Don't Forget To Bail
Farm & Ranch Living|December/January 2018

There are some rules to a happy sledding experience.

Marlene Smith Homer

Sledding seems easy— climb to the top of the hill, hop on your sled and let gravity do the rest. But when I was a kid, there was a trick to sledding properly at our farm. You had to know how and when to bail at the bottom of the steep hill.

If you didn’t, you’d hit a sliver of a straightaway in the snow the width of a tractor path, then go sailing over the edge of a steep drop-off into a ditch below. Worse, you might fly over the bank and into the road. In those days, there was little to collide with on the dirt road, but we didn’t want to risk it. So we practiced the art of bailing as often as we could in winter.

When the snow fell, we kids could hardly wait to go sledding in our bulging snowsuits. The hill we used was in a field that was farmed, so the snow had to be deep enough to cover the ruts. Otherwise, the sled would get stuck on the way down, which was no fun. Deep snow, though, made the climb back up the hill even harder, especially when weighed down by our sleds.

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