When I was a kid my brother, sister and I went skating almost every cold weekend with a group of family friends. My parents stayed home with younger siblings, but two or three of us kids would load into our friend’s car and head 2 miles down the road to the lake. Or, around the corner to the pond. Or, up the road to the other pond. There were a lot of options.
We’d skate for hours, and sometimes what seemed like miles, across the frozen lake, avoiding the end with the dam where the ice was thin. We’d teeter across the road on our blades to get to the marsh where we could skate up into the woods. On windy days someone would bring a sheet to use as a sail. Or we’d shovel paths through the snow and play tag, or hand in hand we’d skate in a circle till the last in line cracked like a whip and went flinging away.
Since becoming a parent I’ve been a bit leery of ice on lakes. Maybe its just our lake through the woods that is spring fed and still too new to us to know the weaker spots. Or, maybe it’s climate change and unpredictable temperatures that make the ice seem questionable. Or, likely its maternal fear that I’d be virtually helpless to assist a snowsuit clad child from deep icy water should one plunge through.
Whatever the reason, we’ve done some skating, but not the full-out lake skating I remember as a kid. I wish for that. I want it. But then, I hesitate, and head for the rink in town.
This year however, with a month of temperatures well below zero it seemed impossible the ice could be unsafe. The lake was a bit to snow crusted for good skating, but the “muck” in town has been just right–with only a dusting of powder to sweep away. We were able to get in a few good skating sessions before this weekend’s thaw and rain. But, I expect they’ll be more to come.
The kids were moving too fast for a clear shot, but you can get an idea of the fun they were having.