Last year, we tried to do a snow hike. However, we learned that if you wait too long, your snow hike becomes, well, a regular hike. So this year, we got up the hill (a couple months ago) and enjoyed the cold.
We took our time making our way to the snow park, arriving at about one or two o’clock. The place was bustling with three or four families tobogganing, building snowmen, or having snowball fights. The road leading off the main highway was completely obscured by snow, recognizable only by road markers and a sign or two. We followed the road beyond the families and found our own little hill and got to work inflating our tubes.
Or, trying to. Our battery powered pump seemed to be working, but nothing was happening. We couldn’t find any tears or leaks, but finally we gave it up for lost anyway. After better luck on the second one, we were ready to go. My first run down the hill, I veered to the right and almost hit a tree. So, pretty much the usual. My second run was more successful, and I made it to the bottom of the hill without incident.
Nora was intrigued by all this activity, after she was done trying to eat pinecones, that is. When we would whoosh past her at the bottom of our slide, she would run toward us barking, probably telling us in her own way that she thought we were crazy. Then, as we trekked back up the hill, she was hot on our heels, racing to the top. [and with four legs vs two, she won every time]
It was then that we decided she should share in the experience, and took her on a run. Nothing can accurately describe the experience of trying to hold on to a flailing dog while careening down a snowbank, then hurtling toward a tree because said dog has vastly thrown off your trajectory. There wasn’t time enough for my life to flash before my eyes as I scrabbled and clawed at the snow, which had suddenly transformed from soft and powdery to something resembling frozen sandpaper on stone.
At the last minute, another of Nora’s thrashing jerks turned us around and flung my feet (instead of my face) toward the tree and I kicked my boot out at just the right time, thrusting Nora, myself, and the tube back down the correct route on the hill.
Except…we were backward. But as I stared back up the hill I breathed a sigh of relief, knowing there was nothing behind me but flat ground and an eventual stopping point.
When we tried to convince her to give it another go, she made her feelings known:
However, she didn’t count on my sneaking up on her. She took another wild ride down the hill, with better results this time.
Another few runs and we were done. Nora went back to chewing on the few pinecones that had somehow escaped her wrath the first time around, and then we started our walk.
The park, if park it can truly be called, consisted of a handful of picnic tables and a brick outhouse off to the side of the side road. Most of the snow lay untouched around the picnic tables and underneath the trees. We set out to do a smallish loop and plodded through the snow, leaving our unmistakable mark as we went. Despite the cold, and the fact that she was knee-deep in snow, Nora was thoroughly enjoying herself. She zigged and zagged, bounded and bounced every which way. Once in a while she would look back, giving us a big doggy grin.
As we wound down our walk, Nora did, too. Her stride slowed. She lifted her paws a little lower with each step. Once we were back in the car, it was no trouble at all to get her to lay down and take a rest.
We drove off into the sunset, content in the glow of another hike well done.