It didn't take long for a frozen piece of the North Thompson River to become a sports complex.
Just on the river, near Schubert Drive and the Halston Bridge, parents and kids gathered yesterday to play some shinny near the shore. With a Pro-D Day today (Dec. 2), Lyle Blomquist brought his son and his son's friend down.
"The kids are out here playing hockey, skating and making ice rinks," he says. "(It's good to) get out. Fresh air, activity. It reminds me of where I grew up in McLeese Lake."
"If we wanted to play hockey, this is what we had to do," adds Blomquist.
The rink was on a section of the river that is only about six inches deep. Staring through the crystallized water, it looks like it's frozen solid from ground to surface.
Over a dozen kids skated about, with a group of boys and dads starting up an old school game of shinny. Boots marked the net at one end, while a bag and some more boots marked the other end. Blomquist shovelled a second area today to give the younger kids a place to skate, away from the game.
They couldn't have chosen a more picturesque spot, with snow-covered mountains, downtown Kamloops and a train bridge all backdrops for the hockey.
The quintessentially Canadian moment also brought out Adam Mills and his family, which included his kids and his girlfriend's kids. His young daughter Brooklyn was excited and made quick friends.
"I'm in boots skating around," she says. "I don't even know how to explain it."
"We have a blended family down here," Mills says. "The boy's wearing his mom's boots, we couldn't find the girl's skates so she's wearing his old skates. That one is wearing my son's old skates; they don't care, it's nice."
A bylaw officer popped down to the shore at one point, but it was to ask a homeless camper to move on. Mills says they weren't bothering the group, and the kids were safe.