Well, I did it. No, not the land speed record on a sled sliding down 500 meters of a volcanic cinder cone volcano. I only hit 61km before I wiped out, rolled a ways, and scraped up my arm and leg.Â Â Top speed for the day was 71km and I came in 4th. Top, top speed for the sledding is 89km. I wasn't even close, but wow was it fun.Â Â Gotta go back and get into the 70Âs. That was my goal for the run and so IÂll just have to give it another try.Â Â But next time IÂm going to take some duct tape and tape up the sleeves and ankles of my orange jump suit so I donÂt get scraped up if I happen to tumble a bit.
One funny note was that when we got home, I asked Carol to clean the rocks and other debris out of my arm. It was pretty gross and when she started digging in with a needle, she looked at me and said, ÂYou know I donÂt like raw meat.Â It made the day for me. And what a day it was. You donÂt have to go fast so this is an extreme sport for all ages. The hike up is a bit grueling, steep and rocky and you have to carry your board and bag with a jumpsuit. But very well worth it.
There were about 30 of us in our tour group who hiked up the Cerro Negro Crater, an active volcano. Along were our friends from the US, Margie Kelleher and her 2 girls age 14 and 12, Vickie Kuhl and her daughter Rachel age 12, Jack and Margaret Griffin, (Jack thanks for the field dressing) Carol, me and Amanda and Emily ages 11 and 7.
Eddie, our guide from Bigfoot Hostel and Green Pathways Tours, was fantastic. He helped when some folks needed a break carrying their boards trotting back and forth up and down the mountain. That man is in awesome shape. He also gave great information about the volcano and then helped the girls take turn sledding down the volcano. IÂd certainly recommend Green Pathways, and Eddie specifically for the thoughtfulness, professionalism, and great sense of humor exhibited on the adventure.
The Oldest and Youngest Volcanoes in the World
I realized while hiking to the top, that my girls have now hiked up both one of the oldest volcanoes in the world, Old Rag Mountain in Virginia, at over a billion years to Cerro Negro, one of the newest at 162 years old. Cerro Negro means black hill and this volcano is the most active volcano in the world with 23 eruptions the last in 1999. It is a Strombolian type of volcano which means that it throws up lots of cinders and ash. With the prevailing winds as East to West, the finer particles are blown west and create a slope of about 41 degrees comprised of sand sized particles up to about grape size cinder pebbles. ItÂs perfect for sledding, skiing, snow boarding and even bicycle riding down. The world speed record on a bike was set here.
So what a fun day and a great adventure for all of us.Â Living in Nicaragua for 10 years now, we've done some great things, but this one will go right up in my top 10 coolest things to do list. Cant wait to go back and try again for the 70Âs. Not on track for the record, but 70 clicks seems like a nice goal. WeÂll keep you posted.