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Retired publishing executive ecstatic with the idea of spending most of his time on the coast of Maine

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Ice sports

We used to skate on Hosmer Pond at the Camden Snow Bowl, before the winters lost winter and the girls lost interest and the ankles lost muscle. Amateurs like us had to wait for a really cold snap, without snow - that is, we needed a Zamboni surface. When conditions were right, we were champions, gliding for feet at a time, turning without falling, skating backwards for inches, all on a perfect blue day in the white bowl of the hills. If the surface was bumpy and flaky, well, it only took a few introductions of bums to ice to send us home for hot chocolate.

The Snow Bowl is also the site this weekend of the International (Intergalactic, judging by some of the costumes) Toboganning Championship. The chute is freshly iced, the weather has warmed up, parking costs only $5(!), there's TV coverage this year, the crazies out in force.... I'm passing.

Bigger lakes like Megunticook boast other non-professional ice sports, like boating and fishing. Let's just say that it takes special kinds of people, either to careen madly in the cold wind, burning their faces off, or to sit stolidly for hours, freezing their butts off. I expect that in both cases the pain is greatly soothed by alcohol.

My own last remaining ice sport concerns an expert flick of the wrist, dropping four and only four cubes into the gin and tonic. No ankles needed.

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