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Winter Sports

It’s been over a month since I updated this blog and, frankly, nothing much has happened.  While the east coast of North America is suffering under record snowfall and cold those of us in the Pacific Northwest portion of North America are experiencing record warmth. Normally temperatures here in January and February barely reach freezing and lows from 10 to 15 (F) are common. Not in 2010. Nearly every day for a month our temperatures have reached into the 40s and we’ve had several days with high temps in the low 50s (F). And it often doesn’t even get down to freezing at night. Moses Lake, where the lake house is located, normally is frozen from about November 15th to March 15th. Last year it was a week late to freeze and a week early to thaw. This year it was a month late to freeze and it thawed completely February 7th!!!

Our normal winter activity is cross-country skiing but the warm temperatures

Hailey, 8, giving the camera her standard greeting at the Moses Lake Ice Rink

Hailey, 8, giving the camera her standard greeting at the Moses Lake Ice Rink

translated into more rain than snow in the mountains where our usual favorite areas are about 3000 feet in elevation and are suffering from a lack of snow. You have to go up to 4000 feet to find enough snow for decent skiing; and even then it can be problematic. Nothing less fun than skiing in the rain.  Or driving 2 hours each way to ski in the rain. This left me with a problem. I don’t walk well and can’t bicycle so I had to cast around for winter action. Luckily a friend suggested regular ice skating parties and we remembered that while we were involved with Boy Scouts we collected ice skates whenever we found them at yard sales and thrift stores. We dusted off the box of about 8 pair of skates and invited a bunch of kids to meet after school on Wednesdays.

This escalated into skating whenever we had nothing else to do. The rink is free and covered but not heated so we bundled up well during the cold periods but now that we’re in these early spring-like conditions dressing warmly is not as important. So we now go skating on a whim and since the rink is only about 8 blocks from the lake house it’s easy to run over and skate for a while.

We could have skated on the lake until the end of January but the ice, which was thick enough to support a pickup truck, started thinning rapidly with the warm weather and rain. Besides, the lake doesn’t have a snack bar and a recreation center with batting cages, computer games, ping pong and pool tables. A nice hot cup of chocolate with whipped cream and sprinkles has become the thing to do after skating. And no long ride home.

Hopefully the warm weather won’t make it difficult to keep ice on the rink. When there is a wind at temperatures over 40F it’s difficult to keep parts of the ice frozen solid. Anyway, now that the lake is water again we can go back to kayaking once the water and air temps get comfy. Next weekend it’s predicted to be nearly 60F and sunny so I expect that to be it.

I also expect an update on the new shop next week when the roof trusses arrive.

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