There was more than one way to go over the Falls. The wind stole across the lake sometimes and brought snow so deep it drifted blue; other times it roared across the prairie from Manitoba and beyond leaving mountains of white as high as Horseshoe Falls and as hard as ice beneath the feathery drifts. When the wind ceased and the thin sun came out they would bundle in leggings with scarves around their faces and drag toboggans up the wind-whirled hills leaving swirls of wake in the trail behind them. Though the toboggans were of course open to the air they seemed as dim as tunnels once everyone was bundled within and huddled together, arms around each other, their heads tucked down into the available darkness. Someone, a strong boy or one or two of the bigger girls, would push them off and plop in behind the last rider and they would roar down in light and darkness through a plume of white powder and laughter.
It was in the tunnel of a toboggan that she first felt someone, a boy named Eddie, fondle her breast, kneading it as he clung to her from behind, his thighs pressing against her sides and ribs. She made certain to sit in front of him the next time down to be sure that what she felt hadn't been by accident. When he fondled her again, she elbowed him sharply, enough to let him know, and then made certain never to ride in front of him again.
In the carnival there was a ride which was sometimes called the Alpine toboggans. The cars sped round and round upon an inclined circle faster and faster forward and then once again faster and faster in reverse while all the time rock music played almost louder than you could stand if you weren't on the ride. It was always full but especially at night when the toboggan cars whirled through the half-circle tunnel of darkness and into the falling water of the midway lights. She asked him once what made everyone want to ride this bright and noisy, awful thing. "It makes you hot," he said and he had a buddy take over for him and jumped on the ride with her. They went faster and faster and he fondled her breasts as he held her. When the ride was over they went back to their trailer and fucked until she screamed like she had on the Alpine ride.
There was more than one way to go over the Falls.