The Sled Incident

Across the Cayadutta Creek, was a mystical country in which there existed a spooky cemetery seated upon a large hill. We would mostly only venture onto the fringes of this cemetery, since it was scary as hell. We’ll talk about the scary as hell cemetery at some future date.

We had a few sleds and flying saucers, but the big kahuna of all snow vehicles was the toboggan. One Christmas, in show of benevolent dictatorship, my dad gave us a 12 foot wooden toboggan. This thing weighed about 100 pounds and took 3 kids to carry. The old man felt that he had been “benevolent enough” in giving us the toboggan, so it was up to us to transport it to the nearest hill. There was no way he was going to scratch up the family truckster hauling this POS around.

To get to the hill, there were two routes. If it was cold enough, and I mean colder than the heart of Rush Limbaugh, the mighty Cayadutta creek would freeze, allowing us to walk across it. Otherwise, we had to walk about three miles, hauling the toboggan through the streets and over the bridge.

The creek regularly had enough crap floating in it to allow the average little kid to walk on water, but we all feared getting sucked into the soup. On this particular day, the creek was frozen over and we could walk across the icy surface. On a previous occasion we had tried to hike down the frozen creek to a nearby town, and nearly died when the ice started cracking. This time, there were a few creaks and groans emanating from the ice as we slide across to the other side, but no one died.

I once had brother in law, whom we all thought was the coolest cat that ever walked the road to Woodstock. He was in his twenties, had long hair, and was jiggy with all of the heppest stuff in the known universe. He regularly illuminated us to the wonders of the Lord of the Rings, Marvel Comic books, and many other great works of literature. Later, we would discover that he wasn’t quite as hep and cool as we had once thought, but that is another story. On this particular day, he was to show us the wonders of EXTREME SLEDDING.

Let me just say, that at this point, no one had yet lost an eye, broken a leg, or cracked a nut. By the end of the day it was not be be the case. Extreme sledding involved flying through the cemetery amidst a gaggle of sleds all tied together, and dodging gravestones as we flew down the hill. I cannot say that I remember the number of kids that survived that fateful day, but I do remember stars and blood. I also recall the practical science lesson that we had regarding the conservation of momentum and Newton’s first law of motion.

All content copyright of Christopher Hammond