Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Winter Coasting Fun

Winters were cold in the Bear Lake Valley where we grew up, but that did very little to deter us from having a good time.  This was especially true as the sun rose higher in the winter sky during February and March.  I remember getting  new Flexible flyer sled like the ones pictured below for Christmas.  I was so excited.  Usually in March the sun would be warm enough during the daytime to thaw the snow a little on top.  The after the sun went down and through the night the temperatures would drop to below zero freezing a  thick crust on the snow that still covered the fields.  It was on mornings like this that we would take our sleds and walk on the crusted snow for a couple or three miles up to the Long Ridge, which was located to the west of Lanark.  Once we got up the hill to the desired point we mounted our sleds and away we flew, ever faster, weaving back and forth over this frozen sledders paradise.  We could make it from the top of the ridge, across the snow covered fences almost down to the Lanark Road before the sleds would finally come to a slow halt.  This was so much fun, I even remember thinking to myself that this was my favorite time of the year.  When I grew older , I switched to cross country skis and made similar journeys into the snowy landscape, especially on the full moon night in March.  I shall never forget the feelings of flying across the snowy crusted fields and then in later years the awesome starry silence as I crossed the fields and hills with the full moon shining so brightly on the snow covered hills, with the only sounds being that of my breath, the shuffle of the skis going over the snow, and later the sound of my faithful canine friend, River, panting heavily as he ran  along beside me.

by Bart

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