Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Hang on, hang on ...

One of the most popular Winterlude activities is skating on the Rideau Canal, arguably, the longest skating surface in the world.

As a child, I wasn't a good skater, and the only way I could stop, was to intentionally skate into snowbanks.  Here I was 40 years later, and my darling brother Darrell generously rented me skates !     YIPES !

Family members took turns holding my hands, as I gingerly took my first steps on skates in too many years.  I was awkward, stiff, and mildly embarrassed at my ungainliness.  I got a bit more confident and together we probably covered a couple of kilometers.   Darrell had also rented a sled to carry our gear, and when I got tired I'd sit in it and get pushed along, like I was the Queen.  Only I'm the sort of Queen who lies back and sticks her skate-shod feet out over the front of the sleigh.

The view from my royal carriage.
That's Darrell skating ahead on the canal.

After skating some more, and falling twice in the process, I finally packed it in, donned my boots, and divided my time between being pushed and walking.

The weather was lovely.  It was about minus 2 C and sunny, with no wind.

It was lovely in the sunshine.  I pretend (sorta) to sleep with my
niece and nephew.  That's my wonderful brother Darrell in back.

Every couple of kilometers there would be refreshment stands selling hot apple cider, maple taffy and of course "beaver tails".  Beaver Tails are a flat desert pastry, often topped with cinnamon but now available in cheese and garlic flavour too.


Maple taffy.
Pour it on ice.
Roll on stick.
Enjoy !


Surprisingly, under one of the bridges was an replica art display of historical portraits.

 Heavy equipment continually cleared the ice, which accounted for the good ice surface.

This young fella was happily sleeping in his sled.  Yes.  That is a REAL child.

Hold on.  I still haven't shown you the snow slides, sculptures or the colourful kites ...


  1. Sybil, it looks lovely. I guess I'll have to learn how to skate when I get out there. Love the beaver's tails! Yum. Really nice shots.
    Vicky xxx

  2. Now that's my idea of skating! Being pushed in a sled! I too have wobbly ankles, arthritic knees and many a memory of a bruised bottom. And I can't stop anymore either. Imagine that, a Prairie kid not skating!


  3. Lynne, Skating just ain't worth it at this point. But we will have to find BeaverTails here ...

    Carol, Skating is just not my thing.

  4. Lovely photos! This just looks like a barrel of fun. When I was a kid, my mom bought me some figure skates and I tried to learn to do all that "stuff" with them. I loved the idea of it, soaring along over the ice with music in my head, spinning, pirrouetting....But alas, my ankles always caved in and I never got much beyond forward and backward skating. I've often wondered how it would go if I tried again. Maybe the skates are better now...like skis are so much better?

  5. Linda, I called it ankle "flop over". Now the skates have rigid sides that make that impossible ... we were born too soon ... ;-)

  6. Lovely photos, looks like you had a great time. I skated when I was young, but would be too frightened of breaking anything now. I broke my wrist just walking on the ice, the first winter we arrived in Nova Scotia. I prefer skiing, at least the snow is usually softer to land on.


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