Indiana is a very flat state. It makes it difficult to enjoy any type of winter activities, such as snowboarding or sledding. Here we have to get creative — like when I was 10 years old and tied sleds to the back of a snowmobile. It was my dad’s idea. He would drag my brother and I through the corn fields that surrounded our property.
My brother and I would argue about who’s turn it was and who got to go next, so the logical decision was to tie two sleds to the back of the snowmobile. Now this made for a fun new game of jumping back and forth between the sleds as though we were in some type of high-speed action chase scene.
As my dad went around a curve on the backside of the house, my brother leaped from his sled, attempting to land in mine as he had done many times before. This time though, because we were going around a curve, my sled had dropped back a couple of feet, causing my brother to land in front of me. With absolutely no way to stop, I ramped my brother as though he was a mound of snow. It sent me launching into the air, off my sled and crashing. I looked back to see if he was okay, and I couldn’t see him at all. I looked and looked as I wiped the snow out of my face.
Then I saw him. He was smashed flat into the snow. I yelled out to see if he was okay and he raised one hand into the air, giving me a thumbs up. Dad came back around, laughing at how idiotic we were.
About a year later we traded the snowmobile for a four-wheeler, and got into the same type of antics. This time pulling each other on snowboards.
I remember very vividly being pulled across a corn field, looking for mounds of dirt and snow to ramp off of. Up ahead looked like the perfect jump. I bent my knees, tucked down low and pulled the handle of the rope to get that extra boost as I launched off the mound of snow. As I left the ground and spotted my landing, I knew that I had made a terrible mistake.
I tried to bail, landing on my knees and sliding. I put my hands out to stop myself as I hit it. My hands went directly through the body of a deer carcass. The dead animal had been there for long enough that it was frozen. Luckily for me, that probably cut down on the terrible smell that covered my arms up to my elbow.
That was the end of my winter activities.
Tony Walters | [Friday] editor