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My Rink Journals

I decided to keep a journal of my rink, so I can look back after 10 or more years and remember a little bit about each year we had the rink up and in use. I am sure some of the years will be less eventful than others, but here they are...

The season has begun! This year I am going bigger and more rectangle. Dimensions will be roughly 29x44 (ish) and we are going for round corners too! I am also planning on using the water that is removed from the above ground pool to start the fill of the rink, so I will be filling early this year. This might even get us some extra skating days too!

Skating days for this season...

These are actual days that we skated, not days we could have but didn't.

December 2007 5 Days

January 2008 11 Days

February 2008 3 Days

March 2008


November 7, 2007

Well, I was home today as I had to bring the Envoy to the dealer for some warranty repairs and they gave me a ride back home. As I had no vehicle and had nothing else to do I decided to deal with the leaves in the yard. After 2+ hours of that fun I still had time to kill, so I decided to start on the frame for this years rink. I decided to use 2x12s along the ends between the corners and 2x10s on the sides (mostly because that was what I had from last year).

Although I did level the yard this spring it is not perfect and I still have a 5 inch variance in the yard. That is far better than the 19 inches I had to contend with last years though, so I'll take it. The dealer called shortly after 3:00 and said they were on their way to pick me up so I could get the Envoy back. So I cleaned up the tools and took a few pictures of what I did get done. Pictures can be found in the Rink Photos - 2007-2008 album.

I need to get a 2x12x12 and a 2x14x12 in order to finish the framing. I'll probably do that on Sunday.

November 11, 2007

I finished the frame and staked it all off. Still have to deal with the leaves falling from the mostly green trees though. I am hoping it waits for the leaves to completely fall off before the weather gets cold enough to drop in the liner. Time will tell though.

I couldn't find 2x14s at the local Home Depot, so I joined a 2x4 and a 2x10 to get the height I needed.

November 29, 2007

I took the day off to deal with the rink today. As I am using the water from my above ground pool to start the fill of the rink I was forced to drop in the liner and start filling early. The weather calls for pretty cold nights over the next week and I couldn't risk damaging the skimmer in the pool by the water freezing. I started @ 9:30am and dealt with the leaves that I had yet to even get a start on. This took me to 2:30pm when I decided that I best get the liner in before the sun went down (the leaves are not even close to being finished, but time was working against me today). I grabbed last years liner from the basement and unfolded it inside the frame. A tug here and a fold there and it was looking OK. I grabbed the Vacuum hose for the pool and hooked it to the return inlet for the pool. Took the other end and threw it in the rink and opened the ball valve. The process has started! I got out the 30 pool noodles I bought and sliced them so that i could use them as bumper caps/liner holders. I used 28 noodles to wrap the top of the frame. I hooked up my two hoses to the outside taps and turned them on to help fill the rink. We are supposed to get a snow/rain storm Sunday and then the cold is going to settle in at night with temps in the teens (F). The kids may get to skate (maybe), but I doubt this will last for long as it is still very early in the season and the temps are not steady enough to truly support the rink.

December 6, 2007

We are solid in 1/3 of the rink and the kids will be skating tonight. I have spent the last two nights doing the bucket dump to smooth out the mess from the snow/rain over the weekend. Thiis is only season three for the rink, but it is also the first time we have had ice before January so this is pretty exciting.

The kids spent close to three hours on the rink today. There was some cracking when I joined them, so I sat back and watched/took pictures. The homeboni made it's first appearence of the season tonight. It is supposed to get as low as 12 F here tonight, so things are looking pretty good.

December 14, 2007

Jack Falla said it best.....

"every year for 25 years there has been at least one problem (yeah, I'm supposed to say "issue", I know but I'm old and like old words) that I've never faced before. Every year. No exceptions. And, thus, no solutions until we're forced to invent one. Pools are easy. Rinks are hard. "

He is probably the closest thing to an "expert" as I could come. He is a member of the Yahoo Group and highly revered in the backyard rink realm.

To my point though...

