I rode Turnagain Pass yesterday with a friend. Got there early enough to be the third vehicle to park. Sunny, 15ish and calm...perfect day to ride. Snow was OK but not great...a few inches of powder over a hard base.
Got up on Seattle Ridge and enjoyed the magificent scenery. Went down the back side and found some powder to play in. Had a great time.
Later, as we pulled up behind my trailer I was approached by a man in khakis and tan jacket and a ball cap. I had the immediate thought "Uh oh, he looks official", followed by "I don't think I did anything wrong". As it turned out the Californian was on his way to Kenai with his 12 year old son. Volcanos are something of a father/son hobby and they'd come to Alaska to observe Mt. Redoubt. They'd done some sight seeing already and had been to the start of the Iron Dog earlier. He said they pulled in to the parking lot at Turny to use the outhouse and stayed to watch the younger guys catching air. It seems the boy was catching the beginnings of the snowmachine bug.
He offered me $20 to take his son for a ride. "20 bucks for 15 minutes" he said.
I told him to keep his money and told the boy to hop on. I had him stand in front of me and hold on to the mountain bar. I took him south towards the Bertha Creek campground in search of some soft snow. We found a little and made a couple of carving turns and a few runs up some small banks. We even got the ski's up off the ground once or twice. I even let him "drive" with my help, of course.
We were gone 20 minutes or so and when we got back, dad had the video camera out. The boy was a bit chilly but sporting a big grin. Dad was thrilled, so I let him take a spin. He tooled around on the hammered snow close to the parking lot for a few minutes and returned none worse for the wear. Father took a pic of me and the boy with my sled, thanked me again and we parted ways.
It was a near perfect day to share such a beautiful part of our home in a way that most tourists can't conceive. I was glad he walked up to me.
As it turns out, after I'd taken off with his son, the father pressed a $20 in my friend's hand insisting we take it. So we stopped at the Brown Bear and had a couple of burgers courtesy of Volcano Tourism. Thanks Mt Redoubt!