Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Traveling Down Memory Lane

It’s true, when real travel becomes difficult, almost anywhere you start on the internet can lead to old memories and new interests. Last night I was pursuing a course I sometimes take when I’m too tired to do anything useful and it is too early to go to bed. I was sampling all those URL’s you find in the ads at the back of travel magazines. I had “Yankee” magazine on my desk . As you might imagine, this led to
New England.com . There was a feature on a toboggan chute which claimed to be the only remaining such chute in New England. My mind was already tingling with memories of youthful thrills on a toboggan chute at Lake Hopatcong in New Jersey. I wondered if that chute was still in existence. So I “advance Googled” toboggan chute and Lake Hopatcong. That led nowhere. I simple “googled” toboggan chutes and that established that New England may have only one, but the rest of the country has many.

I day dreamed awhile about plunging down (it felt like straight down) a hill and being shot out onto frozen Lake Hopatcong. The ride down was thrilling, but the slide across the ice was the tense part. There were four on the toboggan and if anyone even twitched we would turn over or go into a scary spin. I still remember one spill when a guy was thrown on top of a girl and they slid across the rough ice with him pressing her face into the ice. Ouch! She recovered well and I still remember her name. If you are here, Jane, drop me a note.

I once more Googled Hopatcong and went on reading, learning much I never knew or had forgotten about its history. I’ll bet you didn’t know that iron ore was brought by horse wagon to the shores of the lake where it was loaded on barges. These were towed across the lake by steam boats to the Morris canal, a canal that crossed northern New Jersey. Mules dragged the barges down the canal to the Hudson River.

There were lots more fascinating facts about the history of the area, but I left the iron ore unclaimed at the Hudson and went to bed. And you wondered what old folks do in the evening while you are out at discos having fun.


kenju said...

I do some of that too! I save the urls in magazine ads and in stories and when I have time, I go through them all. Brings back memories, and sometimes it sends me to places I'd never thought of at all.

Heather said...

Just read your comment about checking out urls. I work at Yankee, so I get to do that as part of my job. I enjoyed reading your post.
- Heather

Anonymous said...

I don't know where your toboggan run was, but I grew up on Lake Hopatcong in the 60s and 70s. We built a sled run down the steep front lawn of the Suomi Hovi hotel onto Great Cove. My dad help us pick a hole in the ice and drag buckets of water up to the run to build a banked turn on a particularly tough corner. If you survived the run, you spilled out onto the frozen lake. Seems like another era entirely.

Shaun said...

I also grew up there in the 70's and 80's I was there when the Soumi Hovi burned "big fire" We lived only about 200 yards away. My brother and I used to play around the old bowling alley at the top of the hill from where the hotel once stood. I went sledding down the same hill. I found myself thinking about the lake alot latley. Great memories there. Shaun

Recycle Lover said...

Lucky to still remember the toboggan runs even if you don't have the car to chute down the highway anymore ;-). My father is currently in an assisted living facility at 75 yrs old. He also has macular degeneration and lost his license about 18 months ago. Yesterday I bought him a new watch with really big numbers to help him out. Lucky for him, I can visit him everyday. His 3 other children and grandkids see him about every 2 years.

ON a business note, a client of mine, DIYhomecenter.com, is interested in having a simple url link to their toboggan section from http://agedandgrumpy.blogspot.com/2008/03/traveling-down-memory-lane.html. DIY Home Center carries a large selection of wooden toboggans perfect for any size hill or family.
These guys can also provide a write up about classic wooden toboggans for you to give your website some extra winter content if interested too (no cost). All they ask in exchange is a small text link back to their website from your left navigation section and the article page at http://agedandgrumpy.blogspot.com/2008/03/traveling-down-memory-lane.html. They can pay you a 1 time insertion fee for your time of $25 for each link by PayPal.
Look forward to hearing back from you and any other options that you may have in mind.

P.S. I am interested in acquiring the login rights to this blog. This would allow you to continue posting until you no longer can. At that point all of the articles you have posted will always stay here and I will continue to add a few posts a month on any topic ou wish me to continue covering (Army vs Navy games etc). Let me know if interested.

DIY Home Center Consultant
recyclelover (at) gmail.com