The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

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December 29, 2012

Wednesday’s storm provides entertainment for those who appreciate the white stuff

CONNEAUT — The recent blast of snow provided visitors from Las Vegas a special Christmas gift.

Joe Barnes was returning to his childhood home with his wife of six months, Emily, and had played up the “White Christmas” theme.

It almost didn’t come to pass for Emily Barnes who grew up in southern Nevada and had only experienced recreational snow fun on two trips to the mountains when she was a child.

“It was nothing like this,” she said after braving the Conneaut Township Park bluffs “double hill” on a wicked ride to the bottom Friday afternoon.

She said Thursday was her first real sledding experience, but it was a bit cold. The moderate temperatures made Friday’s fun a little bit more enjoyable, Emily Barnes said.

“This is my first time sled riding in eight years,” said her husband Joe Barnes. He said most of his winter trips back to Conneaut have been made with little snow.

“That post Christmas storm really did it for us,” he said.

The experience was not without risk. “Yesterday (Thursday) I went face first; hence the cut on my nose,” he said with a laugh.

Rebecca Welker and her daughter Vanessa, 9, both of Conneaut, were checking out the Conneaut Township Park hill for the first time Friday.

Welker said she has fond memories of sled riding with her friends as a child in Brookfield. Vanessa Welker was having just as much fun rolling down a portion of the hill without her inflatable inner tube.

A group of Conneaut teens were working hard to make it to the bottom of the double hill.

“We do this every year. I just like the multiple hills,” said Jacob Castle, 16, of Conneaut.

Brandon Cross, 15, said the best way to reach the bottom of the hill was to cross your leg or lean back.

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