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Michael Picard found a clever way to salt the driveway - he strapped on a pair of skates.
Michael Picard found a clever way to salt the driveway - he strapped on a pair of skates. - Contributed

FALMOUTH, N.S. — When Hants County residents describe their driveways and roads as skating rinks, they’re not joking.

Mother Nature walloped Nova Scotia with mixed precipitation Jan. 9, resulting in rain, freezing rain and snow. By late afternoon, Grey Mountain Road, in Falmouth was freezing over and turning into a sheet of ice.

Michael Picard, who started skating four to five years ago, thought it would be fun to try to skate on it, and took the opportunity to get a little exercise in.

“I was slipping around putting salt out on the driveway anyway so I figured I’d just get my skates out and skate,” said Picard in a phone interview.


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A video featuring Picard taking a leisurely skate down the dirt road started making its rounds on social media that night. His partner, Sarah Leopold, captured the moment.

“My grandmother is 80 now but back in her day, it was a common thing to go ice skating on the road — on this road,” said Leopold.

Michael Picard and Sarah Leopold are spending their first winter on Grey Mountain Road, which is known for becoming a sheet of ice.
Michael Picard and Sarah Leopold are spending their first winter on Grey Mountain Road, which is known for becoming a sheet of ice.

This is the first winter that the pair have lived on Grey Mountain Road.

With classes cancelled throughout the Valley and Halifax, Picard, who is a substitute teacher, took advantage of the snow day.

“It was definitely the most daring thing I’ve ever done on skates,” said Picard, with a laugh.

“You can’t really tell in the video but there’s one point where I took a stumble, but it almost looks like I just did a flourish or something off one of my steps. It was fun.”

This isn’t the first time Picard has found an innovative way to stay busy during a winter storm. When he was living in Windsor and working at a call centre run by IMP, he trudged through the snow to make it to work.

“I remember there was a big blizzard and nobody could come into work,” recalled Picard. “But I snowshowed in and there was only one other person there — the manager was still there. They never let me forget that. I kind of became known for it there.”

Picard said he doesn’t think this will be his last time skating outdoors this winter. He was planning to do it again Jan. 10, but the icy road had been broken up by a snowplow operator.

Picard said he hopes people will be inspired to take advantage of opportunities to have fun outdoors this winter.

“It was the perfect storm to get outside and be active,” he said.


 

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