off ice fishing as I write this so hopefully they will get some good pictures I can share.
Throughout life whenever I see a grassy hill with very few trees, if any at all, the first thought that goes through my mind is “Wow, what a great sledding hill!” So when hubby and I would be out fishing at the county lake in the summer, I would always look at the hill and think how much fun it would be sledding that hill. As I got out more and became healthier, I was able to take the kids to that hill and many times hubby would be ice fishing while we’d be sledding. Unfortunately for me you can see that they keep adding trees to my sledding hill. However with a runner sled that you can steer this doesn’t pose such a problem.
My sled was my mom’s when she was a girl so this sled has gotten a lot of use. For all I know it’s an antique worth a lot, but regardless of monetary value, to me it’s the best sled ever. I remember my sister wanting a brand new one, but I said I was fine with this one. Those plastic sleds seem to be the most popular among the kids probably because they don’t know the fine art and work of creating a trail down the hill. Although it does take a bit of work to push the sled down the hill and then stomping the snow down on the way back up to create a nice packed trail, there is nothing like flying down the hill and being able to steer so you can prolong the flight down or go over a bump to catch a little air.
There were only a few injuries I experienced sledding as a kid. We had to plan ahead because as we flew down the hill, at the bottom there was a pretty big ditch, and usually the snow and incline would stop us because at the end of the ditch there was a small hill back up to the highway. However, if we got going too fast, we would start back up the incline towards the highway and so we’d have to roll off the sled then so as to not give anyone a heart attack by popping up and hitting the gravel by the highway. However, we were never hurt doing that which brings me to my worst injury. We were riding three high, meaning three kids laying on top of each other, and I was the bottom layer. When we hit the ditch, the deep snow just stopped the sled instantly but we kept going! The pile of kids had shifted forward so that my head was in the snow sliding along. I actually got snow burned and had what looked like floor burns all along my nose area. I remembering it being more embarrassing than hurting when I had to go to school the next day looking that way.
The sun kept coming out and going under the clouds, and as I was catching my breath after climbing back up the hill, I noticed the above scene and got a picture of it. There is something to say about sledding alone because I was able to really focus on the scenery and keep myself in the now, truly feeling the sharp cold air every time I gasped for air trudging up the hill, the exhilaration as I flew down the hill, the peace as I sat on my sled and enjoyed the view!