Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Voyageurs National Park: Nordic Skating Black Bay

Today I had an unexpected day off and used it as an opportunity to try some Nordic ice skating on Black Bay with a coworker.
With about 3 inches of snow on the icy surface of the bay, I wasn't sure we would be able to successfully skate. However, the conditions turned out to be skatable, though the snow cover made it difficult to judge ice conditions.

We parked at the boat ramp parking area and walked our way down to the ice where we changed into our skates. Then we headed off in southeasterly direction headed for Reuter Creek.
We enjoyed stopping now and then along the way and admiring the scenery,
and even found a bay with some nice, exceptionally smooth ice that we skated around in for a while.
Then we headed up into Reuter Creek. We checked out a beaver lodge with an opening and faint path in the snow leading to it.
The path led to a perfectly round hole in the ice and as we approached it I saw a beaver dive into the hole.
We headed a little but further up the creek before turning around and starting to make our way back to the car. Along the way we admired some ice formations along the rocky shoreline
and had another skating session on the section of smooth ice we had skated on earlier.

It was a fun way to spend a winter afternoon and got me excited for more skating adventures. Right now snow is just about at the maximum depth for good skating, but the forecast does not call for any measurable snow and so I think I might get in a few more skating sessions before I have to wait for the ice road to get plowed in.   

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