Sunday, December 26, 2010

Skitching In Silverton

So, it's the day after Christmas. The presents are all open and you're getting through the annual post-Christmas hangover. Depending on your weather, it could be 70 degrees and gorgeous or 20 below, gray and ugly! If that's your lot this Sunday, what to do? If you've got a model layout to work on and materials to use, you're all set. If modeling's not your thing, there's always DVDs and YouTube.

Then again, why not get outside? Earlier in the year, guys from SixEleven were snowed out of their last day on Silverton Mountain. Getting snowed out is rare, but when the conditions are bad enough, like sub -20's windchill and blowing, whiteout conditions, a skier or rider like I was finds that even that weather is too much! So they decided to go skitching. What's skitching? This is:

SixEleven Silverton Skitching from SixEleven on Vimeo.

Looks like fun, right? The ski version is called skijoring and a variant of it is used in Leadville for their winter carnival. What do Leadville and Silverton also have in common? They're both terminals for scenic passenger railroads in Colorado, the Leadville, Colorado & Southern and the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad, respectively.

See, this post is still about Colorado railroads.

I wonder if back-country miners of a century or more ago had any comparable sport? Sleighs? Surely. Horses? On the hoof, so to speak. All the workings were there for a fellow to strap something to his feet (or rump) and let his horse, gravity or even his friends do the rest for some excitement in town on an idle Sunday. Was frivolity and fun eschewed for dignity and drab decor on "the Lord's day?" Among the miners, I"m almost sure someone would have had the fine sense to try it.

Thanks to Fritz and NA Graphics in Silverton for the skitch link!

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