ready-set-go -- whoosh!
down the packed snow hill -- and then
the slow trudge back up
So glad to see children playing with their entire bodies not just their thumbs. Sledding was a major treat for me when I was growing up. The sled styles have changed -- now they're plastic saucers and lozenges colored like M&Ms. But the thrill of speeding down a snow-packed hill is the same as it has been for centuries. And there's also something satisfying about alternating fast down, slow up -- time to build anticipation.
My sled was a Flexible Flyer, with powder-coated red steel runners and a birch-wood bed. Unlike the goose-neck wooden toboggan, you could steer the Flexible Flyer by pushing the front bar right or left. I was still sledding every winter even after I went off to college. When my sons came along, of course they each had a Flexible Flyer, with their names marked on the bar. Got a lot of wear and tear, including broken slats, but still flew down the hill.
They still make the Flexible Flyer the way I remember, but the price has skyrocketed. This one costs $100.
And this reproduction of an older style sells for $350! But isn't it a beauty?