I didn't really have that on my list of things to do before I croak, and if I had to do it again I probably would have skipped it, but we can all say we did it and survived. Yesterday was snowmobiling day, so we set off early in the morning to this place
As you can see, they have lots of snowmobiles.
After you sign a form saying you will be responsible for $28,000 worth of 2009 snowmobiles if you wreck them all, and another one saying if you die you won't sue them, and another one saying that you understand you're taking your very lives in your hands, and another one saying you get that snowmobiling is kind of a reckless and dangerous thing to be doing, they send you back to the dressing area, and you put on a snowsuit over your clothes. Then they give you boots and you get to pick out a helmet. All the while, a so-ugly-he's-cute bulldog looking thing wanders about and sniffs your legs. Apparently he is waiting for the popcorn part of the program, which comes at the end.
There's B, getting ready to take a few practice loops around the field. See that gate in the distance, off to her right? That's the beginning of the trails.
This happened in about the first 10 minutes. Ooops. The big boy flipped his sled--took a curve too fast.
How many people does it take to dig out a flipped over sled? Everybody (except P, who took this photo). It was actually kind of fun, believe it or not. And it happened once more, when the other BOY plowed into a snowbank and got stuck. They make the snowmobiles with handles to help pull them out of these sorts of situations.
P& I brought up the rear. We had two double sleds and two singles (the boys were on the singles). Fortunately, P had the presence of mind to get out her camera for this excursion. The views were breathtaking.
So, they gave us a trail map and since we were first-time snowmobilers, told us to stay at F or G and no higher on the trail map. What do we decide to do? Apparently we went to M or so. I had no idea what was going on really, since I was just a follower. Up and up we climbed. It was gorgeous. P was driving our sled, so I had time to really enjoy the views.
Until there were no more views. There was just an otherworldly, eerie whiteness. Whiteness and mist, and close to zero visibility. It felt like we were in a big field, but who really knows because we could see practically nothing. Lots of funky mist swirling around. I have never in my life experienced anything like it, and it was very sudden. One minute it was fine; the next, we were on another planet. All we could see were orange poles with reflectors on them. That's how we stayed on the trail. Sometimes we couldn't even see the next pole for a little while, and that was fairly terrifying. Then there was a series of giant hills we had to sled down. Oh my. P said, "That's the scariest thing I have ever done in my life." About halfway through, we switched and I took back over. She did great, though. After about five or ten minutes, it was over. Jonathon later figured out that we had actually been IN a cloud. We could look back at the mountains and see that most of them were enveloped in low clouds. That explained it. The children described it as being in one of the scenes from Zelda (the video game). I just know that it felt like we were not on Planet Earth any longer. Whiteness and the weirdest mist I've ever been in. Very cold. Very, very cold.
After we made it down a little, we were just cold and all in need of a restroom. It took about another hour to make it back to base camp. I initially wanted to rent for a full day, but a half-day worked out just great. A full day and we would have been icicles!
We finished up around noon and made our way back to the townhouse. We dropped the children off so they could have lunch, and then my fabulous husband, Tracie and I went to Hot Sulphur Springs for facials (Tracie and I) and a massage (my husband). That was an interesting experience. We made it back after a few hours and I crashed for the rest of the night, having acquired E's cold. It was a nice, quiet night for everyone. We all needed the rest.
I think the children are going to go ski for a few hours today, and the grownups are going to do a bit of shopping up in Grand Lake. Then it's time to get ready to go home (tomorrow).