As much fun as it sounded in the last post, I really didn't want to start lugging a piece of plywood around and jumping on it again this season. In the fall, I hunted down a lawn roller at the local Home Depot, filled it with water and some plumbing antifreeze. For those who have never attempted to roll fresh snow with a brand new, shiny, lawn roller, you don't get very far - no matter how hard you try. Shiny metal doesn't have a lot of grip on slippery snow - who knew?! I don't want to go back to the plywood, I need a solution. It just so happened that we redid the shingles on the roof a couple of years and there were some left over ice/water shield sitting in the shed - it's sticky on the one side and like sandpaper on the other side. I wrapped the lawn roller with the ice/water shield and started packing the snow. It worked like a charm (and it's still working 7 years later with that same piece of shield).
As for the other purchase, I'm driving to work and listening to the local sports radio station in Ottawa and an ad comes on: "Do you want an easy way to make a backyard rink? You need the Rink-Rake." A rink rake?! What the heck is a Rink-Rake? Off to the Internet I go and I read "If you've ever tried to build your own backyard home ice rink then you know just how time consuming and frustrating it can be to get clear, smooth, pristine looking ice." - for $45! It didn't take me long to finalize the transaction and patiently wait for my delivery!
When my Rink-Rake finally arrived, I was so excited. This tool is going to make building my rink so much easier and it's going to look like glass. As I opened the package, I was amazed at how light it was and as I got further into the package, I was shocked at how simple the design was. As with the lawn roller, if you follow the directions enclosed with the rink-rake, it works like a charm. The original rink-rake is long gone - the plastic breaks quite easily with it gets caught on something when it's -20'C or lower - and I replace the parts. It's gone through some modifications - I attach mine to a shovel handle along with some convenient quick-connectors for hooking to the hose.
Another first occurred this season when my oldest daughter's best friend came over and her dad tagged along. It just so happened that her dad plays goalie and he brought his equipment. This season also marked the first time my eldest skated in real skates. I couldn't wait to go out and get her into some hockey skates. We had one of those cheap-metal braces for her to 'skate' around on and she did pretty good. Unfortunately, I can't find a lot of pictures from this season and I fear I lost them in a hard drive accident. I did, however, come across a picture of the first goalie ever to play on my backyard rink.
Next: Year 4 - Boards?! (2004-2005)