January 27, 2005 at 8:54 a.m.
Last Saturday, while my wife was coaching a ski race at Trollhaugen, the boys and I ventured up the road to do some sledding with our friends at Wild River State Park. It was a mild day with bright sunshine, and the fresh snow that we received the night before made for a perfect day to be outside playing with the kids. To be perfectly honest, I haven’t had that much fun in quite a while.
Momentarily forgetting my age and physical state of disrepair, I was tempted once or twice to try the run-and-jump start. You know the one. You run downhill while holding the flimsy, cracked plastic sled at your side, propel yourself headfirst into the air (ala Pete Rose), tuck the sled beneath you and make a crushing stomach landing on the hard pack. The only thing preventing me from attempting this feat was the realization that the slippery roads might impede the EMS from arriving at the crash site and attending to my extensive injuries in a timely manner.
I learned that you don’t need to find a hill as steep and long as K2 to have a good time. In the eyes of little kids that only stand a few feet tall, just about any hill looks pretty impressive. And when you do head for a hill with the youngsters in tow, don’t expect to do “a little sledding.” I learned that on Saturday, too. It took a fair amount of cajoling and promises of hot chocolate and cookies to pry the boys’ cold hands from their sleds and get them headed for the truck. They’re masterful sulkers, and nearly had me feeling crummy about calling it quits, but they did finally concede without incident. If they had had their way, and it weren’t for trivial things like sleeping and eating, they’d probably still be out there.
I really enjoy fishing, but I won’t hesitate to tell you that bombing a well-groomed hill with my two boys beats the heck out of catching crappies any day. Yes, even when the crappies are really biting.
Dan Brown’s weekly outdoor column is brought to you by Frankies Bait and Marine in Chisago City and St. Croix Outdoors in St. Croix Falls, Wisconsin.
Dan Brown is a director at the Chisago Lakes Achievement Center in Chisago City. In addition, Brown is a fly casting instructor and trout fishing guide at Seven Pines Lodge in Lewis, WI. Recently Brown was featured on Ron Schara’s Minnesota Bound and ESPN II’s Backroads with Ron and Raven, as well as KSTP channel 5’s Eyewitness News Morning Show. He is a Taylors Falls resident and can often be found on the area lakes, trout streams and the St. Croix river.
Commenting has been disabled for this item.