Sunday, December 28, 2008

Going down hill fast - in a good way

The call came at 9 am; lower field, 2 pm, dress warm, prepare to have fun! The Leunenberger's were having a Toboggan party. After the last party they threw, the Summer Car Rally, I knew we were in for a good time.

The bonfire had been lit, the coffee and soup were on, the neighbours were all arriving in their 4x4s, and the hill had been groomed. From the top the hill sure looked steep. A slight twist and few obstacles, rocks and trees, were going to make for a thrilling slide. Then the toboggans arrived: a home made wooden sled that looked like a skid on tracks; a traditional wooden toboggan; a Bull River custom toboggan; and a more comfortable skidoo slider.

Almost everyone got in a few runs, including me, before the 'competition' began. Novice (read chicken) that I am, I went with the Skidoo slider. I got my runs in just as dusk was falling. I wanted to make sure there was enough light left to pick up my battered broken body should I hit one of the obstacles. My first run ended in a creative finish for which I received a round of applause for my flip off the slider onto my back. Such finesse. On my second run, as I lay face down on this crazy slider, I just managed to avoid the tree. Okay, that's enough sliding fun for me I decided, it's getting dark.

But the competition had just begun and many more runs were made down the hill by various single sliders and teams. Strategies such as additional weight, body positioning, aerodynamic hats and 'bobsled' style starts (running, flying leaps onto the sled) were used to try for the longest run. When it was so dark we couldn't see the sliders coming, trucks were repositioned to light the hill. No doubt the headlights blinded the sliders, but that just added to the challenge for them. I am not sure who the 'official' winners were but a lot of laughs were had.

Thanks everyone for a great afternoon.