by David High
Let’s talk snow and the fun that can be had in the on top of this wondrous fluffy white stuff Mother Nature provides.
The fact that we have seen so little of it so far this winter, maybe such a column will bring about the much needed winter moisture in the months to come.
For reasons that still escape me, when I was about ten years old my parents gave me a pair of skis for Christmas. I of course immediately went outside, strapped them on, and stood in a picture perfect downhill racing posture. Nothing happened of course, because there are few hills in Kansas at my grandparent’s farm where we always celebrated the holidays.
Looking around for something with a slope, I made the fatal decision to ski down the back porch steps. I went down the steps, I estimated at 90 miles an hour, and hit the bottom with such a force that the skis stuck solid, the problem being I continued onward and outward across the yard in a graceful, rising arc. About 20 feet away loomed the wall of the barn. With questionable instinct, I adopted a spread-eagle posture for maximum impact. I smacked into red wood wall somewhere near the top and slid down its very solidly built vertical face in the manner of food flung against a cinderblock surface.
It was at this time in my young life that I decided winter sports were not going to be one of my favorite things.
To my credit, I suppose, I kept trying other more popular winter activities such as ice skating, the experience of which brings back such painful memories that I prefer not talk about here.
Sledding is another one I won’t relate to you in depth either, except to say that the woman was very understanding about her pet cat all things considered, and the man across the road would have saved us all a lot of trouble if he had just left the garage door open!
I decided at this point to back off my participation in winter sports with the realization that maybe there wasn’t a winter activity out there that suited my particular talents.
Just a few years ago however, an old college friend of mine, Ralph, persuaded me to try snowmobiling. “Come on Dave,” he said. “All you do is just sit there and hit the gas, it’s great fun.” I tried to explain my problems with winter outdoor activities. “Don’t worry about it, it’s perfectly safe,” he persisted.
To make a long story short, before I knew it I was sitting astride a powerful rocket shaped machine, its engine throbbing in anticipation of flying around all the trees and rocks straight ahead.
Ralph shouted something that sounded like, “Are you ready.”
“NO,” I shouted over the roar of our engines.”
“Great,” he called out and within seconds he was a noisy dot on the horizon. I took a deep breath and engaged the throttle. Before I could exhale I had reached speeds rarely seen outside a Road Runner cartoon.
For hours branches slapped my helmet, and wild animals fled for their lives as the landscape flashed past.
What seemed like days later, we found our way to the local watering hole to celebrate my miraculous lack of serious injury. When the waitress put a pitcher of beer down in front of us, it occurred to me in an epiphany that I had at last discovered an activity I could do in the winter months: beer chugging. I had finally realized my calling.
I’ve trained hard in the years that followed and I’m looking to have a very good season this year!