We recently moved within walking distance of downtown, and we’ve been thinking about buying a wagon for hauling kids and groceries home without burning any gas. I have a cargo trailer for my bike, but no kid seat or trailer, so when I have the kids and mama is gone with her bike, I have to drive my truck. At 4 bucks a gallon, just running some errands will burn a big hole in my budget. And I like gear, especially if it’s green and locally made.
I had looked at the Radio Flyer wagon, the big one, with pneumatic tires, and was all set to purchase one, but when I got to our local kids store, they said that they didn’t carry them anymore. The hardware store down the street has them, I was told. My 3 year old was not happy. She had been talking about it all morning, and that’s the last thing she wanted to hear.
As we turned to leave, I saw the coolest wagon ever.
With seat backs and rails made of hand-carved willow, a deck made from tongue and groove birch planks, and fat tires, this wagon from Mountain Boy Sledworks is a work of art. The Butterfly wagon is touted as a heavy-duty workhorse, but it’s got the look of a town cruiser.
I had to have it. I mean, my kids really needed it… Umm… it would be handy? We’ll get extra points for style when we’re out? My wife will love it?
Whatever the case, I bought it.
As soon as we got out the door and down the sidewalk, my youngest (riding in the wagon) says: “I like riding in wagon. My baby likes riding in wagon.” We then walked to the farmers market and loaded up on some good organic eats, two big canvas bags full, and there was still room for munchkin and her baby doll. Almost every person we passed asked me if I made it. I wish I could make something that cool, but no, I said.
Mountain Boy Sledworks, in Silverton, Colorado, makes their products to last. The wood has a non-toxic, marine-grade finish, and the deck is made from 5/8″ solid birch planks. The undercarriage is powder-coated stainless steel, and the fasteners are stainless as well. The Sledworks says “Each is designed to be passed from one generation to the next.”
The environmental statement on the company’s website says:
We are working hard to minimize the impact of all of our operations on the environment. Some key elements include:
- Using only recycled cardboard packaging
- Choosing only fast-growing, common, sustainable hardwoods such as birch, willow and maple
- Ensuring that every part of the wood is used. Smaller pieces are turned into kicksled slats or Christmas ornaments, and the smallest bits end up in our woodstove or in the wood-drying kiln.
- Just as important, making products that last! We think it makes sense to buy a sled (or wagon or scooter) that will last for years, rather than buying a cheaper sled that won’t last nearly as long.
They even make an old-style orange-crate scooter straight from the 40’s, the Citrus Scooter, as well as Nordic style kicksleds. Wagon maker Brice Hoskin says: “A wagon ride will make almost any kid smile.”
It sure made mine smile, and I look forward to putting some miles on our new ride…
For more information, go to Mountain Boy Sledworks
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