Toboggan Trip Diary Reveals Fun, Hallucinations

Toboggan Trip Diary Reveals Fun, Hallucinations

Erik Deckers
Laughing Stalk syndicate
Copyright 2009

Several weeks ago, my family and I had the chance go with some friends and their kids to the Pokagon State Park Toboggan Run. This quarter-mile artificial hill looks like a bobsled run, but it's a straight-downhill run. This is a mini-diary of my day, and the five trips up and down the slope.

Trip #1 - We rented three sleds and dragged them 50 yards from the toboggan rental up to the run. Well, the others did. I hoisted mine by the rope and carried it. They're only 60 pounds or so. Not that heavy. The rental place were out of the 30 pound toboggans, but that's okay. They're not that heavy.

I can't understand why the kids are so lazy. Maybe this will be good for our kids. Show them what real work is like, and that a trip down the hill can be rewarding after a good, brisk walk up the quarter-mile hill.

Some people are actually getting their cars and driving down to the parking lot to drive the toboggans back up to the starting point. How lazy can you get? No wonder we're in such bad shape in this country. We're a bunch of wusses who can't be bothered to lug a toboggan up a short hill.

Great ride coming down. My first toboggan ride ever. It's a little bouncy on the back, and my face is a little cold from the wind chill, but it was big fun.

Trip #2 - Halfway up, I decided to give my arms a rest and drag the toboggan instead. No point in wearing out my shoulders. Need to pace myself so I can go for a few hours. The kids are sharing sled pulling duties, which is smart. Stopped by the toboggan shack. Thankfully they got some 30 pounders back, so that made the trip up much easier. Turns out they put plastic runners on the toboggans so people can drag them. Apparently, they just replace the worn-out runners.

Looks like the people who drive up are getting back at the same time as us walkers. We're just not using all the gas they are. Why waste money for convenience, especially when it doesn't save any time?

Another fun ride. I've been enjoying the kids' screams and laughter as we race down the hill. My face is a little cold, and I think there were some pits in the track, because it bounced me around. A lot.

Trip #3 - I'm glad we got these 30 pounders. My forearms are about to give out, and I got tired of whacking myself in the ankles pulling those big monsters up. My son hopped on the toboggan and wanted me to drag him back up the hill. I'm afraid I was a little sharp with him, so I made it up to him by letting him help pull. For a 6-year-old, he's got some good arm strength. Too bad he couldn't pull me back up.

Driving the toboggans back doesn't seem like such a dumb idea. I mean, if I work up a sweat out on this cold weather, I could get sick, couldn't I? I would hate to get everyone else in the family sick, just because I got sweaty and chilled.

I think the pits on the hill are getting bigger, because I was bounced pretty hard. Had to raise up on the seat to take a little of the pressure off, which hurt my shoulders. The kids love it though. My face is frozen.

Trip #4 - Some of the troops are grumbling about General Grant forcing us to march through these long winter nights to Fort Donelson. Each man is supposed to lug a supply sled behind him, but the loads are so heavy. Two men have collapsed from exhaustion and are left with the wounded. Grant accused them of laziness and threatened to shoot and then court-martial them, but the docs intervened. We don't bother maintaining formation because we're stumbling around from exhaustion.

My wife says I've been suffering from hallucinations. Complete nonsense of course. I'm fit as a fiddle, and we took Donelson in three days. But I definitely need to be concerned about getting sick. For the family's sake, of course. Drove Bill's mini-van down to the parking lot to take everyone back up. Sure it uses gas, but we've got our health to think of.

I swear, some of those bumps have turned into chasms so big, Robbie Knievel could do a TV special. I think my spine has compressed a few inches after the last ride down.

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