Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Don't hang up those skates!

Just because we are taking off the winter tires and packing up the winter coat doesn't mean we can't still hit the ice.

For the past month, a friend and I have been skating at the Centennial Arena. From 9 p.m. - 11 p.m. for a $4 admission, you can skate 12 months of the year on Sunday nights. No helmets required.

Skating at Centennial ArenaMy skates are old, 23 years old to be exact. They are "figure skates", for those who can do "figures" I suppose. I guess that explains why I could never really skate with them. My friend just bought a fancy pair, the kind that you turn a dial and the laces are tightened. Go figure.

It is here where you can you listen to Wilf Carter, Charlie Pride and Lady Gaga blaring from the same speakers. There is music to please all age groups in attendance. My friend thinks that the exact same music is playing from when she went there as a kid. "Really?" I said, as I clumsily laced up my rusty blades. Lady Gaga was in diapers when I bought them.

Skating at Centennial ArenaStepping out onto the ice was weird. So used to skating on a bumpy pond surface, it was wonderful and smooth at the arena. Everyone skates in the same direction for about 15 minutes, then switches to the other direction - you can hear people groan as they say "I skate better in the other direction". The majority of people are just doing their best to stay upright. It's a happy, fun atmosphere.

In the center ice area members and former members of skating clubs in Halifax look like graceful swans practicing their jumps and spins. It's nice to watch them as you take a rest in the stands. They give figure skates their name.

Skating among the pack are a few people with yellow arm bands. I wondered if they were members of a singles club but I later learned that they were security. They are good and fast skaters too.

Once in awhile you'll hear a yelp from someone who wiped out and then bashfully stands up, brushes themselves off and then starts again. It's common. It's perfectly okay. I know because every time I've gone, I've wiped out (except last time but we didn't stay the entire 2 hours either). One time I wiped out just after the Zamboni cleaned the ice at the halfway mark. I was wearing grey leggings, not a good idea. I not only "advertised" that I wiped out but I was soggy the rest of the skate. The next week, I wore black.

See you on the ice...in July and August!

Here's more info:

Centennial Arena is located in Halifax, 27 Vimy Ave.

Here are directions

For more information, call Jack at 490-4926

Friday, March 26, 2010

Hiking Cape Split Provincial Park Reserve

On a sunny weekend last fall, I hiked Cape Split with a bunch of girlfriends. We laughed a lot.

Wolfville was the meeting place before we set off on our amazing adventure but wait...

Since it was:
1. October
2. We were in Wolfville
3. It was Saturday

...The stars were aligned to pop into Farmers Market to stock up on fuel for the hike. Speaking of fuel, we needed that too for the 35-40 minute drive to Scotts Bay from Wolfville. A group photo was taken at The Blomidon Look Off - where on a clear day like ours, you can see five counties in Nova Scotia and Cape Blomidon and the New Minas Basin.

Cape Split trailWith "Rocky", a part boxer and German haired pointer mix dog as our guide, we set off for the 16 km hike. The trail was a mixed bag of a few bumpy places, one fallen tree to climb over, swampy patches but mostly good terrain. The terrain didn't bother 10 year old Rocky at all.

Conversation and laughter filled the woods as we ventured along, passing hikers on their way from the trail head. About an hour later we started asking every hiker that approached us from the opposite direction with "how much further?" It wasn't like we were bored, we were excited to reach the stunning view ahead (okay, and eat lunch). After about 90 minutes of hiking, we reached the large open area of field and steep cliffs below. We sat and ate our lunches on the west side

Cape Split viewDozens of pictures of the cliffs and Bay of Fundy and watching Rocky dig a hole to China later, we reluctantly decided to hike back and leave our scenic reward behind. Only 90 minutes (or so) back to our cars and dinner at a trendy gastro pub.

If you are hiking Cape Split, we very careful to stick to the main trail. Read the sign at the entrance of the trail very carefully! We were reminded of this when we met four Acadia students who took a misleading trail from the trail head. They said our laughter helped re-orient them back to the original trail, when they met up with us we provided them with tasty treats to sustain them for the hike back to their vehicle.

So in one afternoon, we hiked Cape Split and then had dinner in Wolfville. Not at the gastro pub but a popular place on Main Street. The drive back to Halifax was quiet, our muscles were aching. Not so much from the hike but from laughing so much.

Bay of Fundy Cape Split Links:
Province of Nova Scotia Cape Split link
Location of Cape Split (1.57MB pdf)
Wikipedia description

Join Scotts Bay and Cape Split's Facebook fan page

View more pictures from our hike on Flickr

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

I'm back!

Hi everyone,

I've missed writing for The Right Coast Nova Scotia. I have no juicy excuse and get bummed thinking about all the cool things that weren't blogged about over the last few months.

Things like:

Hey. Enough self-wallowing. It's spring!

Time to get re-energized, re-charged.

Income taxes are filed. Yours?

Coming up, a post on a hike I did last fall with friends to Cape Split Provincial Reserve. It was fun.

It's nice to be back.