Sledding trumps all

“I have a Shal request for you” my oldest commune friend and full moon buddy said nearly as soon as i walked back on campus.

Shal: My sledding partner

Shal: My sledding partner

He did not have to be more explicit, on the heals of Winter Storm Pax, there was only one thing he could want from me: Sledding.   And while Shal is polite and frames his request as optional – our agreement is clear.  There is no meeting so important that i can’t walk out of it to go sledding – turns out, there are always more meetings, but sledding is increasingly scarce in central Virginia.

And unlike me, Shal is careful, meticulous and prepared.  “We need to go in the early morning,” he explains. “We want the ice from the cold night air to freeze the slopes solid for the best sliding runs.”  After checking the weather we decided we would go at 8 AM the morning after the validation day party.

dad sleading clip art

We tried a couple of different positions on the sleds where were made by Trout out of 55 gallon plastic barrels, hammocks rope and spreader bars [photo below].  What went farthest was me on the bottom laying stomach down and Shal on top.  This meant Shal could steer and keep us from hitting trees or the barb wire fence at the bottom.  We did a couple hours worth of runs, screaming and hugging every time we broke our own record.  Our jubilation mimicked the preteens who took to the slopes the night before, we were certainly not acting our age.

Turns out Shal was right, the meeting was missable.

Sleds made from 55 gallon plastic barrels and second spreader bars

Sleds made from 55 gallon plastic barrels and second spreader bars

Shal’s addendum: Something Paxus did not mention that made this such fast sledding is that there was a hard crust on top of the snow that the homemade toboggan slid on top of, which only happens once in a few years. So we were sliding down hills that were effectively sheer ice – that was why it was an opportunity too good to miss, whatever else would just have to happen another time.

[Edited by Judy Youngquest]

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About paxus

a funologist, memeticist and revolutionary. Can be found in the vanity bin of Wikipedia and in locations of imminent calamity. buckle up, there is going to be some rough sledding.

8 responses to “Sledding trumps all”

  1. FemmeFire says :

    How fun! Great pic of Shal… as handsome as ever! Do me a favor and give him a hug and hello from Lotus. ♥

  2. Keenan Dakota says :

    Tonight there is the possibility of full moon sledding.

  3. Sarah Taub says :

    I like thinking of the two of you sledding together! ❤

  4. SC Safira Fisher says :

    Yay … This post made me happy. I needed some happiness today. Please give Shal a hug from me. 🙂

  5. Shal Loeser says :

    Something Paxus did not mention that made this such fast sledding is that there was a hard crust on top of the snow that the homemade tabogan slid on top of, which only happens once in a few years. So we were sliding down hills that were effectively sheer ice – that was why it was an opportunity too good to miss, whatever else would just have to happen other time.

  6. Chrystie says :

    This is such a great post. I could see you guys in my mind, sledding at top speed down the hill. 🙂

  7. Rico ex- aka Richard Feldman says :

    How do you steer the sleds? Can just one person ride, or do you need two? Which hills? Is the current sled design considered the ultimate, or is there any talk of further design mods?

    • paxus says :

      You steer the sled with sticks (made of cut spreader bars) dug into the ground on either side. When Shal was on top of me, he had the steering sticks alone. WHen we were sitting chest to back, we both had break/steering sticks.

      And it is important to note that they were not universally effective and we had several close calls with barbed wire and thorns because we could not stop as quickly as we wanted to.

      The sled can be directed by pulling onthe ropes on bending your body int he sled. Perhaps Trout will build and design more.

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