My Favorite Sledding Hill

by Michael R Dougherty
(California)


You jump on your sled and you start flying down the snowy hill - the faster, the better.

The wind rushes past your cold face as the runners on your sled cut through the snow and you quickly head toward the bottom of the hill. It feels like you're going so fast.

Kids in Alaska love to go sledding.

And every kid who's experienced winter time in Alaska, has a story or two about sledding down their favorite hill.

When we lived in Mountainview, we were just across the street from a wooded area. And just beyond the wooded area was an old gravel pit with a long, steep dirt road leading to the bottom of the pit.

One winter, we found two old metal Pepsi Bottle Cap signs. They were the perfect size (about the size of today's saucer sleds). The old signs had a sharp edge, just like an actual bottle cap, but were otherwise perfect for a fast ride down a snow - covered hill.

My brother Tom and I took our two "Pepsi sleds" to the gravel pit road to try them out. Tom agreed to be the "test pilot" and took off down the hill first.

Wow - did he fly. I don't know if it was the metal, or the surface of the sign, or the shape, but boy did he ever zoom down that hill.

After his first run, Tom said that he couldn't steer it, so he had to put his feet out so he could at least keep the "Pepsi sled" on the road.

When I sat down on my sled and took off down the hill I was going so fast it was almost scary. But what a ride. A couple of times we missed a turn near the bottom and actually flew off the road and down the brush-covered side.

Later, we went back to the hill with our friends and let everyone try our "Pepsi Sleds". And they all had the same experience. Fast, a little scary, but lots of fun.

After using our "Pepsi Bottle Cap" sleds, our regular old sleds with runners seemed tame.

How about you?

Where was your favorite place to go sledding?

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Favorite Sledding Hill
by: MH

Great story!

Brought back memories.

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Future Arctic Boulevard Sled Hill
by: Louie Mass

Mike,

Your brother Tom was a pal of mine in ninth grade, after my family move to the east side.

Enjoyed your sledding story and was motivated to share my own from the Spenard perspective.

Our neighborhood hill was located on the north side of Fireweed Lane where Arctic Boulevard heads north today. Then it was a steep dirt trail that winter transformed into a a kid daredevil’s dream sled hill especially when coated with ice and you were equipped with an American Flyer steel railed sled.

The steep gradient made for many exciting runs and some carnage.

Unfortunately, or fortunately I can’t remember too many details other than the memories of trepidation when making the first run of the day laying stomach down and gripping the wood steering handles when there was a rain slicked ice surface.

One crash engraved tumbling visions of the newly constructed Greek Orthodox Church in my hippocampus.

But mostly there was the memory of broad smiles and laughter that hill brought us.

A Note From Mike of Anchorage Memories

Louie:

Thank you for adding your very interesting comment.

Unfortunately, my brother Tom is no longer with us. But I'm sure he would have enjoyed your story very much.

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"Sledding Stories"
by: Mary J Dougherty

Sledding was a great winter past time in Anchorage.

We all loved to go sledding. I remember seeing the "Pepsi Bottle Cap Sign" and I knew of other kids who used one as a sled in our neighborhood.

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