We turned around the corner and the car shook as we hit the bumps on the dirt road, trees surrounding the path. The trees cleared and revealed huge hills, which Emma told me were sand dunes when there wasn’t snow. Her dad parked the car and we all got out, grabbing the sleds from the trunk.
It was my first time up north with Emma, but we’d been wanting to go together for a while. For the past 6 years our friendship had grown, and finally I was mature enough for my parents to allow me to go away for a weekend. So, on this cold February weekend, we headed up to Hubbard Lake.
We threw the sleds in a small pile at the bottom of the hill, happy to see that no one else was there. Emma grabbed a sled and we headed up to the top, while Maya and her mom only went a fraction of the way up before they began to head down. It took at least five minutes to climb the hill, huge on its own, but also a struggle to climb with the deep snow. The entire time, I could only think of how dangerous this could be.
The hills were huge, towering over us even when we were halfway up. There was one main hill, completely coated in bright, sparkling snow. The sides of it had tall grass sticking out of the snow, but it was clear in the middle; the path for our adventure. Trees surrounded the area, a forest of snow-covered trees at the top of the hill. As we climbed, snow filled my boots and I found some in various other places. On my coat, my gloves, my hair. How did snow get in my hair? By the time we were almost to the top, there was an even sprinkling of snow all over us.
As the ground began to level out, Emma put the sled down and we climbed on, ready to see what the hill had in store for us. We gave ourselves a push, and slowly began to slide down. Our speed increased as the hill got steeper and we saw a bump in the path begin to get bigger as we headed directly towards it. Screaming, we swerved out of the way and continued smoothly to the bottom.
Despite the close call, we kept going. We repeated the process countless times until we barely had the energy to walk.
“Want to go up again?” Emma said.
“Again?” I exclaimed, “We’ve gone a million times!”
“Come on, just one more time! Please?”
“Fine,” I sighed, starting to walk up the hill once more. “But only once.”
We headed back up the hill, slower than ever before. At the top, we stopped for a moment to take a breath, and then continued to climb on the sled and begin to head down.
We approached the bump again, but this time it didn’t work out as we had expected. The sled hit the bump and suddenly we were flung into the air. Floating through the cold air far above the ground, 5 seconds seemed to last forever. This is it, I’m going to die at 11 years old.
I hit the ground, expecting it to hurt, but it didn’t; the snow cushioned my fall. Relieved, I lifted my head, looking around for Emma. I spotted her a few feet away and we laughed at the sight of each other; sprawled on the ground with snow covering our hair. After taking a moment to regain our balance, we stood up slowly and began to head down the rest of the hill, our sled continuing on its own.
We started at a walk but that eventually turned into a run, the freezing air blowing our snow-coated hair back. With giant smiles on our faces, we reached the bottom and Maya and her parents told us how far we flew into the air. Emma and I laughed harder than ever before, still processing what had just happened. We both shook as much snow as we could out of our hair before getting ready to get back in the car. With sleds piled high in the trunk, the car began to move, leaving the hills far behind.
I have so many memories from the eight years that Emma has been my best friend, but this is one of my favorites. It’s hard to imagine a quiet introvert like myself experiencing crazy things like this, but every day spent with Emma has the potential to turn into a memory. From the moment she walked up my driveway when I was 5 years old she has changed my life. I would never have become the person I am today without her. From just a few minutes of talking to adventures like this, Emma has been a part of my life almost everyday. Knowing her and having these experiences has made me so happy, and I’m so glad that I’m lucky enough to have such an adventurous friend like her.