Winter fun |

Winter fun

Time away from school, work provides residents a blast in the snow

John Vandelinder

— Seven-year old Walker Neff stands at the top of a snow-covered hill behind Calvary Baptist Church.

He pulls his goggles down to cover his eyes from the swirling snow, tightens his mittens and checks his boots.

When he decided everything was in order, off he went.

His small frame on a plastic disc amounted to a quick ride down the hill.

Near the end of the ride, Walker hit a bump, which shot him airborne.

He tried desperately to hang on, but the laws of physics wouldn’t allow it.

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Walker flew off his ride into the air and landed face-first in the snow.

“Sometimes you crash; sometimes you don’t,” Walker said as he was spitting out the snow from his mouth. “I just get right back up and do it all over again.”

Such was the scene in Craig a day after Christmas.

With schools on winter break and many stores and businesses closed, residents were sent wandering outdoors to kill time and find entertainment.

Sledding and snowmobiling were at the forefront a day after Saint Nick visited town, enabling residents a fun time away from school and work.

At Black Mountain Park, Gavyn and Kyler Cox were getting their snowmobile ready for a trip through Craig’s winter wonderland.

Gavyn, 8, held on to her brother Kyler, 7, as he hit the throttle of his Yamaha Venture, kicking up snow in his wake.

“I love going fast,” Kyler said. “And I love to drive on fresh powder.”

The two start to bicker, not about the cold or the snow blowing in their faces.

Instead, it was about who was going to drive.

“It’s a lot of fun,” Gavyn said. “But, it’s more fun when I drive.”

Jared Soron, Jordan Anthony and Mark, Josh and Sue Hay from Aurora joined the brother and sister in the hills.

“There is no feeling quite like gliding along the snow,” Sue said while placing her new registration sticker on her ride. “I love to get out and enjoy the snow.”

The group makes sure they have enough gas, the oil levels are just right and there are no pieces dangling from their machines before taking off.

“First we see if it’s too cold to get out of the truck,” Mark said. “Then, if all is well, we have to go at least a mile out before we can come back and crack a beer. We have to have an excuse for happy hour.”

The Hay’s are in town visiting family for the holidays, but before they leave, they had to hit some of the trails they have heard about.

“Craig has great trails,” Mark said. “We’ve never been out here before, so we had to give them a shot.”

Josh revved his engine in excitement for the endeavor the group was about embark on. The time in the open terrain is what he’s after.

“Getting out of the city on the trails and carving fresh powder is the best,” he said. “I get such a rush when I open up the throttle and take off.”

“Yeah, and then you go flying,” his father, Mark, said. “We were out the other day, and all I saw was a black helmet go whizzing by me and Josh was head first in a snow bank.”

Josh shrugged off the incident, he’s been there before.

The 22-year old has been snowmobiling for more than 15 years, and he said its just part of the routine.

“I just emptied the snow out of my helmet, put it back on and took off.” He said. “That’s the fun part about snow. It doesn’t hurt.”