Alex and I had a day off together, so went riding on the Lake Minnewanka ice (as well as doing more renovations, but that’s neither picturesque nor interesting).
The lake was snow-covered for the first kilometre or so, before the snow began to give way to larger and larger sections of clear ice.
The forecast was for the wind to pick up later in the day, and as we rode further, the wind at our backs grew stronger.
Eventually we decided to be sensible, and made our way across to the shore, where we could pick up the snowy trail to get back home. Cycling across the wind was challenging even with studded tyres. The wind would lull and then gust, and try and sweep your bike out from underneath you.
As we neared the shore, we found methane bubbles frozen in the ice. I’d been hoping to find some, and so we entertained ourselves admiring them, and sliding around on the ice near the shore, where the ferocious wind was slightly less ferocious.
When I got back home, I found photos of people breaking the ice to let the methane escape, and then setting fire to the gas. It looks like the dangerous kind of fun.
After cycling homewards along the snowy trail for a few kilometres, we decided the wind had died down a little, and braved the ice for the final stretch of cycling home.
The sun came out for a moment, and the wind wasn’t too fierce, and we watched skaters playing hockey, and optimistic girls heading out with skates in hand, starting their trudge through the snow to find the clear ice.
Frozen lakes are beautiful and fascinating, although terrifying (what? there could be lake monsters). I’d love to go back and explore some more, but might wait until the temperatures have settled down to something a little less ice-melting.