January 14, 2011

The Thrill of the Hill

Novice sledder Levi Bethune, 3, antipates a great run down Alexander-Carr sledding hill.  
Union Leader Correspondent
 Pinketon Academy seniors Leah Tarleton and Staci Van Curen,
 both of Derry, and Rosemarie Lebret, an exchange student
 from France, spent the afternoon perfecting their
 three-person tubing technique at Alexander-Carr Park.
DERRY -- Everyone knows about the calm before the storm.
Less discussed is the fun after the storm, which normally involves launching one’s self down a steep mountain of snow, often in tandem with friends or relatives, fully expecting not to make it to the bottom without tumbling into the white stuff.
And then getting up and doing it all over again.
Such was the case yesterday at Alexander-Carr Park, the town’s sledding mecca, where yesterday several diehard snow enthusiasts lingered until dusk.
 Among them were BFFs Leah Tarleton, Staci Van Curen and Rosemarie Lebret, Pinkerton Academy seniors, who were determined to get the right gyration on their snow tube in order to maximize their trajectory down the slope.
“That was great,” said one of them.
“Let’s do it again,” said another.
Lebret, a foreign exchange student visiting from France, seemed to be enjoying the snowy afternoon, sledding American style.
Not far from their launching point stood Amanda Weishaar, 18, and Jordan Doherty, 18, both of Chester, who were
 snapping “before” photos of each other as they prepared to step back in time, to when sledding was a little less intimidating. 

“We used to come here as kids,” said Weishaar, a student at Southern New Hampshire University, squeezing the last few drops of winter vacation from her college break. 
The two climbed the icy footpath leading to the top of the hill and tried to position themselves strategically in their two-man, open-concept, fluorescent-green toboggan. 
But they quickly learned you can never go back to being 12 as they spilled out of their sled and into the snow, laughing all the way. 
Justin Bethune of Derry was cheering on his son, 3-yearold Levi, who is still getting his sledding legs under him — which mostly means he stays tucked inside his sled, wrapped in his blue snowsuit, while dad pulls him around. 
What he didn’t anticipate was the spray of snow that backwashed onto his face, which left him momentarily in tears. A few reassuring words from his dad, and he was back in the saddle and ready for another slide around in the snow. 
Father and son team Riley and Scott Dempsey of Peabody, Mass., were going for the thrill ride, ascending to the pinnacle of Alexander- Carr hill before launching, which meant gathering some impressive speed on the way down. After several rides together, Riley, 8, went it alone. 
By the crest of the second hill, he was losing his grip on his green-and-black snow tube, which flew out from under him as he did a flip in the snow. 
The two had found their way to the sledding hill while waiting for Riley’s older sister, who takes riding lessons at Oakledge Farm on Gulf Road. 
“This is fantastic. What a find,” said Scott Dempsey, collecting his son and preparing to head back up to the top of the hill. 
“It’s our first time, and we’re having a blast,” he said. 

No comments:

Post a Comment