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Huntsville man builds massive 1000-foot backyard snow tubing hill

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Every winter for the last decade, Huntsville resident Mike Barrett has converted his backyard into a 1000-foot snow tube slide.

"I love it when I hear the screams of joy out of the kids and adults. It's a riot," said Barrett.

The 72-year-old does it all on his own. This year, it took him a week and a half to complete, getting up at early hours to work on the run.

"Sometimes I get up at 3 a.m., and then Kathy goes, 'You know, some mornings I would like to sleep in till 6," said Barrett.

"It's absolutely crazy the work that he puts into it, a lot of it is hand shovelled," said Mike's wife, Kathy Livingston.

It started as a fun thing to do for family and friends, but as word got out, Barrett decided to open it up to the community.

"We have people from Hamilton and Niagara Falls; they have cottages up here, and they come up and go sliding, and we've become friends," Livingston said.

Barrett doesn't charge admission, wanting to make winter fun more accessible to families.

"Word gets out, people come in, and I say it's free. We don't want any gifts. Just take your kid to Kawartha Dairy and, buy them an ice cream cone and enjoy," said Barrett.

"It's expensive to do anything nowadays. There's people that ski, but there's people that can't afford to ski, it's just too costly for them so they come here and they have fun," said Livingston.

Even with the long hours of work, Barrett said it's given him a sense of purpose every winter.

"Sometimes when I'm shovelling, I'm like, what am I doing out here, and then when you hear them and the fun they're having, it's worth it," Barrett added.

After nine years, Barrett said this would be his last year making the snow tube slide. However, he said the memories will last a lifetime.

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