We’ve been waiting and waiting and waiting for it to snow. Not here, but in the lower Sierras that aren’t but an hour’s drive from here.
When Theo was only five months old, we first took him to the snow on Thanksgiving Day, and we only had to drive half-way to Tahoe to reach deep-shivery snow in Pollock Pines. Theo thrilled to touch snow and even take a little taste, but he couldn’t walk yet and he couldn’t sled down a hill.
We’d hoped for the same kind of snow two years later. But the snows didn’t dip much below the Sierra summit on Thanksgiving this year. So, we waited.
Five weeks later (today) we said, well let’s just hop in the car and see where we first find some snow. We hit Pollock Pines on Highway 50 and there was barely a few inches of white stuff.
Lo, just past the far end of Pollock Pines there was a glorious hill of snow full of sledders. We had reached Fresh Pond.
Here is my photo album from today. Click on any image for a full-size slideshow.
Tired of lugging around the heavy camera, I put it back in the car. I do regret not getting a shot of the tiny snowman I made with Vlady’s help after we hiked with Theo a bit farther up this hill. The snow up there was thick and clean and soft. Theo experimented with making snowballs and throwing them after we showed him how.
This turned out to be a beautiful, fun day of family togetherness.
It was magical.
And then we had pizza.
We went back again today, and it was…not so magical.
The snow had had two days to melt and refreeze. The parking lot was black ice, making it treacherous to walk across. The wonderful sled run shown above was full of big bumps, the lowest parts of which were snowless dirt. We bought a second sled inside the trading post, and the clerk told us that today was possibly the last decent sledding day until it snowed again.
For some reason plenty of parents allowed their children to walk straight back up inside the sled run, blocking others from coming down, and then to plop their sleds right down in front of those waiting. This became very frustrating. Others failed to remove themselves in a timely manner in the lower part of the run, making it dangerous for everyone when new sleds came plummeting down. One child came down so fast on the icy surface that he slid right into the parking lot and was nearly run over. There’s no snow bank to halt your descent. The bumps in the sled run eventually caused my neck to grow sore.
When I tried to follow Vlady and Theo higher up the hill, my hiking boots kept slipping on the icy surface of the snow and I gave up. We gave Theo a couple of more sled runs, and then we stopped for lunch. The line for the restroom inside the Trading Post was almost out the front door, so unable to wash our hands in a timely manner we chose not to stay to eat at the deli. Finally, getting out of the parking lot was scary, as my tires failed to grip the ice and instead the car slid sideways. I managed to exit by slowly backing out much of the way.
I would only want to go here again after a recent snow, and I would want to find somewhere else if we had to deal with mannerless children and parents again.
There’s plenty of snow again and Fresh Pond sledding looks great!