As I arrived at twilight, the group was gathered around the bonfire as the temperature dropped again toward the single digits. Who could say that winter has no color as even the heavy overcast sky colored with the shades of a winter evening and the snow reflected, catching flashes of firelight here and there?
This was a good old-fashioned skate outdoors, though I never did put my skates on—too busy taking photos and talking.
The place is Wingfield Pines in Upper St. Clair, a conservation area owned by the Allegheny Land Trust that has been used for farming, mining, a health club and a golf course in this century alone. Now it’s been allowed to rest and enjoy just being there with the gentler human uses of hiking and dog-walking and the occasional skate, not to mention that big old AMD remediation project, but the land is forgiving.
The old golf ponds freeze solid in weather consistently this cold, and the terrain is perfect for cross-country skiing. Read about Wingfield Pines on the Allegheny Land Trust website.