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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

‘It’s just fun’: Spokane sleds into snowy weekend

While the stores might not stock Clark Griswold’s non-caloric, silicon-based kitchen lubricant, there was still plenty of fun to be had sledding on the fresh powder Spokane received Friday.

But first things first, where to procure a chariot.

Saucers and toboggans in all shapes and sizes are available at the General Store and White Elephant, but they’re going fast. As of late afternoon Friday, White Elephant stocked 23 saucers, 22 toboggans, three contoured sleds and three snowboards, ranging in price from $5.99 to $45. They had already sold over 20 earlier in the day.

“We still have some in stock,” White Elephant clerk Lucas Duffy said. “We had one customer who bought like seven or eight sleds, which is a lot for one person. It hasn’t gotten crazy yet, but I’m sure it will after people get off work.”

The General Store, located at 2424 N. Division St., has a wide selection of sleds designed to turn snow storms into adventures.

“Most of our sleds are plastic these days,” general manager Mark McKee said. “We have a couple 60-inchers and 40-inchers and the discs that people like because they go fast.

“When you have what they want when they come and it makes them happy, it’s just fun.”

No matter where you hang your hat, there is a plethora of hills for intrepid tobogganists. Some claim the best spot is the multi-leveled Underhill Park, off Interstate 90 in the East Central Neighborhood. Coeur d’Alene’s Cherry Hill Park is open to sledders, as well as Coeur d’Alene Golf Club, at 2321 W. Fairway Dr.

Both Liberty and Lincoln parks have challenging runs. For a North Side adventure, Esmeralda Golf Course has a hill east of Freya Street and Empire Avenue.

Good bunny hill options for the younger adventurers can be found in Grant, Franklin, Clark and Nevada parks.

The hills near the Manito Park duck pond are always a popular choice, as well.

Sisters Sarah Clark, 21, and Abby Clark, 18, started sledding at Manito around 3:30 p.m., and the experience was special for them. Their family moved to Spokane from the West Side in November, and they weren’t accustomed to snow days like this.

Abby was holding a green-and-blue swirled toboggan, and Sarah gripped three blue plastic shards of what was once a saucer. When did it break?

“Literally the first run,” Sarah said, laughing. “I sat down on it, and it cracked in half. It was like a dollar, so not a big loss.”

Also on the hill around 4:30 p.m. was Richard Bech, a more seasoned sledder with a need for speed, out with his two children.

He had invested a bit more in his gear. Last season he purchased his Yukon Hammerhead Pro sled, priced at $154.68 on Amazon.

“It’s a sled that’s made for speed, and you can steer it,” Bech said. “I’m like 50 years old, so, really, those sleds are really hard on my back. This has a lot of cushion and shock absorbers.”

He cautioned teaching younger kids how to roll, in case they swerve near a tree, and even suggested helmets.

In other words, just be careful.

Thomas Clouse and Mike Prager contributed to this report