Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Dashing through the snow

It's with great interest and a considerable amount of dismay that I read about the deaths of a young couple from American Fork who died in a four-wheeler accident this past weekend.
The story I read said they went off a 200-foot embankment.
That made my stomach drop as I thought back to a snowmobile trip my husband and I went on years ago, a trip that could have ended for us in a similar manner.
We were invited by the Skyline Volunteers to check out their popular snowmobiling trails in the Mt. Nebo area.
They graciously promised to provide the machines, guides and hot chocolate.
Enterprising journalists that we were, we agreed and showed up ready to roll.
Neither Marc or I had much experience with snowmobiles but figured how hard could it be?
We set out and soon discovered the machines had plenty of power and it was exhilarating to glide at high speeds over the new fallen snow.
We were loving it, in fact, Marc loved it so much he shot ahead of the guides and raced away into the forest. grinning away.
I was stopped and watching when the guides became alarmed.
"We need to catch up with him," said one. "He's heading toward the cliffs."
Apparently ahead of Marc where he couldn't see them, there were cliffs hidden by the new snow.
The snowmobile club guys barely caught him, cutting in front of him to get his attention. That was scary but disaster was averted.
I was ribbing him about it later when we stopped for chili and chocolate.
I apparently was getting somewhat over confident myself as I stopped by the others, trying to make my machine climb to the top of the nearby ridge.
I was frustrated because I couldn't give the snowmobile enough gas to show off and make it up and over.
I stopped. Then I got off the machine and looked over the edge.
From the top of the ridge I'd been trying to clear, the ground fell away sharply. Nothing but trees and rocks for a really long ways down.
If I had cleared the ridge, I'd have slid about 1,000 feet or so with nothing to break the descent. I probably would've killed myself.
I was lucky.
I'm alive. So is Marc.
Those poor kids are not.

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