Thursday, February 07, 2008

February Under the Big Sky

Winter in Montana is not the time you would associate with alley grazing, though as you may have read in earlier posts, my friend Mary and I did dig collards out of the snow a couple winters ago. My morning and evening jaunt is more like alley crawling, stomping, slip/sliding or even skiing. Most winters, Polson doesn't have enough new powder to do anything except...sledding. That most ancient of winter pastimes happens with a vengance at our own Riverside Park, only four blocks (and one alley) from my home.
And that my friends, is a sight to behold. Grab your little red sled, toboggan, or old fashioned Red Flyer (remember, the one with runners) and the thickest coat you have, and head to the park. Riverside Park overlooks the swift running Flathead River, Polson Bridge clicking under a steady stream of cars, and in the water, Canada geese, coots ganged up in flotillas, maybe even a Bald Eagle or two. My friend Jan took this at the park last Saturday with an extremely long lens.

The slope from 1st Street down to the playground is steep enough that, with some new powder, and a little push to start your sled, you go like a blue streak, pushing your heart rate into triple digit arythmia. Little bumps engineered into the hill give your tail bone a thrill as well. However, the local snowboard set has upped the ante with a rock hard snow ramp ending in a picnic table that launches the erstwhile snowboarder into a free fall of about 8-10 feet. Yowza.
So from the bucolic peacefulness of early morning and late
evening alley strolling, I am but a few blocks from the break neck wildness and hilarity of Riverside Park. The few times my dog, Sam ever escaped during the summertime, I found him at Riverside, chest deep in the river, where he was invisible under a couple dozen hands caressing his waterlogged body. If a dog could purr, he would have. His favorite companions are the sun baked kids who swim away their days like otters. Even the dogs in town know where the fun lives.

photocredits: winter copywright

Fun is always just around the corner!

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