The deer have been pitter pattering their way across the ice to the far point, so we thought it was about time to go out and chop some holes to check the ice depth. There is a simple poem to help with remembering how much good clear ice (not river ice... that's never safe) you need before you venture onto it:
One inch, stay off
Two inches, one may
Three inches, small groups
Four inches, okay...
Now, that said, one, or two, or a small group, should never venture onto ice that they are not sure has been checked. Rivers, currents, local conditions can all conspire, and speaking as one who has been immersed in ice water (luckily, ice water that was only about 4' deep) it is not at all to be recommended.
Our bay is shallow, and there are no major currents running through it -- although there are lots of springs along the shoreline that bring animals to them to drink. So it's a good place for a skating rink at Christmas. We've been working on the rink for a few days. I didn't do the best scouting job, I'm told -- a little farther away, we found ice that was smoother -- but I did locate it close to a power source. That's important -- because not only did Brian hang up a powerful spotlight for evening skaters, but because we need to be able to get a pump to the rink to enable us to water it and smooth the surface.
Brian has been hard at work - with a home-engineered 'smoothing device'. But it takes two people, one moving the hose along with him. There's over five inches of ice out there by the way, so the rink is good to go.
Or it will be in another day or so, when our resident engineer is content with the smoothness of the surface. That will be just in time for our arriving guests, here for the Christmas week.
And it will complete our outdoor sports centre network -- our current guests have been enjoying skiing, snowshoeing and testing out the toboggan hill with the most beautiful sled they got for Christmas!
With nearby Hidden Valley Highlands open for business with all ski runs in action, and the Rock Ridge Tubing Park opening on Dec. 26th, there's just no place better to enjoy the great outdoors.