Last year when my son and I went to the Camp Lakota winter campout of Cub Scout Pack 158, I didn’t go to “the big hill.”
I was reading some save-the-world novel where the hero does things I’d never do.
This time I decided to tag along. for the sledding.
My son didn’t want to go because he got hurt last year, but he decided that if Dad were going, he would, too.
Den leader Dave Rokusek had brought a toboggan, which he said he purchased for $20 at a garage sale.
As we went down the road he plopped on it, urging the Cubs to pull him.
It was a difficult task.
The (Galena) Atomic Toy Company owner and those pulling him slower than we were walking was not left in the dust—none of that—but soon left behind.
We then went down a hill that a backhoe had been excavating at summer day camp, through some bushes and down into a marsh.
One little problem for those not wearing boots.
Although this was just above zero weather, the edge of the marsh at the bottom of the hill was not frozen.
I thought it was a spring.
My 1982-era galoshes sunk in, but not enough to cover the tops. The new Red Wing boots I just bought from Heisler’s Bootery might not have been high enough.
By then the toboggan folks had caught up.
Proceeding across the frozen marsh was no problem. It wasn’t like last year when the sledders had to take the long route, walking around the marsh. But in this third weekend of January bone chilling cold, the marsh was frozen.
We weren’t the only creatures to have crossed the wetland. I don’t know what animal made the tracks above, but some better outdoors man than I can identify them.
We could see where trees had been cut down through a forest stand on the hill, which turned out not be be as big as I had assumed it would be.
Last year, the men had shoveled snow to make mogels.
I think that’s what did my son in.
No mogels this year.
Just a straight run with the toboggan, plastic sleds and inner tubes.
The snow was so deep that the first tries were not too successful.
(All photos may be enlarged by clicking on them.)
The phrase “stopped dead in their tracks” took on new meaning. After the unsuccessful run seen above, it was “only one sledder at a time.”
Even so, there were some wipeouts.
A couple of runs by the toboggan loaded with at least one adult and as many boys who could fit on it, leveled the sled run enough for the kids to use it.
That, plus adults coming down on big tubes packed the snow down.
That took a while.
And, during that “while,” there were some more wipeouts. This one tried a snow board.
Here’s one on a plastic sled that went awry. The Cub Scout is pushing powder, so the run is not yet packed down well enough.
As the powder got better packed, the runs got more successful. Above is one on a tube.
But, it still helped to stay on the course. This Cub isn’t having any fun at all, is he? You can tell from his facial expression. (Click to enlarge the picture, if you can’t see the smile.)
Sledding backwards always seemed a bit risky to me, but as my friend Prescott Bloom
used to say,
“Different strokes for different folks.”
Then, yet another wipeout.
A successful tube run. This one went down toward the marsh. It may have been the first one to make it past where I was taking pictures.
This snow boarder ended up walking down most of the hill. Note the powder snow that his left boot is kicking up.
Even toboggans with adults on them wiped out.
Can’t tell if this downed sledder is smiling or not. He’s smart enough to have a woolen head cap.
Here’s a successful all kid toboggan run.
Hard to tell who this saucer rider is.
The hill was getting more and more packed. Neither kids nor adults were giving up.
Take closer look at the guy on a tube taking a header.
Look at what happened to this sledder. His rear end seems to be what he is sliding on with an interesting visual effect.
In a lull, I noticed some more peaceful use of the hill by wild animals. I know some of them were made by a bird. Can anyone identify what animal left what tracks?
The wipeouts continue. This makes Cub Scout was number 7.
Here comes Roberta Wajrowski
Here comes “Mom 2” with son.
This snow boarder went off the beaten path into where the sledders were climbing the hill. The snow wasn’t packed evenly there.
David Rokusek decides to help pack the snow on that side down.
Here comes the Bruce Deemer Express.
It looks like the run didn’t end up exactly how Deemer intended.
Then, it was a contest to see who go slide the farthest.
Wajrowski goes for the long distance record.
She makes the marsh.
Can’t you hear this boy thinking, “I’m a bird,” as he slides down the hill on the snow board?
It’s smoother now for tubes.
Here comes Mom 2 again, this time with her son in front of her on a plastic sled.
Here comes Den leader Dave Rokusek again. This time he has two tubes and his son
Not all experiments work.
Here are some brave kids speeding down the hill blind.
How far did they go?
These three Cub Scouts from the First United Methodist Church of Crystal Lake’s Pack 158 won the longest slide contest.
Were the grown ups ready to concede the contest.
Not on your life.
Bruce Deemer made another tube effort.
Wajrowski tried to regain the lead. She was turned around as she whizzed by.
Incoming Cub Master Jim MacGreger and Dave Rokusek tried to see if their weight would give them the advantage needed for the longest ride.
Wipeout number 9.
Proving weight is not the determining factor, these two Cub Scouts on the toboggan won the long distance contest.
Look how far they went out into the frozen marsh at Camp Lakota.
Then it was back to the warmth of the building we were staying in, where we would be protected from the just above zero weather.
Across or around the wet spot in the marsh.
The heated building looked good after such a long time in the subzero weather. The door to the left on the first floor of the building is the one that leaked very frigid air onto where my son and I slept