It seems that every winter we get a 2 week meltdown. Ours is finally coming to an end. But the melt is usually followed the next stinking day by renewed freezing, but no snow for awhile. The upshot is that we have the wonderful situation of a couple weeks of great BLACK ICE many winters. How best to exploit this? Well, ice skating, that's for sure. Any skating is great, but I recently started doing Nordic Skating. I bought some $29 blades and slapped bindings on em and now my ski boots clip right in. No more freezing fingers out on the ice! These skates also have free heels. So I get the speed of my long speed skates but no more tripping. You need good heel-down technique to avoid tripping, I find, which I rarely have. It's also easier to use ski poles with these skates, again because there's no need to keep the heel down. I'm pleased as punch, in short.
...But yesterday when we went out my daughter and her friend needed THEIR skates laced up so my fingers STILL froze off! Oh well, ice is great! I still like a good session of hockey-type skating: curves and turns are great. But going FAR and FAST is also great.
Check out the blades at Ricardo Fultz's shop in Grayling or go to http://nordicskater.com
and tell Jamie that I sent ya.