I decided that I wanted to get outside and go for a walk for Christmas. Not a long walk, and not a run, but something short to get me out of the house for a bit. I was finally feeling better after a long bout with various nonspecific illnesses. Ambrose was not, which cancelled my earlier idea of hiking up to Lucky Peak or even Table Rock. 

I got bundled up for the 20 degree weather, but I didn’t put any traction devices on my Lems Boulder Boots. It might have been better if I had, but because I hadn’t, it turned into a good test of those boots. 

You see, many of my neighbors had been good citizens. They had gone out after the snows and shoveled their portions of the sidewalk. Unfortunately, the vast majority of them had not also spread either melt or grit, which meant that when I went out for my walk on Sunday morning, ever bit of cleared sidewalk was covered by an invisible, but extremely slick, layer of ice. 

I slipped on it once, near the dentist’s office on Mallard. I was able to divert my fall into the snow, so I didn’t get hurt when I landed. After that, I carefully tested new surfaces before trusting them to my boots. Where the sidewalks had been cleared, I walked on snow, either on the grass or the street, depending on the street I was on. 

Walking on the snow gave me better exercise than I’d reckoned on. Some of the snow was just deep and fluffy enough, under the thin skim of ice that my steps easily broke, to mimic walking on dry sand. Where the snow was frozen into harder shapes, I could feel how my feet adjusted to the inconsistent surface. I wish I could go on another walk like that, but Boise just had a big melt. It was nearly 60 degrees yesterday, which is absolutely wild. 

The sidewalk wouldn’t stay clear right next to Parkcenter Blvd.

If the surface looked clear, then it was a trap of slickness.

Why did everyone have to clear their sidewalks so promptly?

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