Maybe it’s Not Winter?

A cyclist makes their way along a snow lined bike path near 89 Avenue and 109 Street Thursday morning (photo: Edmonton Journal/David Bloom)

This is a weather report with no walking but a soupçon of whining. My last post suggested that maybe winter had finally begun in the sense that the snow would stay. Well, it didn’t. On Thursday, it was raining and most of the snow was gone. The temperature the previous day reached 11C. The ice pancakes on the river dissolved into syrupy darkness.

Today, or should I say, last night, the rain turned to snow and this morning it was a winter wonderland. Hard to say how many centimetres but in the full dollop range. It’s beautiful, but a bit treacherous on the roads and sidewalks because of yesterday’s rain.

But that snow won’t last either. It’s supposed to be above zero and raining on Sunday, and then well above zero all next week. Our wonky ‘winter’ continues.

I wish it would be one or the other, although if I had to choose, I’d take snowless. Until Christmas.

-13C/at work. No walking today. 

Today’s Edmonton Journal headline “Edmonton Weather: Snowfall warning lifted … it’ll all be gone by next week.”

This Is Probably Winter

Last year, it snowed and stayed on November 1, not leaving until the following April. This year, we made it an additional day. Woohoo! It snowed on Friday, November 2 and by snow I mean a blanket-the-entire-landscape deluge. I was dog-sitting on Friday and Saturday, and when I came home from work on Friday, I had to shovel what felt like two feet of heavy, wet snow off the driveway and sidewalk. Saturday morning, after walking Stella, I had to unbury my car. On a positive note, it was sunny and the streets cleared by afternoon. Stella and I went on another, longer walk to the power line and she had a great time. She loves the snow! Even more, she loves burying her ball in the snow. As a friend on Instagram commented, “I buries it, and then I digs it up.”

 

Today, it’s been raining but will turn to snow later this afternoon, covering what will no doubt be a thin but deadly layer of ice. There is still a lot of snow but the streets and sidewalks are clear. My only walk was to London Drugs and the grocery store. An hour later, I was soaked from head to toe from the rain and some thoughtful person who drove into a puddle and splashed me. Thanks asshole.

I’m not looking forward to the icy walks. And the dark (today was the end of daylights savings). I just have to remember Stella, and how much fun she has in the snow. BE. LIKE. STELLA.

 

1C (7C on Saturday)

Monday Glow

An absolutely stunning walk home yesterday. I started walking at 5:00 pm so the sun was close to setting, spreading a golden glow over every leaf and branch. By the time I reached the ‘new’ trail below Ezio Faraone Park (just past a very windy High Level Bridge), it was incredible.

Too bad I didn’t have my real camera with me (she said, blaming her phone).

Clearly, the squirrel was posing, but I couldn’t really get a close up. The squirrel was disappointed. He knew he looked gorgeous and gilded in that light.

Probably my last walk along this route before Daylight Savings kicks in on the weekend. Maybe Thursday. Anyway, it felt like I was walking in gold all the way home.

50 minutes/9C 

New Paths, Old Paths

Rossdale

I found a new path that runs below downtown via a trail that begins at 116 Street, ending at either Ezio Faraone Park by the High Level Bridge, or at the Glenora Club on River Road. I am SO happy about this. It means I can take the abysmal Groat Bridge out of the equation when walking home.

Victoria Trail, near 116 Street

I’ve seen the trail head before while walking up Victoria Trail, but hadn’t explored it until now. It’s beautiful and quiet, but I probably won’t be able to use it once it gets dark at 4:30. Until then, however, it will serve as my new and much improved commute home!

LRT bridge

Continuing along river road, I crossed the LRT Bridge and walked over to Walt Junior and discovered that the trail on the river side of the Epcor Plant has been reopened after YEARS of closure due to the construction of the bridge. This too is thrilling! This lovely little path which includes a sweet little wooden bridge leads right into Rossdale. For many years, it was one of my favourite paths, and it’s so much nicer than walking in traffic beside the baseball park (whatever name it’s going by these days.) In fact, both of these trails, one new, one old, will help to exclude traffic from my commutes, or at least minimize it. So glad I took this route today.

Heading to the Walterdale Bridge (Walt Junior)

Walt Junior

It was a marathon, though. Two and a half hours. I probably could have shaved a half hour off if I had brought my bus pass. Once I emerged out of the river valley via the funicular, I still had another 20 blocks to walk, half of which was along busy Jasper Avenue, and the other half along the 102 Avenue “Oliver Bahn” –  a much quieter and greener walk. I would have been more than happy to skip the first part. Still learning about my new neighbourhood!

Newly reopened path into Rossdale on south side of the Epcor plant

Little bridge near Rossdale

10C/1:00 – 2:30 p.m.

Weed Wednesday

Well, I don’t want to overstate it. However, today –  the first day of Canada’s legalization of Cannabis, summer returned. Blue sky, a temperature of 25C!! and some non-cloud clouds here and there as people everywhere seemed to be imbibing. It was a happy day. And a beautiful day. Not that I use, but it seemed to lift the mood of the country, or maybe it was just the weather.

Once the second dump of snow left in early October, it was like it took the rest of the leaves with it. What emerged was no longer peak fall, but full on, leafless fall. It too is beautiful, but like all the seasons this year, it seemed to come all of a sudden.

Walked home from work, down into the woods and then up to the Legislature grounds. Nothing spectacular…I unfortunately had to stay a bit late. But still, it has been a gorgeous October for the most part. About time, after the weather suck that was September.

24.7 (25C!)

Mill Creek in Peak

I am writing this post retroactively (and re-dated) because I forgot to post, and then I saw the photos when I was scrolling on my phone as one is want to do. Last Tuesday was nice, around 17C, so my intention was to walk home via the new Indigenous Park where the Queen Elizabeth Pool used to be, but I took the wrong path and ended up in my final destination first – Mill Creek Ravine. I’ll try again this week.

Mill Creek was of course beautiful, sporting its yellowy cardigan and still greenish trousers. I walked a loop around the lower path first, and then strolled along the upper path to 99 Street. Ingeniously, I had a dental appointment earlier in the day so rather than park at the university for 16 bucks, I parked on my old street, and so at the end of my walk I had a car to drive the rest of the way home. It was the tail end of rush hour so it took me a long time. A bus, or on foot, would have been quicker.

On the lower path in the area closest to the last bridge, slightly south of the entrance, the path has been overrun with mud and is apparently now permanently blocked off. As I often do, I ignored the signs and walked through it anyway. My running shoes got covered with mud and about half way through I was questioning my life choices, but it was still worth it. At the end, where the cement outfall structure is, the creek was stoppered with sticks, branches and a brown tangle of unidentifiable ravine detritus. No wonder that area keeps flooding. Not sure what’s happening. Further south along the trail, one of the paths has been cut off for years due to erosion (I still cross that one too). This whole area is poorly maintained, or at least to my eyes it is, so it’s doubtful that this not-caused-by-beavers dam will be un-dammed anytime soon.

Outfall looking north

standing on top of the outfall, looking south

Note: for some reason the photos were all kind of foggy, although it was not humid. I chalk it up to the fact that the pants I was wearing have really short pockets, so I had to carry my phone in my hand – hence the fogging. Or my phone is possessed. Or I’m a shitty photographer.

One other note. This month has been the coldest September on record, Tuesday’s temperature of 17C not withstanding. I hope (beg, plead) that October is mild. Bah.