We done got us a motorhead | SummitDaily.com

We done got us a motorhead

I’ve tried everything I can to encourage my daughter to be a tree-hugging rebel like me. What do I get for my efforts? A motorhead.

We started brainwashing our daughter when she was a week old by taking her to the summit of Vail Pass en route home from the hospital.

US: Isn’t it beautiful? Those are lodgepole trees! We held our newborn daughter up in the air, not realizing that her 7-day-old eyesight couldn’t focus much beyond 8 inches.

HER: Oooooh.

We thought we were on to something. We took her climbing up Quandary Peak when she was 6 months old. We made her hike the Peaks Trail when she was 2-1/2. She learned the names of flowers and birds and the thrill of catching her first rainbow trout and the shiver of delight that comes from camping in the snow.

When she turned 10, she stopped wanting to hike – even if I offered to carry her in the baby backpack. My brother told me I had to force her – that’s what our father did over our begrudging moans of dissent, and we ended up being tree-hugging rebels.

Then, our daughter made a new friend. Not just any friend, but one whose parents owned a snowmobile. Reluctantly, we allowed her to take a snowmobile safety class, where she learned how to make a snowmobile stop, go, turn – but most importantly, go.

She returned home from class bearing a snowmobile safety card and a grin the likes of which I haven’t seen since we were passed by a screaming police car, and she turned to me to say, “That’s why I want to be a police officer.”

Both times, her eyes were maniacal. She was practically drooling. That was when I first realized our efforts might all be for naught.

I folded like a cheap tent at Christmas when I agreed to take her on a snowmobile tour. I should have taken advantage of her sheer joy and made her clean her room or stop wearing belly shirts.

We headed to a snowmobile farm where scores of machines were sending acrid gray plumes of exhaust into the crisp morning air. I say tomato, you say tomahto; our daughter said the plumes looked beautiful, like the breath of horses on a snowy night.

Our tour guide, a hardy soul who appeared as if he could lift one of the 600-pound machines over his head, helped us review snowmobile operation and safety, while our daughter cooed over the little engine under the hood. She smiled as she revved her machine, rubbed her hands in glee when the machine took a small lurch forward and gazed demonically into the horizon, where steep slopes of powder awaited us.

Our daughter, all 70 pounds of her on a 600-pound, rumbling Bombardier, took off, leaving us in her fumes.

While we trailed behind her, she zipped and veered and careened all over, turning so sharply she’d get a ski off the ground. That was just on the practice oval, which was just about enough excitement for me.

The tour guide reined us in. I’m sure I was quite the sight, with my fingers clinging to my husband like a cat to the curtains when you say the word “vet.” Our daughter was so excited, you could hear her heartbeat above the drone of the machines.

Then we zipped away through the winding trails of the White River National Forest. Well, our daughter did, anyway.

We piddled along the trail as she did circles around us, veering up the embankments and high-pointing her machine on the steeper sections. She accelerated smoothly, caught air with elegance and scared me to death. I wasn’t sure my credit card limit would cover the cost of one of these beasts.

I spent the hour cowering behind my husband, breathing in gulps of acrid exhaust and wondering what the engine noise was doing to my already poor hearing.

All the way home, our daughter chatted about her memorable ride. It was, of course, too short. She did, of course, want to do it again. Because of that, I was suddenly the coolest mom in the world.

I might be persuaded to take another spin.

Jane Stebbins can be reached at (970) 668-3998 ext. 228 or jstebbins@summitdaily.com. Guess what? She knows how to work on her car.

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

As a Summit Daily News reader, you make our work possible.

Now more than ever, your financial support is critical to help us keep our communities informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having on our residents and businesses. Every contribution, no matter the size, will make a difference.

Your donation will be used exclusively to support quality, local journalism.


Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.

User Legend: iconModerator iconTrusted User