Wednesday, January 13, 2010

that's icy cool!

Thanks so much for all the comments on the last post. I appreciate your support very much.
Now, on to a slightly colder topic...
We're having a bit of a heatwave in Winnipeg at the moment. That means--wait for it--it's above 0F most of the time. In fact, it's even threatening to come up to the 20's F. (for Celsius folk, that's -18C to -4C)

The professor and I decided to celebrate by taking a long walk outside. On the river. (Yes, I said, on the'll see. :) First, we parked our car near the Children's Museum and checked out the ice castle. It's a gorgeous piece of sculpture. My professor's comment? "Gosh, what a relief that must be for the ice sculptor people. After all those swans for weddings and bar mitzvahs... Finally, a chance to do something else!"

By the way, if you're wondering, that slightly dirty snow in front of the ice castle is the road. That is what all secondary roads look like. Snowpacked, with a little sand thrown in for traction. Yes, everyone drives on it, and I've only felt my anti-lock brakes kick in once. (It was a surprise, but nicer than fishtailing) Plowing happens here, but not, say, as regularly as it did in upstate New York when we lived there.

Then we headed off to see the river. As a reminder, this is what it looked like in early July, 2008. Note the big concrete buoy thing with the red marker on top and the train in the distance.
Here's what it looks like in January.
The evergreen trees are used to block off hockey playing arenas. (Imagine trees and a hump of snow instead of the "boards" used at a regular hockey arena.) There are actual red lines drawn on the ice here--and we saw a dad and teenager playing hockey together when we went by.
The ice is cleared of snow by bobcats and then conditioned for skating by a Zamboni. Here's a picture of one of the workers going by on his equipment. (and, this is how thick the ice is, equipment just boogies around like it weighs nothing...)
The professor and I were walking along a snow packed trail alongside the skating area. The trail we were on was on the ice as well, but just not cleared of snow the way the skating trail is cleared. We wore our regular winter boots. Here I am, prepared for the adventure. Although the high yesterday was roughly 20F (-6C), it was more like 12F(-11C) with a stiff breeze while we were outdoors.
The professor took most of these photos, as I couldn't manage the camera without taking off my mittens. Also, the digital camera had to be stored inside of my professor's parka in order to stay warm enough to use it. (note all that knitwear..two pairs handknit mittens, two handknit hats--one inside the other, a handknit sweater, and handknit socks. I was prepared.)

The skaters sailed by. We saw people putting on their skates at warming huts, whizzing by, and enjoying the day. I'm not quite good enough on my skates yet to attempt this, but hope to be soon.

You can see the lights along the trail there, for evening skating. By the way, this man and his dog were having an incredibly fun time. The dog loved it! I can't imagine that Harry, Sally or I would ever be coordinated enough to do this. I would be desperately afraid of hurting them with my skates.
On our way back to the car, we walked by the Forks. We saw this amazing little ice playground set up for kids. One part of it was even a slide! Hop on in your snowsuit and have your mom push you down the slide...
(and people say there's no reason to visit Winnipeg in the winter time! Whatever do they often does one get to walk on a river or two?)

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Blogger Melanie said...

So, are you inviting us all for a vist? :) I really like ice-skating, especially on natural waters.

I meant to leave a comment on your last post. It's good that you are speaking up; if we all spoke up when injustice occurs we'd live in a better world.

January 13, 2010 at 11:45 AM  
Blogger Joanne said...

Melanie, y'all come now, y'hear?! Winnipeg is worth visiting. :) Thanks for your comment about my last post. I appreciate it.

January 13, 2010 at 4:41 PM  
Blogger Alison said...

I embiggened the childrens' slide picture and went, WOW!


--AlisonH at

January 13, 2010 at 5:42 PM  
Blogger jenknits said...

It looks like so much fun! Reminds me of living in MN when a little snow, ice and cold never got in the way. I am glad that you are enjoying your Winnipeg adventure!

January 15, 2010 at 10:53 AM  

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