Sunday, January 27, 2013

Oxbow Park Sledding

This last Thursday was pretty cold . . . maybe 18 degrees, but we had a pocket of time when we could possibly go sledding with friends. We made a tentative date, but I had a busy day and really wasn't looking forward to being out in the cold. I kept checking the baby's temperature to find an excuse while I prepared for our Nature Nook book group later that night at Woodlawn Nature Center. Okay, I was probably in a bit of a "mood". But, we'd made a commitment, so we kept it . . .

Hint: Having a big bag of cold weather gear ready to go or already in the van has been so helpful to get out more this winter! I did a quick check to make sure we had all we needed, put the sleds back in the van again, and off we went!

We were trying out Ox Bow as someone from church mentioned she really liked to make a day of sledding there with her kids. She mentioned the warming shelter, how the kids come and go, and the hot cocoa and snacks she brings to eat. It's also nice how the window is positioned that you can see everything going on at the hill. Some parents/caregivers would actually be able to sit in the warm shelter and watch while the kids went up and down the hill as long as the children know there boundaries. However, it's much more fun to go sledding, too, if possible!

The entry fee is $2 per car, but it's not always charged. We went on a no fee day, but I've never known until I pulled up to the gate if we were to be charged. Also, when going to a scheduled program, there is no entrance fee. I even went to a free program and didn't pay anything. However, there is a year pass that goes January-December of each year. It is $20 and makes it easy to go on a moment's notice. I've noticed that when I already have a pass at other venues, I don't mind just stopping by for a bit when we're out and and about. And Ox Bow County Park is a great place to get out and about!

We were the only ones there when we arrived, so I left the baby inside for a little bit while I made a few runs down the hill. We checked on him periodically to make sure he was okay. 

Another great thing about the shelter is that there is also a great wildlife viewing area. This is the other wall of windows. The feeders are stocked over the winter. We saw several cardinals, juncos, chickadees, squirrels, etc. It's nice to have a nature bonus on a sledding trip!

Outside, we saw that someone made a perfect snow angel.

The sledding was good! Up and down we went. It's a good little work out to trudge back up the hill, especially with little ones.

My angel also wanted to make an angel! :-)

Our friends joined us, the sky was pretty, the air was crisp, and we were out doing something active . . .  remember how I didn't really want to go? My spirit was lifted by a little time out. I NEEDED to be outside, yet was finding excuses not to go . . . cold temperatures, busy day, possibly sick baby. Glad we made it out! While I know exercise and being in nature help us feel better on so many levels, I also know it from my own experience!

Another family joined in on the fun. I got to use some of my Spanish skills . . . I used to teach Spanish immersion classes, but it's been about ten years. Rusty, but with more practice it could definitely come back better! It's good to see people out enjoying the snow!