Quick update on the backyard rink. We've been skating on it a couple of times now and it's working out quite well. All the snow we've had has been something of a blessing in that I've been able to use it to build up pretty decent walls all the way around. They wouldn't be enough to keep a puck or ball in play during a game or anything, but they suit our modest purposes (except for when Dad starts slapping tennis balls around).
Now that the ice has been worn down a bit and had snow sitting on for a few days last week, the almost perfectly smooth surface is no more. You can still skate on it just fine, but right now it would be absolutely ideal for boot hockey. I may have to look into picking up a couple of nets for just that purpose. While the dimensions are small and the snow would have to be piled higher, you could have some great two-on-two games.
With higher temps and rain forecast for tomorrow, I'm going to hold off on laying down a fresh sheet until Saturday when another blast of cold air is set to move in. I'm still trying to figure out the best way to prepare the surface for a freeze. A shovel can only remove so much snow, while using a tool suited for ice breaking and scrapping is awfully inefficient. Creating and maintaining a back-yard rink is definitely a learning experience, one that so far has been far more pleasurable than painful.