Look at me, I’m Sarah Palin!

(Pose just for photo, Mr E Man did all the driving)

I am a very clumsy person, as you will see in the video below. I’m also a terrible coward.

Well, physically, anyway.

Move thousands of miles away from home to a city where you don’t know a single person? No problem! Change career twice in as many years? Bring it on!

But subject me to any combination of downhill slope, speed, and slipperiness, and I’m a mess. I somehow manage to ski (really quite badly, as you’ll see in a future post), but I don’t know how, because I don’t even like walking downhill when it’s a bit frosty.

So, when I decided to buy Mr E Man a snowmobile tour at Sun Peaks for Christmas, I booked it for just him. I told him that I could add a passenger of his choice to the trip at any time up to 2 hours before the tour started, but he should be warned that if he took me, there was a good chance he’d get seriously frustrated by me shouting “slow down!” the whole time.

He wanted me to go anyway. “It’s my Christmas present, and I want you to come”, he said. It won’t be as much fun without you. They probably won’t let us go all that fast anyway”. All that. So I abandoned any thoughts of spending the afternoon trying out the snowshoes that he bought me for Christmas, and decided to try this snowmobiling lark instead.

I quickly found that snowmobiling and me are not a good mix. Too fast, too bumpy; I had a nice comfy seat with a back rest and everything, but I didn’t spend much time on it as I got bounced up and down and struggled with all my strength to keep hold of the handles down by my hips. And the engine was far too loud and our helmets were too well padded for Mr E Man to hear my shouts of “aarrgghh!”, “noooooo”, “I don’t like it”, “ow, my arms really really hurt” and “slow the fuck down, you fucking maniac!”

Things did get better when we got off the main bumpy track and into some fresher, deeper snow. It really was beautiful as we proceeded more slowly on winding tracks through the snow-covered trees. But oy, the noise! I kept thinking how much nicer it would be to see this same view silently, while on snowshoes, or cross country skis.

But of course, the main advantage of snowmobiling is that you can get much further and higher than when self-propelled. After another too-fast-too-bumpy spell on a logging road, we ended up at a viewpoint looking down on a cloudy Shuswap lake at sunset. The snow was so deep I couldn’t even walk in it;

and we did indeed have to dig the sled out when we restarted.

The beautiful view started to win me over, and I pondered that snowmobiling might not be so evil after all.

Not evil

Not evil

Fucking maniac speed demon, but not evil

By the time we started the downhill section of our loop, I was getting a bit more used to the bouncing and the speed, and it really was pretty cool to see the convoy of headlights snaking in and out of the trees as the light began to fade. We stopped at a warming hut as the stars started to come out, and being pretty toasty already I walked alone through the trees and onto a frozen lake. The photos didn’t come out, but take my word for it that it was stunningly beautiful.

And, of course, the silence was golden.

I did end up enjoying myself. And we only fell off twice, both times at low speed (once on a turn in deep snow, and the other while stopping at the viewpoint). But I don’t think I’d go snowmobiling again. Mr E Man had tons of fun though, and didn’t stop grinning for at least an hour afterwards.

Me? Well, I recovered tolerably after a little help.

My biceps, shoulders and wrists hurt for days, though.

About Cath@VWXYNot?

"one of the sillier science bloggers [...] I thought I should give a warning to the more staid members of the community." - Bob O'Hara, December 2010
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14 Responses to Look at me, I’m Sarah Palin!

  1. The bean-mom says:

    That look utterly gorgeous.But snowmobiling probably isn't for me, either–even skiing is a bit much (too cold, too much falling). I'll enjoy the view from the lodge (and the Internets!)

  2. Cath@VWXYNot? says:

    Yep, the gorgeous view was (almost) worth it!

  3. chall says:

    nooo…. my comment is all gone. I wrote a long one about gorgeous and wonderful and envious. And it is all not here.Anywy, have you tried the dog sledding? It's quite and fast and very fun. Maybe something for next year? 😀

  4. Bob O'H says:

    Damn the snow's deep in those Not Evil photos.

  5. Cath@VWXYNot? says:

    Oh no! Sorry, Chall, it's so frustrating when that happens. I haven't tried dog sledding, although they do that at Sun Peaks too. I'd definitely rather try that than snowmobiling!Bob, yes, very deep, and suspiciously vapour-ish.

  6. Lisbeth says:

    Much to my own surprise, I didn't find snowmobiling as much fun as expected – it gets too cold to be sitting back there!But snow shoes for Christmas?! NOW I'm jealous 🙂

  7. tideliar says:

    So. Fucking. Jealous.It's 12C and sunny here. no snow. no hills. NO nothing :'(

  8. Cath@VWXYNot? says:

    Lisbeth, unlike you, I wasn't all that surprised… I can't wait to try the snow shoes!Tideliar, does it help that it's currently raining so hard that it's first item on the news? In a city built in a rain forest? I was planning to go snow shoeing this weekend, but the area's now closed due to rain and the need to conserve snow for the Olympics…

  9. Professor in Training says:

    You haven't tried the snowshoes yet?? Christmas was ages ago!

  10. Mad Hatter says:

    Sounds like the experience March Hare and I had with jet skis. We each had one, so I wasn't a victim of his daredevilry, but he was definitely more adventurous (I call it foolhardy!) in his handling of machine than I was. He also had more fun than I did. Not sure which is cause and which is effect. 🙂

  11. Cath@VWXYNot? says:

    PiT, I know! There was nowhere near as much snow at my in-laws' place as there usually is, and every time we drove up to the ski hill, we went skiing (or snowmobiling) instead. Then we came back to town and it's been raining so much the local ski hills are all closed!

  12. Cath@VWXYNot? says:

    Mad Hatter, I've never tried jet skis. I'm usually less wussy around water than on snow or slopes, but I've never really done the high speed thing…

  13. ScienceGirl says:

    Wow, I would so love to try this! I have never tried snow mobiling or jet skis, and yet have always had this battle of wanting to do it vs. being afraid to try. After Hubby's cousin broke his pelvis jet skiing (he now has a nice set of screws), I am more reassured that the speed and bumpiness combination is a bit scary.

  14. Cath@VWXYNot? says:

    Well then, you have a good excuse to go a bit slower than the petrol heads!

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