It was a peaceful world of stark contrast inhabited by phantoms sleds. Headlights beamed into darkness so dense it could almost be touched. A million snowflakes glittered like falling diamonds, flitting away like fireflies. Wisps and whirls of snow pushed at the outer edges of vision. And our ethereal shadows played amidst the gauntlet of black trunks lining the Ontario snowmobile trail like vigilant sentries. The air was cold and sharp; our breath steaming puffs. We rode alone in the immensity of this silent night that was an Ontario snowmobiling Christmas Eve.
We stopped and heard the distinctive crackle of frozen branches in the wind; the explosive shot of ice shifting on the lake; the soft crunch of snow underfoot. A lone wolf howled in the night. The pack took up the cry like nature's own haunting carolers. We sat in the darkness, our hearts lifted in awe and praise, overjoyed to be together in this place and time – and with such fantastic snowmobile conditions.
Christmas morning was special for the enormity of stepping outside on to a fresh carpet of untouched snow that had appeared as if by magic. Sunlight blazoned our vision, startling white on white - depth perceptions askew as we stumbled and cavorted our way to the buried mounds that might be our snowmobiles. Like a mad scene from a flour factory gone berserk, we emerged from the snow powder like so many pale ghosts on a divine mission.
OFSC trails that day were an almost holy experience. Our sleds cruised wild and free, cushioned by billows of virgin white, swamping our running boards and whisking off our knees. Occasionally our ski tips surfaced before plunging back under that white blanket to play again.
Snow dust settled and swirled around the warm cocoons of our clothing. We leaned into corners soft as cotton puffs and crouched into straight-aways wide as super highways and long as eyes could see. We broke our own trails that Christmas day, and found our own peace on earth.
The rest of our Ontario holiday was a fun-filled adventure of exploration, discovery and friendship, but nothing would be as memorable as our special Christmas communion in the snow. We roasted wieners around a campfire, wriggling our fingers and toes against the heat. We watched a deer herd rest in a pine glade, unperturbed by our presence. We stopped by rushing streams, surging to escape their snow banks. We climbed our sleds to the top of a mountain and from that lookout saw how much more of that untamed land we had yet to travel. We played and frolicked and made merry. We set our spirits free.
That Ontario snowmobiling holiday will always be with me, holding a special place in my heart. And for one moment on every December 25th to come, I will always be back there with my companions, sharing a snowmobiling Christmas in Ontario, Canada, the nearest thing to heaven on earth.
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Contributing partners for this Ontario snowmobiling site about great Ontario snowmobile trails and snowmobile conditions include:Intrepid Snowmobiler, Murphy Insurance, Ontario Federation of Snowmobile Clubs, Ontario Tourism, Snow Goer Media, Supertrax Media.