Monday, February 6, 2012

Midway Plaisance Ice Rink - Hyde Park - Chicago

Arrived in Chicago yesterday on the train from Spokane after 37 hours of chugging along the tracks.  The ride out was relaxing and fun, but after a day and a half I was aching for some exercise.

We're here in Chicago for a few days visiting family who live in Hyde Park and work at the University of Chicago.  Walking to work.  What a concept! 

Chicago Parks and Rec Department has 10 outdoor winter rinks that are open to the public daily from 12:00 noon to 7:00 pm (some hours vary).  Skating is FREE if you have your own skates and they scrape the ice every 3 hours or so.  The nearest ice to our location in Hyde Park is Midway Plaisance Park, about a 20 minute walk from where we are staying.

It's very picturesque with the University surrounding the Midway Plaisance Park.  The ice felt soft to me.  It's also not a clean scrape.  There were a lot of lumps and bumps on the ice which is not conducive to holding an edge, especially for me.  I am still trying to get my skating legs back under me on perfectly clean ice.

It's about 30 degrees out today.  Not much wind, but while I was skating the "windy city"  breezes that come off Lake Michigan came up.  It was so unusual skating against the wind.  The outdoor rink in Spokane is covered and protected from the wind.  I skated for about an hour, but did not accomplish much in the way of practicing.  Today there was a field trip of young children there who did not know the counter-clockwise rules of the rink.  There was no session "ref" on the ice.  Kids were everywhere. 

I didn't bring my own camera today, so I borrowed this from the internet.  Tomorrow I may try again if it's not snowing too hard.

P.S.  My new boots and blades arrived on Friday afternoon just before we left.  I have not tried them on or anything yet. They look enormously wide (as they told me they would) and very stiff.  I am so nervous about putting them on for the first time.  I'll post a whole chapter on that when I get home. 

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