Monday, January 16, 2006
December 24, 2005
You used to have fun sliding — out of control — down a hard-packed, snow-covered hillside. So much fun that you’d trudge back up the moment your sled stopped.
You’d trudge back up until your calves and thighs begged you to stop. And then you’d force them to carry you up one more time.
Your gloves, made of some kind of water resistant nylon, were saturated. Your toes, frozen. Your elbows shifted around in a persistent puddle of soaked fabric.
But you ignored it. Home would always be warm. And it’d always be there.
Who knew, however, when the next sledding day would come?
And then, at some point, sledding became decidedly uncool.
It might have been about the time you discovered Gore-Tex, sharp, metal edges and technique. Or maybe it was when you discovered the opposite sex and varsity sports.
The thing is, though, sledding hasn’t changed much. And Hood River County has some of the best sledding hills around. If you’re fortunate, you have one in your backyard or down the street — and you keep it secret.
If not, you might be wondering where to go in those melting moments after a snow storm.
Fortunately I have explored Hood River County’s (and a little further) topography, in a quest for some of the best, most reliable sledding hills. To find out where to go when there’s snow, when there’s no snow and for a description of what you’ll be getting into, please turn to page A6. (Locations are rated on a 1 to 5 scale, five representing best; 1 representing worst.)
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Lawnmower torches Arbor Vitae on Portland Drive
The riding lawn mower driven by Norma Cannon overheated and made contact with dry arbor vitae owned by Lee and Norma Curtis, sending more than a dozen of the tightly-packed trees up in flames. The mower, visible at far right, was totaled. No one was injured; neighbors first kept the fire at bay with garden hoses and Westside and Hood River Fire Departments responded and doused the fire before it reached any structures. Westside Fire chief Jim Trammell, in blue shirt, directs firefighters. The video was taken by Capt. Dave Smith of Hood River Fire Department. Enlarge