Monday, June 13, 2011

Found Treasures II: Tubing

As I've mentioned previously [1], I recently pulled a bunch of files off of my old floppy disks since that type of storage device is obsolete. I was surprised by many of the files that I recovered—I thought they were lost forever. I was even more surprised that I actually recognized most of them. This one is a personal essay I wrote for my Accelerated [Sophomore] English class at Box Elder High School. According to the header, I turned this in to the teacher, Mr. Yates, on 18, 1996.

Last year we bought some land in Willard to build a house on. After it snowed we invited all our family to come and tube on our new hill. We all got together on a Saturday, around Christmas time, and crawled up the hill.

It took a long time because the lot is five acres total and the hill is on the other end from the highway. My Dad tried to drive us up there in his junky yellow Toyota, but we got stuck about halfway across the field.

One step after the other, we finally made it up the hill. Excited, I jumped on my tube…and went nowhere. The snow was too powdery, so I had to use my arms to pull myself down. My trail ended at the base of a pile of rocks.

I went back up dragging my tube behind me, slowly getting tired. When I got to the top, I lay down and rested for a minute. My cousins caught up with me, but I had to be first. So I jumped, pulled my tube underneath me, knocked my uncle over [2], and started down the run.

Snowplow! My tube left the trail and threw me off its back, violently. I could not get up because of all the snow on top of me. My uncle came down after me, bent on revenge. But unable to see me, he inadvertently ran over me and freed me from my icy prison.

I went back up and tried again. Airborne! I went all the way down and sailed off the pile of rocks. The landing was not so sweet. But I did not care—I had flown!

My cousin Jeremy, about my age, managed to do it too. We decided to go down double and see what would happen. He lay down in his tube on his stomach. I lay down in mine the same way and held on to his feet.

He picked up his hands and we started down. The hill was not very even, so we started bouncing on the little swells of earth. Then we hit the rock pile and Jeremy face-planted into the snow bank. Right behind him, I bounced my tube off his corpse, did a full somersault in midair, and landed on my duff, confused.[3]

I stared at my retreating tube for a moment and then my near-death experience was over. I pulled Jeremy out of the snow and we went up again. This time I was first.

On the way down, we started bouncing again. To keep from falling off the tube, I had to swing my arms like I was doing the Butterfly Stroke, making me and Jeremy fly higher each time we hit a rise.

We hit the pile just right and launched into weightlessness. The landing was supreme, but as we continued down, we started to spin around uncontrollably. An obstinate tuft of sagebrush, unwilling to succumb to the blanket of snow, rushed forward to meet us.

It hit right in the middle and tore us apart. With the loss of each other’s mass, we both tipped over and rolled down the rest of the hill.

Eventually, we got cold and went home.


[1] You can read Part I here.

[2] Based on his response, I'm guessing that this is Derek.

[3] My aunt Trish, Derek's wife, saw the whole affair and said that the face I made was quite hilarious.

Image attributions:

Snow on Firs in Star Valley, Wyoming is by arbyreed, available at

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