I was even able to skate backwards around the rink during public today as the total of people on public for a half hour was me + 1.
There seems to be some internal clock among the ice tourists that one weekend a year they all mutually agree that there is a certain weekend that all of them stop showing up. Last weekend was packed; this weekend, empty ice.
Although it's -50° outside, it's -150° inside the rink, and I have to skate wearing the following: t-shirt, long sleeved turtleneck thermal over shirt, regular skating jacket, heavy winter skating jacket, and a puffy vest I could hike the Himalayas in, in order to stay warm. (Plus gloves, and two pairs of pants, and a scarf).
Despite the fact it is clearly the middle of winter (and well below -75°) the ice is abandoned, allowing me the sheer joy of not having to worry about knee high crowds of kids I have to look out for so I don't crush them when they run into me from behind, the side, but never the front--unless it's 3 on 1 and I can't escape.
Of course two days from now there's supposed to be a blizzard which, according to local news, will cover the entire east coast, and drop the temperature to absolute zero destroying all life on the planet. That must be true, because there's no toilet paper or milk in the grocery stores. I guess that's where all the ice tourists are; stocking up on toilet paper.....and milk to survive the latest snowcopalypse.
But today, I've had a foretaste of the months to come; Plenty of freestyle on the weekends, empty publics, and I'll be able to skate in short sleeves and a light jacket. Let me for a moment revel in that...I'll be released from the prison of ice tourists and enjoying the light breeze of freedom as I skate.
And now that my revel is over, I know that after the storm, next Saturday the rink will be packed with little kids and parents skating through the middle which I work on back cross rolls. I...I..just need to cling to my moment of summer dreams just one more minute.