People imagine that Mainers skate on the ice all the time. However, the cold temperatures that produce ice usually bring snow and drive the skaters inside.
Since the middle of December, much of Maine has had frozen, snowless lakes which has brought out the skaters.
One of the most enthusiastic is Bob Lombardo of Orono. A carpenter, Bob takes a number of breaks this time of year to go Nordic Skating.
"I don't have a boat, so I never get to see any of these lakes and streams until the winter time."
Lombardo uses special equipment to skate on Maine's ponds and streams, snapping $150 blades on to bindings attached to his cross country ski boots. The elongated blades enable him to cruise at higher speeds with minimal effort.
"I'll cruise the entire perimeter of this lake in a couple of hours," he says, referring to Megunticook, which is partly in the well-known town of Camden.
He also brings a set of blades with a higher toe for when the ice is bumpy.
However, safety is paramount and Lombardo also has equipment most of us don't have when we skate near camp or a boat launch.
He brings along a back pack which is buoyant. It contains a dry bag with dry clothes. He is wearing wool clothing and has a set of picks attached to his parka in case he falls in. This has happened three times, but is no big deal because he is prepared.
"The first thing I do when I go through the ice is I turn 189 degrees because that's where the thick ice is. So I scramble back, you usually have to bust some thin ice and then I grab my picks and jam them into the ice. I lay on my belly and kick my feet like I'm swimming, so that my body is parallel to the surface. That makes it easier to pull myself up on the ice," he explained to NEWS CENTER Maine.
He also carries a pick pole which is similar to a chisel. He is able to test the ice in front of him. He makes the poles and sells them at Rose Bike Shop in Orono.
As of Jan. 6, the snow line in Maine is just above Bangor. However, with snow in the forecast, there may be very little pond skating in Maine...at least for a while.