Dear determined reader,
I have come to an important realization — trying to build an ice rink when you haul water is a little insane.
Two hundred gallons seems like a lot of water until you dump it out of the tank in the back of the truck and into the 20×22-foot boarded ice rink. Then it looks like a couple of gallons, a couple of gallons that is leaking out the seams in the plastic.
But, crazy as it sounds, we are undeterred. Sam sealed the seams with slushy water that quickly turned to ice in the subzero temperatures, and the 200 gallons last night actually stayed inside the rink.
Later in the evening, I made the spirit-crushing error of looking online at instructions for building your own outdoor rink. We seemed to be right on track — build a frame, line it with plastic … then fill it with 12,000 gallons of water. TWELVE THOUSAND GALLONS! Let’s see. We get 200 gallons for $5 each fill and a 60-mile roundtrip drive, so we should have it done in about two months, 3,600 miles, and $300, not including gas for the truck. Brilliant!
Thankfully, our rink is small compared to the ones described online. I’m hoping that with another 1,000 gallons and a few more weeks, we might be able to strap on the skates. Fingers crossed.
I also came to another important realization — your comments on my blog make me happy, even as an ice rink sits like a half-finished, frozen curse in our backyard.
This last week, I heard from friends and neighbors Mr. Baer, Mr. Jim, and fellow Alaska authors AdriAnne Strickland and Vivian Faith Prescott — who all agreed that the weather has been chilly up here.
But I also heard from Sarah in London, who says November has been mild, and from Mrs. Penfold in Australia, who wondered what kind of boots we must wear to keep our feet warm. (Many Alaskans love “bunny boots,” military-style winter boots made of white rubber. Myself, I prefer Sorel boots and SmartWool socks.)
And earlier in the week I had comments from Portland, Melbourne, Chickaloon, Palmer, Chicago, and Buffalo. It really is a delight to hear from all of you!