Friday, December 16, 2005

Sledding


A friend and I were recently discussing old favorite activities to do in the snow and the topic of sledding came up. As you can see from this picture of my home town that we live at the base of a mountain. It only raises up some 1800 ft to the summit, and there's a road that goes winding all the way up. At the summit is an old "White Alice" site, airborne early warning radar from back in the 60's that is no longer used. As you can see in upper right a road that leads sort of up and behind the mountain. In the winter when we'd get really daring, we'd toat up those blade sleds up the hill along that road, Western Flies I think they were. Those of us that were really crazy, and I should be counted among those ranks, would take the time to wax the blades. A lot of the times we could only get about halfway up the mountain, water bars put in place to prevent easy access to the "Site" as it's commonly referred.

Now, imagine coming down a 900 ft road a somewhat steep grade with compacted snow covering it from the vehicles that wouldn't wait for the plow to do it's job first. We usually came down in bunches, racing each other and as we got older this became a bit more physical as we jockied, shoving each other off the sleds or "trading paint" as they call in NASCAR. If we got shoved off into a ditch the sled usually wound up jumping the berm and usually getting stopped by a stump or a tree trunk.

We might have been wild on the Western Flies, but the real crazies took tobaguns down that same hill, at the whim of the road basically. Sometimes wonder how in the world we survived childhood.

My parents pretty much let us go and only reeled us in if we got too out of control. I know my father's beliefs that kids will be kids and as long as there wasn't serious blood drawn it was all good, party why my sisters and I were taught first aid at a young age. I rather like that way of raising, let the kids mistakes, they'll learn more from them then being constantly corrected or protected.

Also, the picture is a good view of my home town, while the amount of jobs is on the decline since the halt of logging, the town is still growing, many families moving in just to put kids through the school system. If a student survives the AP courses at school, you can bet they'll find about the first two years of most any college to be a breeze.

The small class sizes has a good deal to all the success. My graduating class had all of 12 people in it, actually one of the smallest the school has seen in decades, 18 to 20 seems to be the norm. Actual classroom numbers varies, but figure the AP science courses taught at a college level with some pretty high tech equipment, I remember 8 students being the highest amount in my physics course.

Anyways, just some musing about growing up playing in the snow, considering how much I dislike being cold let alone messing with snow now.

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