Some people spend Christmas indoors in front of the fireplace, cozy and warm. Other people spend Christmas outdoors on the side of a mountain, cold and freezing...because they're snow tubing!
This year, after a yummy dinner and games with extended family we bundled up in scarves, boots, gloves, hats, and big coats; squeezed ourselves into the SUV and headed out to Liberty Mountain Resort in Carroll Valley, PA. Most of us had never gone snow tubing before so I thought it would be a fun Christmas present for my family.
Once at the ski resort, we hopped into a shuttle bus and arrived at the snow tubing location on the side of the mountain. They issue you a pass and snow tube once you sign a waiver you won't sue the place if you break both legs and an arm. Then you ride a conveyor belt-type thingie to the top of the hill, pick a lane, and whooosh, slide down the mountain. At the bottom, the staff insists you "drag your feet" to slow down, but if you can't stop in time there are big red inflatables to cushion your stoppage.
I was surprised at the level of organization of snow tubing. I expected a free-for-all area of tubes bumping into each other, but there were about 15 lanes where you ride down individually and then clear out at the bottom to make room for tubers at the top. I was also surprised there were hills built into the tubing area so you didn't go straight down, but up and down, and at times, getting air if you went fast enough.
The staff at Liberty was really friendly. They would give you a good push down the mountain if you needed one and practically begged you to let them spin you. That style of going down was fun, but you couldn't do to too many of those before your head would be spinning faster than your snow tube. My favorite way down was on my belly with a fast running start to encourage speed.
I really enjoyed snow tubing and will be sure to go again in the future. If we have to have cold weather anyway, why not take advantage of it?