Ice Blocking: Cool Fun, Cheap Thrill

An inexpensive way to beat the summer heat can be found with a hand towel, a block of ice and a grassy hill.

An inexpensive way to beat the summer heat can be found with a hand towel, a block of ice and a grassy hill.





Must be June in Rim Country.

Then again: It’s also ice blocking season.

One of the most reliable ways to beat the heat remains ice blocking, a simple, simply delightful activity that requires very little time and energy.

All you need is:

• A block or more of ice (only a couple of dollars)

• A hand towel for a “saddle” (you already have one)

• A grassy hill to slide down (free!)

And the rest is as obvious as it sounds. Just get to the top of the hill, unwrap the block of ice, slap a towel on the top and ride it down. (Repeat until you are completely satisfied.)

Rim Country residents have a perfect ice blocking hill at their disposal: the Green Valley Park Amphitheater Bowl. The bowl is lush, soft, varied and large enough to accommodate a crowd of ice blockers.

If that isn’t awesome enough, the park also has water fountains for drinking and nice, clean restrooms for the ice blockers’ convenience.

Here are some tips:

• When you sit on the ice block, stick your feet straight out in front of you and lean back slightly to get more speed. It looks awkward, but you will find that it’s the most effective way to ride.

• You can use multiple blocks of ice for a more exciting experience. (Try putting three in a row and lying on your stomach.)

• Standing on the block of ice and riding it like a skateboard can be a little dangerous. You’re going to do it regardless of what I say, but don’t say I didn’t warn you.

• The hand towel is going to get wet eventually, at this point you can either live with a damp rear or use the plastic bag the block came in to create a waterproof barrier. After you’re finished “blocking,” you can put the wet towel in the bag and leave the block at the park to water the grass (but don’t be surprised if someone else comes in behind you and uses it to take a ride or two down the hill).

• It should go without saying, but ice blockers need to use good manners and not aim for walkers, folks playing on the grass or other ice blockers. This sport is relatively harmless, but it could get nasty quick if you don’t watch where you’re going.

What are you waiting for? Go grab a block and get your slide on!


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