Every once in a very great while, there’s naturally perfect ice for skating on the lake. It’s rare. It’s beautiful. And if you happen upon a lake with clear ice, you’d better skate on it because it’s ever so unlikely to happen again for a long time. I love ice skating. I used to go every day after school when I was a kid, but always at an indoor rink with a thousand other kids jostling and bumping and falling and generally getting in each other’s way.
When I moved to upstate NY, skating became an outdoor activity. Most of the time, the ice is rough with pieces blown around by the wind and lots of obstacles to watch out for when you skate. But one sunny Winter day early in January, there was perfect ice for skating on Lake Champlain. The sun was out. The sky was blue. The ice was new, and there were no other people in sight. The ice was only about 2 inches thick, so we stayed close to shore, but it was endless and flawless! Every now and again, it would make epic whale-like sounds. The only other person we saw for hours was a gruff, old ice fisherman who parked at the other end of the beach and disappeared as he walked slowly out toward the middle of the lake.
We skated for hours. I’ve never had more fun ice skating in my whole life.