Sunday, December 27, 2020

Wild Ice

Wild ice is the term used for ice skating on a pond, lake or other natural body of (frozen) water. Technically we have been on wild ice before, last year. But ... Lake Louise grooms a rink and the Bowness Park Lagoon is small and narrow.

Gap Lake is very popular - so popular, in fact, that there have been accidents and the local authorities asked people to stay away. We drove out to Johnson Lake and it was snowy and rough. We figured we'd just pop over to Two Jack Lake and check it out because it  is only 5 minutes down the road. Expectations were exceptionally low, and extraordinarily exceeded. 

Between the volume of cars in the parking lot and the specks of people dotting the surface of the lake, it looked pretty solid. We found parking, grabbed our skates, and headed for the shore. I am not going to lie, the clear ice freaked me out. I preferred not seeing all the way to the rocks at the bottom of the lake.  Terry showed me how to apprise the cracks of ice to tell how far the ice was solid. And of course note the hordes of people skating hither and thither, emphasizing the solidity. There were folks being pulled by their dogs, folks playing scrimmage hockey, pushing their children in strollers ... even a guy on a fat tire bike riding around. There was a whole lake of space!

It was super windy, to the extent that you could be pushed to dizzying speeds if you let the wind catch you. Alex, deeply into her teens, actually admitted to having fun!

The downside is that we have not skated this year at all, and we got cold, tired and achy. We saw a guy grilling out of his truck's bed and realized that was a great idea. Our plan for next time involves coming earlier and bringing some camping equipment to make a hot lunch. That way we can have a morning skate, some rest and regrouping, then a second run in the afternoon. Whenever next time will be ...

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