There comes a time, most winters, especially the very snowy ones, when we accept that the river has reached the point when it is too difficult to do the work anymore to make it skate-able. We currently have more than 3 feet of snow down there. Unless I can figure out how to get the snow blower down the river bank (I have considered a multipurpose zipline...for kids or large equipment) or how to convince someone to drive a snow plow onto the ice, I think clearing an area to make a big enough rink at this point just might do me in.
And so, this evening, after another snow day with the kids home from school, we headed down there. But this time Jonathan and I brought our skis instead of lugging down the tote bags full of skates and helmets. And we headed up the river.
We almost didn't make it. It was getting dark. And I became a wee bit frustrated by the difficulty I had getting my skis on in the unpacked deep snow which had also become compressed into my bindings and boots.
But it was hard to be too grumpy about it because meanwhile the kids opted for hilarious river bank obstacle course sledding instead of skiing.
They stayed behind while we headed up the temporary frozen snowy road. Which left just Jonathan and me, the river, and the trees. And like the skating ice, I reminded myself that there are so few days that we will be able to do this each year.
And then we headed back, following our own tracks, making the going quite a bit easier. We could hear the giggling from the river bank as soon as we turned the last corner. And we swished our way on home.