Yesterday we had a small storm come through (by small I mean 10 inches of snow in 8 hours time). The rink was covered in a blanket of white. I noticed the snow was starting to cause the ice to sink and water was coming up and making slush. I decided to try and remove the snow/slush. The snow blower proved to be too heavy and caused a good sized crack in the ice, so that was a no-go. So manual labor it was. I got about 1/2 of the rink done, but the water was seeping faster and faster. Soon I was in 2 inches of water and the snow/slush was getting heavier and heavier. Well I couldn't finish due to the ice not wanting to fully support me and the snow/slush. Today I have a nice slushy surface in 3/4 of the rink and still have snow/slush in the other 1/4. We are supposed to get another storm Saturday/Sunday, so the rink may be out of commission until the end of next week while i shovel, scrape and hot water flood my way back to smooth ice.

January 3, 2008

It has been a crazy few weeks here. We got a couple more days of skating in, but the ice was too thin to skate for Christmas and New Years. We did get in a couple hours today though. Temps are in the single digits F right now, so the ice making is great, just in time for 4 days of low 50's F. I think tomorrow and maybe Saturday morning will be all we get before the January thaw happens. It could be a blessing in disguise as there is still a lot of leaves in the ice and a thaw would allow them to settle to the bottom and hopefully be fished out before the next freeze. So far this year we have had about 5 days of skating, which is 5 more than last year at this point. There is something to be said about getting the liner down early, you just might catch a cold snap and get some skating in early.

January 6, 2008

We skated the last two days, but the temps have gone up considerably. There is a layer of water on the top of the rink due to the melting. The forecast is for three consecutive days in the 50's F and two in the upper 40's F, which will certainly do a number on the ice. I'm not sure if it will completely melt it, but it will certainly melt quite a bit of it.

January 11, 2008

Went fishing today. FOR LEAVES! The rink has completely melted, so I took the oppertunity to get all the leaves out. I found my patch from the begining of the season had come loose, so I fixed that while I was at it. I decided to check on the pool cover (above ground pool) and found 9 inches or more of water on it. Being resourceful I pumped the water from the cover into the rink to refill it before the next freeze. Looks like a couple more days of warmth, then back to making ice.

January 15, 2008

The rink officially looks like the surface of the MOON. All the snow turned the reflecting pool into a slushbowl. Unfortunately the limbs that overhang the rink dropped snow into the slush making craters. I told the kids to ask their teacher if they needed pictures of the surface of the moon as I could just take poics of the rink and it would look the same. Nights are supposed to be cold this week, so we should freeze. The only issue is we are expecting a storm Friday that will start as snow and turn to rain. If they are right I'll get some smoothing of the ice out of it, if not I am in for a lot of work.

January 21, 2008

The rink is back in use. Two days of bucket dumps and some good cold nights have made a huge difference. Picked up an ice scraper to deal with the bumps left by the falling snow during the last snow storm. The rink tools just keep adding up as do the experiences of dealing with less than perfect conditions. Should be a good week of skating.

January 28, 2008

This has been a great week for skating. We have been on the rink every night after supper for at least an hour, sometimes two. We skated for the better part of the day Saturday. My nieces and nephews came over to join us. Between skating, hockey and boot hockey the rink was vcery active and the sounds were heard throughout the neighborhood. My brother-in-law stopped by with two new sticks for me, so we played some hockey after supper. After everyone went to bed/home for the night I broke out the ice resurfacer and gave the rink a well deserved resurfacing. As I was finishing up I thought to myself "The rink would look so much better with a nice blanket of snow all around it.

BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU WISH FOR! The forcast was for FLURRIES on Sunday. I shoveled two inches off the rink around noon and went out to run some errands. We all got home just after supper to the rink needing another shoveling. About another inch had fallen. The kids and I put on the skates once I cleared the rink and skated for an hour. I decided to try and get the snow off the rink again while on skates. The kids joined in and we had 4 shovels going. The problem was the snow was still falling and by the time we got from one edge to the other it all needed to be done again. The "maintenance crew" had a blast trying to stay ahead of the falling snow. They finally called it quits and went in to warm up. I went back out at midnight (the snow had finally stopped) and got the last of the snow off the rink. All-in-all the weekend was awesome and I hope this continues.

March 10, 2008

The season is over, the liner is up and the boards are waiting to be taken down and stacked. It was a weird season this year. Was still worth all the effort and there are already plans for "bigger & better" for next year.

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