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The Best Toboggan Exploit Ever

The Best Toboggan Exploit Ever

Summary A tale about the glories of after school sledding exploits on homemade toboggans!

There is nothing quite like leaving the cramped city behind you. The foreboding, grey clouds hanging somberly in the air and the close proximity of the buildings and people seem to suffocate any perceptive city dweller. Especially sensitive to the poor air in Utah Valley, caused by years of factories spewing pollutants into the sky, I used to eagerly await Monday afternoons. For reasons forgotten, Mondays were the days of escape and relief. There were five regulars, including my brother, our student body president, myself, and whichever friends that we had managed to recruit to the cause. Piling into a car, we crammed sleds and our home-made toboggan 'Christmas Trees' in the back and then pulled out…ready for the crisp air and wild rides that always marked an afternoon up a Rocky Mountain canyon.

It requires a decent hike to achieve the 'bowl', a steep, natural basin nestled up in the mountains. The hike is worth the trouble; not for the faint-of-heart, the trek to a prime spot, the sheerness and propensity for iciness, and frozen lake at the bottom all form adequate deterrents to any but the most serious of sledders.

Actually, all of these factors insured that our cheap, plastic sleds were smashed into shreds by the end of any one Monday afternoon. As for the makeshift toboggan, well Christmas Trees was a vinyl, canvas-like sign whose sole purpose had been to advertise the existence of fresh Christmas trees in a tree lot. That was until our after school adventures had converted it into a more useful purpose: as a splendid sledding tarp. We scrunched as many people as possible onto the banner; one brave soul held on with all their strength to one sign end tucked into their lap. One…two…three! Everyone pushed off and then we were in for one wild ride!

Although cheap, Christmas Trees, from our point of view, was nearly the ideal sled. She survived many glorious Monday sled fests and could seat a nearly unlimited number of people. Now obviously there are good things and bad things about careening wildly down a hill on a plastic sign. For example, while it was fun to pile up to twenty people onto one make-shift sled, there was not much separating our posteriors from the bumpy, cold hill! Unlike traditional toboggans, that are specifically designed for a smooth, safe ride across snow, we could feel every bump, every rut, thus although exhilarating, our ride was certainly uncomfortable.

As for our ‘captain’ or the poor fellow holding onto the front of our sleigh, it was nearly impossible to maintain a hold, while all the time ice and snow blinded and froze him. As a result, he either ended up letting go or simply plowed us into a snow bank. Every sledding Monday invariably concluded in a tangled heap of laughing, soggy, and bruised-bottomed teenagers.

Although we hiked out of the bowl wet and cold, those Mondays really were bright spots of our existence. It was great to leave the crowded city behind and enjoy the exhilaration of riding a piece of plastic down a steep, icy slope. Strange? Maybe, but I will always remember it as a highlight of my high school experience.

About the Author:

Annie Small loves the outdoors and is a client account specialist for an internet marketing company. For quality sleds and toboggans or other outdoor play equipment check out Just Outdoor Toys.

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