Kentucky Hills + Chicago Snow = World’s Best Sledding

The snow may not be as thick as it is in Boston, but it’s amazing what a foot of snow will do to shut down the City of Louisville. Schools, businesses and government offices are closed. It would all be so depressing if the sledding wasn’t so fantastic. As a Chicago boy I’m no stranger to snow. Heck I spent almost six years of my life in Minneapolis where I saw snow almost 30 inches thick on Halloween. And while the climate favors snow, the topography is mostly indifferent to sledders. Oh sure you can find some decent hills here and there in the Midwest. The City of Chicago once maintained some wicked toboggan runs (all now taken down due to too many cracked tailbones — killjoys!).

However no place I’ve lived rivals Kentucky for the sheer number and variety of steep sledding hills. There are half a dozen within east reach of the house, probably the best being Dog Hill over in Cherokee Park, where if you get the right angle — and don’t hit a tree — you can go almost a quarter mile. Monday’s sledding was good. Yesterday’s, as the show was well packed by then, was blazing fast. Top speeds exceeded 27 miles an hour according to another father’s iPhone speedometer app.

This fellow was going particularly fast. Faster than myself, Mrs. Pastry or the girls, even though we had mostly the same sliding devices: plastic sleds and fabric-wrapped inner tubes. At one point I asked him about his speed edge. “Oh I spray all the bottoms of these things with PAM before we leave the house,” he replied. That, my friends, is a man who has his priorities straight. The girls are off again today. We’re going to hit the hills early before the deep cold sets in this afternoon. Geronimo!

12 thoughts on “Kentucky Hills + Chicago Snow = World’s Best Sledding”

  1. Interesting that you refer to snow as being 30 inches “thick” rather than “high,” I’ve never heard that before. Enjoy it, whatever you call it!

    1. Too many years of frosting cakes, probably. Most people around here would say “deep” I’m sure. 😉

      – Joe

      1. From the Boston perspective, I think one says “thick” when one expects more to come on top of what you have & “high” when one is optimistically thinking that is the end of the snowfall.

  2. I grew up in Maryland (inside the beltway) and we had some good sledding hills, too, and we still built jumps! It was so much fun…until I started driving to work, the adult kill-joy of life!

    1. Ya know, my girls’ grandfather went sledding with them the last time he was here. Had an epic wipeout with little Joan but no broken hips or anything! It was a great day.

      – Joe

  3. Years ago we had some good friends who moved from Minneapolis to Louisville. That winter they had a pretty big snowfall & they told us the news guys said “The city is going to follow their usual snow removal plan, wait for spring!”

    There was an emergency order and you were not allowed to drive without chains. Our friends just happened to have a set but they sold them to a neighbor for $1500. The guy owned a liquor store & made deliveries 🙂 He did not lose money on those chains.

  4. Oh, I’m jealous! This year we haven’t had a decent winter and snow at all, and meteorologists predict that this thaw is going to last until real spring arrives. Water-covered ice on the pathways, and no snow anymore…

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