a bright boxing day on Plymouth Pond–Dec 26, 2012

what a great day to recover from indoor christmas rituals….the sun shone bright on good old plymouth pond….the wind was light, but enough to give occasional thrills and frustrations….and, surprisingly, lots of folks showed up….

note the ice surface….

pictured here at the lunch break were, scott woodman’s outlaw for the first time on ice this year; bill buchholz’s whizz, jory’s icywood-dn, then Scott, who came with his iceboat all the way from Madison, Wisconsin, via a visit to his parents in the portland area, and finally Denis Guertin who came with his brother Yves, from Saint Georges, Quebec, where local ponds are thoroughly snowed out. Both brothers have fast DN’s, and would have given any scratch racers a good run.  Knowing them, has added a wonderful northern dimension to our club.

Then there were the skaters Jim MacDonald, Bruce Brown, and Len, a Christmas tree farmer, now freed up from his job. Then the skimbatters, Scott carleson with two sons, Cam lewis with two, Dicky Saltonstall with two. Plus a few others I’m sure I’ve forgotten….

the ice was generally 6-7″ thick with a beautiful surface; and the day was one of those days when you just got stoned on being there, no matter what happened. At one point, I sailed to the far south end, glided to a stop, and fell into a blissful post-christmas trance. it was sooo quiet, sooo sunny….and there was no christmas candy nearby….

I just can’t imagine life without this great pond….Coming home last week after our 5th day there, I admit I was ‘plymouthed out’…..but then 9 days later, that iceboating libido came back and i was so glad to be back….


when the wind lightened up about 1PM, Bruce Brown and i donned skates and toured the entire length of the pond, without fear of a windy return….Bruce is a late-50′s retired pedriatrition, wearing antique hockey skates, who luckily was a good skater, as we dodged the rounded scabs near the shores.  what a treat,talking in the silence, as we swayed side by side, stroke by stroke, in the calm sunny weather, feeling only that slight apparent headwind which means no true wind…finally we got to the far south of the pond, further than i’ve ever been, where the muskrat wetlands encroach on both sides and the pond emerges from it’s southern riverine beginnings.  here, the ice became rough in the reedy shallows and we were  occasionally skating on the clear windowpane  patches of the last  nightly freezes.  with my trusty ice hatchet not in its holster, i was unwilling, as Buchholz does,  to test the thickness with the back of my precious nordic skates, so Bruce and I reluctantly headed north.  Otherwise,  i’m sure we would have skated forever….

Now a big storm is due, so we’ll call Tim Smith, our trusty spy first thing in the morning, and see what color pond he sees….grey means get up there quick for a last bash, before the snow. white means…..well….back to bed…..

as always, THINK ICE…..jory

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