Yeah, no walk today
The river valley never fails to impress. On Thursday, I walked from Saskatchewan Drive, down skunk hollow to Rossdale, across Louise McKinney Park and the pedestrian bridge, with a final hike through Mill Creek. A cold, beautiful day. I can forgive the weather for a bit of sun.
The river is still encased in ice. Hanging over the Cloverdale Pedestrian Bridge, I noticed a lot of footprints in the dusting of snow we received the night before, but whose foot, or feet, is the question. It’s too early for the resident geese to return (I hope), and I really can’t see a human walking out to the middle of the river. Maybe a drunk human. Still, seems unlikely. Maybe a coyote, or a yeti. Wish I’d been there to see it.
I can’t think of anything that would have made the afternoon’s walk lovelier. Like a perfect painting, the brushes were put away at exactly the right moment. A cobalt blue sky, straight out of the tube. A mix of purple, blue and turquoise visible in the shadows falling across the snow. It was magnificent.
With few walks in February because of the cold, Maggie and I have been taking advantage of the nicer weather this week, and last. Stuffed her in the car this afternoon and drove to Whitemud Creek Ravine at the trail head in Westbrook. A lady who knows Maggie commented yesterday while we were walking around the neighbourhood that Maggie looked stiff. I don’t see it. Her endurance is way down, and when she wants to go home she refuses to move, but her motoring ability hasn’t changed. She ran most of the trail today, which is more than I can say for myself. It’s great down in the ravine because there’s not a lot of rabbit poop (thank you coyotes), so she’s not distracted to the point of obstinacy. Just the usual curiosity about who’s been where and when. We both enjoyed our walk. The thing is, I can go farther and faster without her. I must carve out a few dogless walks each week. Seems unfriendly, but I need the exercise.
Two walks today – a dog walk (half hour) and a Donna walk (half hour plus.) Total, about an hour. The sidewalks and paths are sheets of ice; not a problem as long as I wear my crampons. Regardless of what winter has done to our streets, Maggie enjoys any time outside, in particular the piles of chilled rabbit shit everywhere. After I dropped her off, I walked down the powerline into the ravine. The creek is quite beautiful, in shades of white and blue, with pockets of swirling, turquoise water. I was going to walk up the other hill, but the spikes were starting to make my feet ache.
It was -1C, but it felt cooler, but perfect. I am so grateful for all the sun.
A marvelous day (and week) we’ve had. Unseasonably mild…lots of melting. It’s treacherous and dirty on the streets, but the sun is wonderfully warm on my face, and the sound of trickling water is like some kind of alchemy, soothing my soul. It’s constant, even in the mornings.
The snow pack is lower now too, but it’s very porous. I fell in the park yesterday, or actually, I sunk while walking the dog, who by the way, didn’t stop. After ungracefully extricating myself from the heavy, wet snow, I had to carefully exit out of the park. Even Maggie was falling through, which is not only hard on her arthritic leg, the soft snow makes crapping difficult. She seemed very disappointed we had to leave. Fresh rabbit shit dots the park all year round, but judging by the ferocity of her appetite, the aged stuff now being uncovered is a real delicacy. I’ll have to take her word for it. Both of us had to settle for a neighbourhood walk, which is boring, but at least it’s outside. In the sun.
Today I grabbed my crampons and headed for Whitemud Creek, via Westbrook. It’s uncomfortable to wear the tiny spikes on bare pavement, which I was expecting, but as it turns out a lot of the sidewalks in Westbrook are still ice-covered. I opted to walk on the road. At the trail head, I strapped them on, and then proceeded into the woods with smug confidence. Those things are incredible. I never would have made it if I hadn’t been wearing spikes on my boots. Half the trail was ice. Ice on declines. Ice on inclines. Not once did I slip. Knowing that I didn’t have to pay attention to my footing allowed me to drink in the bird-loud scenery. So beautiful. Even spotted the rare Glovewood plant, which often signifies the return of spring. Not today, though. We’re months away from that nonsense.
It’s going to get cold tomorrow, and for the foreseeable future. Nice while it lasted.
Two hour walk today damn near killed me. Clearly, my feet are out of shape. The boots don’t help. The boots with crampons really don’t help, but they do keep me upright. Other than my screaming feet, the walk was lovely. Warm. Brilliant blue skies. We’ve been given a reprieve.
After a lunch with friends at the University, I walked down a very wet, and very sunny Saskatchewan Drive to Mill Creek Ravine. Would have loved to start out in the woods, but the middle part of the trail near the Walterdale is out of bounds for a few years. No through-way anymore, unless I cross into Rossdale and bypass Mill Creek. Some days, that’s OK, but not today. I miss my ravine. I miss how I used to feel in Mill Creek, when my feet didn’t scream.
Down the hill near the Edmonton Ski Club, and over the pedestrian bridge to Louise McKinney Park. The sun unfailingly bright. People in shorts. In spite of everything, a great walk.
When I wrote about sloth in December, I had no idea. Longest stretch ever of not walking. It’s partially to mostly the fault of the weather that I haven’t been out. Correction – I have been out,
but not for anything that could be considered a ‘good’ walk. Does shoveling count? The dog and I have toodled around the block, and that’s about it. Major cold right after Christmas that only just cleared itself of my head and lungs. Blah, blah, blah. I aim to do better.
Half hour walk in Terwillegar off-leash. The river valley seemed quite a bit cooler and windier than above ground. Nice, though, and paths were lousy with dogs. We are in for a stretch of good weather, so now that the sun is out and I am phlegm-free, no more excuses.
Judging by the last time I wrote in this thing, my annual December slothathon has begun. The weather has been mostly horrible, but there have been a few breaks here and there which I’ve not used to my advantage in the usual way – the usual way being going for a goddamned walk. Today, I walked. Not long, and not vigorously. The freezing rain on Saturday night is still cemented on the sidewalks two days later, making a crème brûlée of the snow. The plowed path along the powerline is a grey tongue of ice. Poor Maggie wiped out a few times, but eventually learned to walk on the snowy edge like me. We were both glad to get outside in the windy sunshine, but it wasn’t enough. I so need a week of long, long walks. Not sure if my body can handle it. I feel like a cashew: tight and curled. Not so much salty as sweet and full of sugar. One walk at a time…