When Wild is Too Wild

For the past few poor snow years we’ve become wild ice chasers, listening anxiously for word-of-mouth news on lakes, sloughs, ponds and marshes that have frozen solid (enough) and are clear (enough) of snow to skate.

This year though, has been a glorious snow year. Don’t get me wrong, we love the snow—winter is what holds us to Alaska, but when temperatures dropped, and stayed low early, we got pretty excited for wild ice.

Which didn’t manifest before the snows fell…and stayed. There are really cool people (like Luke Mehl) who scour satellite images for clear lakes, haul their gear out to these often remote areas and then share the news with the wild ice community. I generally keep an eye on their ventures, but unless the accessibility is easy, I just live vicariously through their amazing photos.

So, all that to say that we’ve been hitting up the municipality cared for rinks this year. Thank goodness that the muni has ice skating on their radar of activities Alaskans are willing to pay for!

We’ve explored Cheney Lake

West Chester Lagoon:

(a few times)

And Cuddy Midtown Park so far.

We’ve also skated,

(and shoveled our own rinks) on Mirror Lake,

And Mirror Lake Middle School’s rink (at which the kids discovered the hockey net could be a massive, two person shovel).

Honestly, it’s been great to explore the ice maintained by Parks and Rec. Before this year, we’ve treated ice skating as a late fall adventure, one to enjoy before the snow (and sometimes as a super fun treat during the cold snap in January). 2021 has given us the gift of hanging our skates next to the rest of our winter gear–another option that’s enjoyable all winter long.

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