CLUB NEWS Curling on a frozen pond in Maine By Dianne Ballon, Pine Tree Curling Club

Mount Washington. Our stones take dips and dives. And even when we are on the broom, at the very last moment, the stone shoots off into leſt or right field. Despite all of this, we are able to curl. So when Chris and Matt Albert, who have a camp on Sheepscot Pond in Pal-


ermo, Maine, invited us out to curl, we jumped at the chance. Aſter all, nothing would surprise us, and our experience with the imperfections of the ice we play on could only help. We arrived at the camp on a freezing Saturday morning in early February

with wind chills of -2 degrees Fahrenheit. Our job: to shovel the snow off the ice and create one sheet. Matt Albert and his 9-year old daughter, Althea, were 40 minutes into shoveling before we arrived. Armed with snow shovels and a real broom, Chris, Matt and I continued to

shovel and sweep, while Derek Campbell hauled the stones from his SUV by wagon onto the ice. Te wagon could only hold five stones at a time. Hauling stones by wagon over snow and ice sounds slow but reasonable until you get to the 6-foot bank at the edge of the shore … Te distance of the sheet was “short,” but we settled for what was shoveled.

We would all sleep well that night. We drew our house and I thought for sure that the magic markers would freeze dry, but they came through. Ten, it was time to curl. We were joined by Amy Sabaka and Steve Bergeron,

two brand new curlers. In the whipping wind, in less than ideal conditions, we taught them the game of curling. Te ice was so heavy only one of us could get a couple stones just past the hog line. Aſter two blank ends, we decided to “move the house” closer by drawing

Sheepscot Pond in Palermo, Maine, was the site of the Pine Tree Curling Club’s winter adventure. Chris Albert delivers the stone while Amy Sabaka and Steve Bergeron sweep.

Photo by Dianne Ballon

another house halfway down the sheet. Tis worked beautifully. Finally, we were able to play. Te day was spectacular. Te frozen water was white as far as the eye could

see and a bald eagle flew low across the pond. Coming out of the hack was bumpy, but our stones reached the house. Te new curlers did great. Te wind whipped across the pond, sending waves of light snow across the sheet. Both the curling brooms and the real broom were caked with snow from clearing the ice. Te sun cast long shadows across the ice as we hauled everything ashore,

and I thought of those vintage photos of people curling outdoors. Folks in their long heavy woolen jackets and hats sweeping a stone across the frozen ice in the middle of winter. Q

he newly formed Pine Tree Curling Club of Maine, now in its sec- ond season, has its challenges curling on arena ice. Te zamboni creates ridges down the length of the sheets sometimes the size of

USA Curling (( 31

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