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Semi-smooth sailing for sledders at Caboose Park

Tyler Weidman 7 Grayslake goes head first down sledding hill Caboose Park Lake VillSunday Dec. 30 2012. | Ryan Pagelow~Sun-Times

Tyler Weidman, 7, of Grayslake goes head first down the sledding hill at Caboose Park in Lake Villa on Sunday, Dec. 30, 2012. | Ryan Pagelow~Sun-Times Media

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Updated: February 1, 2013 6:12AM

Patches of grass sticking above a meager snow coating at Caboose Park did not deter locals from enjoying the sledding hill on Sunday in Lake Villa.

“It’s still fun. I’m having fun,” said Christina Cray of Lindenhurst.

She was tobogganing with Alex Bak of Florida and Alex Yorko of Lake Villa. This was Bak’s second time seeing snow in his life. He resides in Collier County, Florida, which is about 90 miles west of Miami. He was visiting his family in Lindenhurst for the holidays to enjoy some tobogganing before returning to sunny, 60-plus degree weather.

“It’s really great. I love it,” Bak said.

They brought sleds and an inner tube, but a stick popped the inner tube on one of their runs.

“I’m pretty disappointed. I thought we’d get a couple inches (of snow) yesterday. There could be more,” Yorko said.

It was about 20 degrees too warm for Lake Villa Township to break out its snowmaker machine. The temperature must be in the teens for the machine to work, according to Lake Villa Township Supervisor Dan Venturi.

There was enough natural snow last year not to use the snowmaker, he said. The township’s snowmaker was called on to crank out about 20 inches of fake snow two years ago, Venturi estimated.

On a busy weekend, 300-400 people will flock to Caboose Park, he said. Its wooden toboggan slide has been there since the 1970s.

“Caboose Park (Route 132 and Fairfield Road) has a long-standing tradition of being a winter playground. It’s great for people of all ages,” Venturi said.

Morgan Roberts, 10, was at Caboose Park on Sunday breaking in her new sled. She and her siblings Isaiah, 4, and Lucy, 2, got sleds for Christmas, according to her parents Michael and Patti Roberts of Fox Lake.

“I like it (my sled) a lot. It slides perfectly,” Morgan said.

The Roberts family was out for exercise and fun, Michael said.

“More (snow) would be nice, but it’s enough. We’re going to sled until they (the kids) are bored or until the snow turns into mud,” Michael said.

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