Updated: December 23, 2020 10:41 PM
Created: December 21, 2020 09:28 PM
Minnesota is the State of Hockey and is home to many hardy outdoor enthusiasts. So when indoor ice arenas shut their doors, hockey players, figure skaters, and fun seekers turned a number of the lands' 10,000 lakes into their own rinks.
"[It's] my daughter's first time and my son, it's his first year of hockey. Since we haven't been able to get into the rinks for a month now, we decided we'd come skate on Pike Lake." Northlander Megan Van Poucke and her two kids took advantage of the perfect conditions in a family ice skating outing last week.
"It means a lot. It's just really fun. To be quarantined all this time, this is this means a lot," said Hermantown's Will Erish and Duluth's Imani Yoki. The young boys were one of many groups dotting the ice with activity
Recent cold temperatures and little snow helped surfaces freeze in glass-like fashion at places like Pike Lake, Bagley Nature Area, and Island Lake.
"It's actually really good ice," said Brooklynn Yoki of Proctor. "Skating outside, I like a lot better," added Hannah Peaslee of Duluth, while taking a break from a hockey game.
"Not even [just] this area but all the lakes [are in good condition]," Peaslee said. "I know you don't get this often. It's usually pretty bad, but [now] the ice is pretty good."
Once on safe ice, only the land is the limit. On Pike Lake last week, families and friends organized pick up hockey games, skating lessons, or worked on mastering a graceful fall.
"I'm a little wobbly. I think I may have broken my elbow and my knee," laughed Van Poucke. "But we're all here having fun."
Not even blustering snow later in the afternoon chased off skaters carving out some frozen fun.
"This is an amazing opportunity. It's fun getting outside again," said Erish and Yoki.
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