Wooden stones and a frozen creek: how one couple curls in Yukon

·1 min read

On a little creek that feeds into the Klondike River near Dawson City, Yukon, you might find Kim Melton and her partner John Lenert, sliding logs of wood down a homemade curling rink.

The pair have swapped rocks for wood and use corn brooms to glide the makeshift stones down a 15-metre sheet of ice near their off-grid home, aiming for the button they marked with haskap juice made from the berries in a nearby orchard.

Melton and Lenert built the rink this winter. It's been a gradual process. Last winter, they tried to keep an ice rink open for skating. But with all the snow, it ended up being a space that seemed not quite big enough to skate but big enough to curl.

Then, there are the rocks. In the past, Lenert had a long-standing curling tradition of using coffee cans filled with ice. Last year, they switched to paint cans, but found they were prone to tipping.

Karen Digby
Karen Digby

"This year when we were out cutting firewood, we decided to try using a green log. And it works great because, of course, they're full of ice," Melton told Elyn Jones, host of CBC's Yukon Morning.

"We attached some handles and they worked like a charm."

Getting out on the ice has also been a nice way for the couple to meet up with friends.

"It's something that feels like a safe way to interact, especially in COVID times," she said.

Karen Digby
Karen Digby