Tuesday, February 13, 2007

SnowTubing West Virginia Style

Somewhere around midnight and I've had enough of waiting. All day I've been anticipating enough snowfall to snowtube. The full vision, the work order I placed at season's beginning, was enough snowfall with enough notice for a sled run, a bonfire, a sweat lodge and all my friends over. Now, grass still rises from the snow cover, my friends are hunkered down in in their homes and the road is too treacherous for anyone without a snowmobile. It's just a girl, her dog, and the ancient dance between the indominable human spirit and the wild forces of nature. (And perhaps an overactive imagination given to hyperbole!)

I call J.E.B. out of bed and layer up. He looks dubious as my flashlight beam searches the smokehouse for the fattest, fastest, phattest tube. They haven't been out since the blistering days of summer. Heather replentished our fleet--Thanks Heather!--just in the nick of time. At that point, the creek was the focal point of life. I conducted business meetings submerged up to my eyeballs. Liz cooly fielded a conference call during a tube trip downstream with the entire family in full water-gun warfare around her. That was then:

But this is now. J.E.B. tries to convince me to return within reach of the heater but faithfully follows as I sally forth in search of the perfect run. I spot my line, run, leap on the tube! It grinds to an instant halt, and a shovelful of snow plows up under my shirt. Totally... refreshed now, I rearrange my clothes to snowproof the seams and launch again.

The furthest I get on any run is about 5 feet. OK, tonight is not a record breaking night. But the snow is still falling and we've warmed the hill up for tomorrow. Anyone up for a bonfire and sweatlodge?

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