This year’s Winterlude is getting much better weather than last year. It’s overall been cold enough that the Canal has stayed in decent shape (and the ice sculptures aren’t melting away before they can be appreciated by the masses) but it hasn’t been bitterly cold to scare away people like me, who don’t enjoy skating in -20 plus wind chill.
As I mentioned here, I’ve changed my Canal skating strategy this year. Instead of skating the entire 7.8km skateway all at once (that’s 15+km there and back), I’m doing short chunks of the Canal. This makes for a much more pleasant and enjoyable experience for a very very recreational skater, such as myself. On the weekend, we went with a few friends and skated the Dow’s Lake to Hartwell Locks portion, then skated back to Dow’s Lake, up to Fifth Avenue and back to Dow’s Lake. That’s about 9.5km in total (click here for a PDF map). With beautiful blue sky and the temperature falling somewhere between -10 and -5 degrees Celsius, we enjoyed ideal conditions!