The puck stops here

Trip Start Oct 13, 2006
Trip End Oct 16, 2006

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Flag of United States  , Montana
Sunday, October 15, 2006

I want to go ice skating, Andrew said next. We'd seen a sign for an ice rink so fine I said, great idea.

Our timing was all wrong. Arrived at 3:45. Rink closed for public skating at 4 PM. Can he skate for just a few minutes? I pleaded. I'll be happy to pay full price. The attendant handed over a pair of skates. Hurry! he said. No charge. That Montana friendliness again.

Andrew barely got them laced and took a spin or two before the clock was big hand up. A buzzer, and we watched the ice sweeper do its thing. Fresh new ice there, and then the big guys hit the rink, adult drop-in time, yes hockey is a big thing here, baffled up with pads and attitude, knock it hard and knock it fast, no, not a sport for wimps.

I read through the flyers while we watched the practice going on. Here's what they said:

"Montana Ice Hockey

All across Montana, hockey is a favorite winter sport. The Montana Amateur Hockey Association (MAHA) sanctions programs in Billings, Butte, Bozeman, Glasgow, Great Falls, Havre, Helena, Miles City, Missoula, Helena and Whitefish. Each of these cities offer hockey for boys and girls according to age, much like little league baseball. Divisions include Tykes, Mites, Squirts, PeeWee, Bantam, Midget and Girls.

In addition, Montana is home to three teams in the Junior "A" North American Hockey League: the Billings Bulls, the Bozeman Ice Dogs, and the Helena Bighorns. Teams are well-supported in their communities, with some of the highest attendance among Junior "A" clubs in the nation. In addition, Montana teams have represented their league at the National Junior "A" Championship Tournament the past six years. (The city of Billings hosted those championships in 1998.) If you're looking for a way to chase off evening boredom, the puck stops here; catch a hockey game.

For more Montana hockey action, check out the North American Hockey League website.

The Club

The Whitefish Figure Skating Club (WFSC) was established in March 1993 and is a non-profit organization. Our club is a member of the United States Figure Skating Association (USFSA) and it's purpose is to encourage, develop and support all aspects of amateur figure skating. We offer eight levels of lessons according to ability. We also run skating competitions, test sessions, and an annual ice show. We serve the Flathead Valley and Northwestern Montana.

Our home rink is the Stumptown Ice Den, also know as the Whitefish Community Pavilion. Stumptown Ice Den is open October through April. Activities available include: public skating, adult drop in hockey, youth hockey, figure skating, skating lessons, broomball, and concessions. It is located at 725 Wisconsin Ave, Whitefish, MT."

Well wow. I'm mightily impressed. This Ice Den is really, really nice. But we have got to go, a movie next? Or dinner? The train will pick us up at 9 PM.
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