Part 10

When we were in Winter Park the last time, Katie was about 6 which would make Sarah 8. The kids were good skiers able to navigate the intermediate runs and were ready for another challenge. We had heard about a place down the road where you could go tubing down a hill. They even had a “lift” and it was lit at night. Sounds great! Our kids had never been sledding, everyone was game.

We found the place easily. I was at night and it was glowing. We parked at the top of the hill, paid our money at a little shack and got our inner tubes. The “hill” looked a little scary to me, it seemed steep. On a sled I think you would have gone about a mile before you stopped. But there were other people going down and we didn’t see any bodies strewn about. I took one kid and Linda took the other. We held on to their tube and down we went. It was a blast. It was a bit of a walk to the lift which was actually a rope tow. For those of you unfamiliar with rope tows, they are innocuous looking devices used for torture, humiliation and pulling you up the hill.

The instructions suggested you lay on your tube and grab one of the rope loops and let it pull you up the hill. This is analogous to saying to change your car tire, lift the car by the bumper, take off the old one and mount the new one. The kids have no chance of holding on to the rope much less staying on their tube.

Linda and I each take a kid and try various strategies involving stacking tubes, dragging kids and putting them on our backs. On more than one occasion we lost something, a kid, a tube or a parent that went sliding down the line tormenting the poor souls behind us. I think I made it up twice, Linda once before the torture/humiliation machine owned us and sent us whimpering back to the car with our knuckles dragging the ground. This is where Katie and I were going to try and fill the void left by the missing snow scoots.

We parked at the top of the hill, paid our money at a little shack and got our inner tubes. This time we had to watch a safety film that essentially said “if you fall off the rope tow don’t slide down and torment the poor people behind you . . . and if you get hurt it’s not our fault”. Looking down from the top of the hill 10 years later it looks even scarier. Not wanting to cry in front of my teenage daughter we just go for it, hold on to each other’s tubes and slide. It was a blast. First lesson learned, maintain several inches clearance between the bottom of your tube and your own bottom.

There is a pretty good size line waiting for the torture machine and surprising enough no one is whimpering. When we get to the front we see why. There is a kid there, he is helping you sit in your tube. The rope loops are replaced with shiny metal clubs. The kid grabs a ring that is attached to your tube and slides it around the club as it goes by. After the initial jerk you sit there with your dignity intact and your arms securely in their sockets. All is peachy until you are unceremoniously dumped in a small bowl at the top and have to scramble to your feet before the next guy is dumped on you. Over all, the experience is 100% better.

We ride the white monster over and over, laying, sitting and sliding into other people. It’s not snow scooting but it’s a lot a fun and it’s a good recovery considering earlier in the afternoon we didn’t even have a car. Even though Winter Park is a couple hours away from Boulder, I hear something, yes it’s clear now, it’s the hot tub in our hotel. It’s calling me.

2 comments to Part 10