Long Sault Provincial Park, Ontario, Canada
Yours truly (front) and Stuart Whitney, Winter 1968 or 1969.
(Estimated date achieved due to the fresh-faced appearance of the young chaps and the cars in the background.)
Two intrepid and fearless adventurers brace themselves for a reckless and heart-stopping ride down the slopes and banks along Lake Saint Lawrence. Their trusty conveyance was a six foot long wooden toboggan named “Flashing Foxfire”, suitably decorated with magical symbols and runes to ward off danger.
Eastern Ontario is notoriously flat and places to utilize a toboggan were limited to only a couple of spots. One of these was over the first causeway just after the entrance to the park and, on any given weekend, the hill was packed. The snow was usually polished like glass and, at the bottom, where the hill ended and the lake began, there was often a large area of water, thinly covered with ice.
The whole adventure consisted of an uncontrollable and very rough ride down, going airborne after hitting the bump on the bank at the end and hoping one had enough momentum to carry one over the ice and water. This lasted about 10 seconds. Then there was the walk back up, slipping and sliding all the way, shaking packed snow from out the trouser legs and desperately trying to avoid the other participants as they careened down, usually right at you. A kind of 10 pin bowling with human pins, if you will.
To add to this, the hillside was west-facing and the wind just whistled across miles of frozen water. It was usually a little chilly, to say the least.
Winter Fun, at its finest.