Near the boat ramp, the ice had frozen bumpy, the bane of skaters. Wind is the enemy of smooth ice formation. You want a cold, calm night for the best ice. I almost gave up, but since this is only the second time the lake has frozen since I moved here, I decided to keep trying. Looking like an ungainly bird, I hobbled out past the boat dock supports.
At least the ice seemed solid. I decided to venture out farther. A thin layer of snow covered the ice so it was hard to tell what was bumpy or smooth. I had to go on faith alone. But then I found it. Smooth ice! I circled around, getting braver.
A couple of onlookers appeared. "How do you know it's safe?" they asked. Well, you never really know. You can dig a hole in one place and it might not be as thick in others. "We'll pull you out if you fall in," they suggested, which emboldened me to go out further. Perhaps not a wise plan, but it worked. In fact, as we explored, we discovered a slushy area from which we retreated rapidly (it could have just been snow melting). All I could go with was my instinct, which is usually right in these situations. And sometimes you just have to try.
The onlookers left, so I decided the better part of valor was to come in too. A skater must know her limitations. People here are complaining about winter and all I can think is: move away then! I hope this ice sticks around for awhile.