Stories from the Stringam Family Ranches of Southern Alberta

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Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Snow Angels

A guest post by little brother, Blair.

Not me, but similar.
On occasion, as a teenager, I made choices that lacked caution and or wisdom.
Okay, I made stupid choices.
On one occasion, I was out in the evening with friends riding snowmobiles and enjoying the winter in the hills near my father’s ranch.
We all drove trucks to a drop off point where we parked and unloaded our snow machines and headed up snow packed roads and trails into the woods.  The snow in the woods had just fallen and it was a blast riding on what felt like fluffy clouds of snow.
After spending some time up in the wooded area, we finally decided to pack up and head home.  However, the group was delaying our departure.
As a teenager, I tended to get impatient and after waiting for what I thought was a half hour (10 minutes), I got mad and hopped on my machine and headed down the snow packed trail by myself. Now at that age I tended to lose all caution when I got mad and I barely made it through the trees and fluffy snow back to the snow packed road without wrapping my snowmobile around one of the trees. You would think that this would have made me be a little more careful.
But I left all sense and reason back in the trees somewhere.
I came out of the treed area onto the snow packed road, operating a machine that was way more powerful than I needed considering my frame of mind. I wound it up to full speed. 
It was exciting as I heard the motor growl. 
The adrenaline coursed through me as I flew down the trail.
The lights on the machine would shine a reasonable distance ahead or what I thought was reasonable even though I had the snowmobile running at its top speed. The trees on the side of the trail were whirring by and I was enjoying the rush. 
I came to a bend in the trail that I slowed for and rounded, and once again opened the throttle wide. 
Then I looked up and saw an immediate turn and embankment directly in front of me. 
I thought, “Gee I don’t remember that sharp turn”.  Then, “I’m going way too fast. How am I going to get around that corner without planting myself in the embankment?”  And finally, “This is not good, I am going to be killed or maimed”.
I had no idea what I should do.  I was going so fast that if I tried to break on the snow packed trail, I would likely slide out of control and become part of the embankment.
I let the throttle go and the snowmobile started to slow. I dropped down and hugged my machine while leaning over to help it stay upright around the corner, certain that I was going to leave the trail and hit the embankment at any second. 
Suddenly, I was around the corner and headed down the trail.  The snowmobile continued to slow and I was not inclined to speed up at this point.  I thought, “How did I make it around that corner?” I was sure that I shouldn’t have. 
I have since imagined that if I had stopped and gone back to the corner, I would have seen a line of footprints in the snow from a whole group of guardian angels that guided me around and kept me from planting myself in the bank.
They would have probably said to each other, “This is one stupid teenager.”
Oh, wait a minute. Guardian angels would say, “This young man has just made a poor choice, but maybe if we step in this time, he will make better choices in the future.”
I managed to get back to my truck and then home a little shaken but in one piece.  I vowed that I would not be so foolish again.
I can’t say that I have always been wiser, but maybe my guardian angels can vouch for me.

10 comments:

  1. The feeling of speed and the wind in your face and raw power beneath you is the best feeling in the world...until it isn't. Glad your hord of guardian angels was on time.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I enjoy the speed. That's why I don't have motorcycles, snowmobiles, or anything that goes fast.

      Delete
  2. Spooky story. Well written though.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I was spooked that night. I try to avoid that now.

      Delete
  3. I've been grateful a time or two for getting a second chance ... sounds like you were, too. Great cautionary tale!

    ReplyDelete
  4. I suspect that only mothers work harder than guardian angels - and that both are grateful to have the other to take up some of the slack.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I’m pretty sure that my mother’s prayers had a lot to do with the guardian angels that followed me around as a teenager.

      Delete
  5. Between the teen years, and the senior years, I wonder what the rate of Guardian Angel burnout is. Alana

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I try not to think about that. I’m sure that I burned out a few angels.

      Delete

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