Saturday, February 09, 2008


My parents picked us up this afternoon and we went to the Snow Bowl. It was the annual Toboggan Championship, which I had never actually witnessed, and my parents also wanted to take the kids tubing.

We had such a blast.

I have never seen so many people at the Snow Bowl before. There was a fee for parking (which made my dad grumble a lot), and someone was trying to be helpful and direct us to a parking space, except that they were all full in that particular lot, so the guy told us we could just park in the middle. My dad looked at him with some disbelief and asked what happened when someone tried to get out of the other parking spaces and hit him. The parking guy just looked dumb and said, "Oh." Just then someone else said they were on their way out, so we took their space and all was good.

I actually brought my camera, but the battery was noncooperative and so there are no actual pictures of our afternoon, which is very unfortunate. We checked out the toboggan championship first. There were several teams in full costume, including a group of well-padded superheroes styling themselves "The InSledibles." (the names of some of these teams is a here) Wanting to get a picture of them is when I discovered camera was a no-go today.

Anyway. Watched several runs (times like 8.9 seconds), then made our way through the crowds, including several vendor booths, to the tube run. Paid the fee, the kids grabbed tubes, and off they went up the hill. We set up our collapsable chairs by the end of the runs and waited.

It took about 10 minutes before they came down the first time. Mark came down on his stomach on the tube, and he was absolutely lit up with joy and exhilaration. Kira spun around in circles all the way down, quite a bit slower, as she was sitting on the tube. It was hard to read whether she had a good time. But she went again. Later on, she got on fire with it and started *running* up the hill. Ah, youth.

After they'd each gone a second run, my Mom borrowed Kira's tube and headed up for a run herself. She and Mark "raced" their way down. Mark blew Mom away.

Speaking of blowing away, at some point someone on the run lost their hat. It became sort of like a brass ring for the next bunches of runs, while people tried to grab it on their way by. Eventually someone did manage to snag it, to much cheering from the crowd.

After a bit I borrowed Kira's tube and headed up with Mark for a run. It was a long freakin' hike. Mark pointed out where someone had put a dollar bill in the run. It was folded up in fourths, and only about an inch was protruding out of the snow. I doubted it would ever get "gotten." I saw how tough it was for people to get a hat that was just sitting on top of the snow in the middle of the run.

Mark and I "raced" down, and I actually went down on my belly. I hadn't ever been tubing or sledding on a hill that size, and I had a bit of trepidation and flare-up from my fear of heights, but I sucked it up and went.

And it was sooooooooooooo much fun. On Mark's advice, I had tucked my own hat inside my jacket, so as not to lose it on the run. The wind was just whipping through my hair. I somehow got myself going sideways, and I wasn't confident that if I attempted to right myself that I wouldn't wipe out completely, so I just went with it. It was still loads of fun. Mark, of course, kicked my butt on the "race."

Enough fun that the next time I went down with Mark's tube, and Kira and I "raced." I used the second run this time, and with Mark's bigger and more inflated tube, I was absolutely screaming down that hill. I could literally hear the wind whistling past my ears. It was fabulous. Just fantastic.

Those were the only two runs I did, but it was plenty. The walk up the hill was intense. My knees were not happy with me. If I could have had a tow bar taking me up the hill, I would have done that all day.

The kids tubed the rest of the hour, and on the last run, Mark actually got the dollar! He has not stopped talking about it.

We all had a wonderful time, and now that I've "broken the ice," so to speak, with a new place and activity, I can see myself taking the kids to that more often.

Wish I had pictures, people. mk


Anonymous said...

sounds awesome! hey. were you there when they called life flight? see village soup...

p.s. my father-in-law was one of the parking guys you refer to!

markira said...

Yes, we were there when the accident happened. There were four ambulances plus the ski patrol's EMTs. We didn't actually see the LifeFlight. They made an announcement that there had been an accident and cancelled the rest of the toboggan runs for the day. There was a huge swarm of outgoing traffic as a result, even when we left, which was probably about a half-hour later. We actually ended up following an ambulance out, so we cut through all the lines and were out in about three minutes.

And your father-in-law wasn't the parking guy who wanted us to park in the middle of the lot. It was some young guy. mk