A slippery highway near Shellmouth inspired a father of two to strap on his skates.
Wade Eftoda explained it was simply a fluke he had a pair of skates in his truck, when his wife Kristyn joked, on Wednesday evening, that it would be fun to glide along the slick highway.
By Thursday night, more than 62,000 people watched a Facebook video of the 34-year-old coasting on Provincial Road 483 on skates — on the right side of the road, appropriately.
"It was great. You could skate anywhere on that particular stretch of highway," he said. "It was pretty scary to drive on it; it was like driving on a skating rink."
A steady freezing rain Tuesday created the pop-up skating rink, but also froze doors on the family’s vehicle and was so slick,
the Eftodas abandoned their early morning drive Wednesday after slipping onto the shoulder.
After venturing to Inglis later in the morning once the hilly portion of the highway was salted, they headed back to their Dropmore home after work and school, travelling no faster than 20 to 30 km/h on PR 483.
Between the community of Shellmouth and the dam, Wade pulled off the road, turning his truck into the worn-out bench at an outdoor rink. He figured the smooth, clear ice was a half-inch thick.
"There was probably a 10-kilometre stretch easy that you could have skated," he said. "It was a blast."
The winter before, Wade wouldn’t have had skates to wear. After a 20-year hiatus from skating, he bought a pair only recently to keep up with his five-year-old son Liam, who has taken a liking to skating on Lake of the Prairies, a mile from their home.
"I thought I better catch up before he’s better than me," Wade said.
But there was no street race this time. Liam’s skates were at home and his parents figured it wasn’t safe to drive back on the icy road after reaching their home.
Kristyn captured the solo skate on video, posted it to Facebook and woke up Thursday morning to see it had 40,000 views.
She said the spur-of-the-moment skate embodied the family’s New Year’s resolution to live simply and in the moment.
"It was amazing," Kristyn said. "He said it was probably the smoothest ice he skated on."
The video quickly got attention locally, including from the kindergarten to Grade 1 students she teaches at Inglis School.
"It’s quite fun, because they all go talking about skating," she said. "It was a good little story-starter."