For the last week I’ve been checking the Rideau Canal Ice Conditions website every day, refreshing and hoping to see the whole canal open for skaters. All week they have had only the downtown portion of the canal open, which is very disappointing for a Carleton-based skater. Yesterday, however, they finally opened my section and I was on the ice at my first opportunity (this was, admittedly, rather late in the day). It was perfect weather for skating, about -12C and no wind, cold enough to keep the ice hard but warm enough that I didn’t freeze solid the minute I went outdoors.
The ice was a little treacherous near the end of the Canal where I started, with bumps and divets that were hard to spot in the fading light. I nearly fell a few times before I got to Dow’s Lake and onto much smoother ice. It didn’t take long for my legs to start burning with the exertion on muscles I don’t normally use, but the burn kept me warm so I didn’t mind.
There were a few other people out as well, some skating, some tobogganing through the fresh snow. It wasn’t as dark as it appears in my photos since the snow and ice reflected a lot of light that the camera didn’t pick up.
You can’t have skating without a Beaver Tail! For those who don’t know, a Beaver Tail is a pastry that resembles the flat tail of a beaver, and is covered with sugar or chocolate or other sweet topping. It does not involve any actual beaver tails. They are warm and just lovely on a cold day out on the ice.
I skated to Dow’s Lake, then to the end of the lake and back, and by the time I got back to Carleton the sun had completely set below the horizon. I went back to my office (and back to my work) certain that I would be out again on the ice very, very soon.