Firsthand Report: Cardboard Derby at Whitetail, March 4, 2007
Author thumbnail By Connie Lawn, DCSki Columnist

An amazing array of intricate, decorated cardboard sleds came whizzing down the slopes of the tubing center. If they were lucky, some made it all the way down. Many flipped and crashed en route. But, no one was hurt - it was all in good fun and held for an important cause. The money raised through sponsorship went to the Cedar Ridge Ministries. The event was “The Cedar Ridge Wild and Wacky Cardboard Sled Derby.” It was postponed a few times due to rough weather. But, when it was finally held, it was great fun for all. When the cold became too much for onlookers, there was a lovely outdoor wood fire to stand around, warm up, and make new friends.

The boxes were incredibly intricate, and took a lot of talent and time to construct. My favorite was the tow truck; it survived its run, but was not as fast as some of the sleeker, aerodynamic designs. Prizes were given in a number of categories. Among them were: most creative and colorful, best original design, fastest, most money raised, and best of show.

Some entries in the cardboard derby. Photo provided by Charles Sneiderman.

While this was underway, hundreds of people continued to enjoy the tubing; most of the lanes were left open for the snow tubers. The course was slick and fast. There were also children’s birthday parties, and other events occurring simultaneously. We were told one of the parties was for General Manager Don MacAskill and his 7 year old daughter. Congratulations! It is amazing the amount of fun you can have in a snow resort area!

In the meantime, back on the slopes, the conditions were nearly perfect. The colder weather and wind were setting in, and there were periods of snow. But, that only indicated there would be many more weeks ahead for snowmaking, and the resorts can stay open throughout March, if people continue to attend.

There were many people at the slopes, but the lines moved quickly. There was snow on all the runs, and I had to work to turn. My thighs were burning after a few runs. I tried to take it easy, and spent most of the time on the intermediates - Fanciful, Angel Drop, Snow Dancer and Limelight. All 19 trails were open for skiing and snowboarding. and the surface was considered groomed loose granular. All trails were groomed except Exhibition, and the moguls were big and challenging. In the morning, there was a ski race (as there often is) on Homerun. It was called “Heroes of the Hill” and featured Whitetail Patrollers, who deserve that designation.

There is so much to like about Whitetail. The main features are the sweeping, wide, well-groomed slopes, which give the resort such a Western flavor. There are other important touches, to make the experience so much more enjoyable. It is important to have the shuttle bus, which took us from the parking lots to the slopes or to the tubing area. Most resorts have that vital feature. I was also pleased to see free wireless internet service in the Starbucks Cafe, and CNN News on the television (when a major sports event was not on). After all, in this area and in these dangerous times, few of us can afford to turn off the world, even during recreation. I am happy to combine both.

So once again, thank you Whitetail for another terrific day. Hope you can keep it up for a few more weeks!

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About Connie Lawn

When she wasn't skiing, Connie Lawn covered the White House as a reporter since 1968.

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