Tag Archives: Edmonton’s river valley

Heat, Thy Name is Humidity

I give you, the creeping bell flower. I thought it was a bluebell.

Holy boob sweat! A gorgeous but very humid walk just after a brief rain storm this morning and before the next, apparently bigger storm this afternoon.

Victoria Park Road trail

Still can’t bring myself to leave as early as Tom (5:30 am). Just after 11 am, the temperature was about 22C but with the mugginess it seemed warmer, with the exception of an occasional ‘delicious’ breeze, to quote Marilyn Monroe.

Victoria Park Road trail II
Hills of colour

Spotted several spotted Ladybug pupae (apparently) on the creeping bellflowers, which are (apparently) and invasive (but very pretty) wildflower species.

More pretty invasive species…

Overall just under two hours, 12,200 steps. Down the Victoria Park Road to River Road and then (eventually) up the super humid hill in MacKinnon Ravine. I walked over to 107 Ave so that I could take a longer, shadier route to the grocery store (City Market in Oliver Square), where once again I was disappointed by their produce.

Not a ladybug but a ladybug pupae (according to Sharon)

In spite of the humidity, I’m glad that the heat wave has broken, at least for today.

Heading into MacKinnon Ravine

Beating the Heat

A perfect day (at least in the morning) in MacKinnon Ravine

Happy August! Early(ish) walk this morning, although not as early as Tom who left at 5:50 am. I tried, but needed another hour of sleep (and breakfast) so I left around 8:30 am.

I picked a now familiar walk down the stairs from Victoria promenade but this time I went all the way down to Victoria golf course, turned right on River Road and into MacKinnon Ravine.

One of the many little monkey trails in MacKinnon Ravine

It was already warm in the sun, but I stuck to the shade where possible. Thankfully the short, steep hill up to MacKinnon bridge was still entirely in shade. Two guys ahead of me were wearing large backpacks. I said hi but didn’t stop to ask if they were in training, or traveling (unlikely) or what they were up to with such a heavy load on a hot day. I’m glad to see that people on the trails are still friendly in spite of the distancing protocols.

Beautiful Glenora (Ravine Drive)
The North Saskatchewan River from Glenora

Once across the bridge, I wound my way around Ravine Drive and Glenora. Close to the always magnificent Graenon heritage house, I spotted a bonus wasp nest. I got as close as I could to take a photo but it was absolutely buzzing with life so I kept my distance.

Byeeeeee

I decided to walk around the museum on the way home to bump up my steps, and then a sweaty walk the rest of the way home.

In total, about an hour and a half, 11,500+ steps. It was around 18C at 8:30 when I left. It’s now 22C on the way to 30C. Ugh. I will be happy to see the end of this heat wave.

Mini-Holiday, Maximum Heat

On the way to Terwillegar via the Fort Edmonton Footbridge

We’re in the middle of a gross heat wave. I mean, some like it hot…I like it moderate. Moderately cold, and moderately hot. About -5C in the winter, and 21C in the summer. With sun and blue sky.

June was very wet, as was most of July, but this last week the temperatures have hovered near 30C with unusually high levels of humidity. Ugh.

Today, the first day of a mini five-day holiday, Sharon, Stella and I visited the newish Terwillegar bridge via Fort Edmonton, our starting point (just off Fox Drive). Once we hit the footbridge we went left (instead of my usual right) to the river so Stella could have a swim, and then on to Terwillegar.

Stella with stick
Beautiful, undulating wet sand
Sandbar below the Fort Edmonton Footbridge

We left at 9:00 am, but it was already warm and humid. The walk itself was brilliant. The sand bar where Stella had a swim in the river was surprisingly large considering the amount of rain we had prior to the heatwave. She had a blast. Wish I could have joined her.

Unbelievably gorgeous
Gorgeous views on both sides of the trail to Terwillegar
Gorgeous views II
Gorgeous views III

The view on either side of the trail leading to the Terwillegar footbridge was spectacular. I’ve said this a thousand times, but we are so lucky to have all these trails and green space in the middle of the city.

Terwillegar Footbridge

The walk was about two hours in total, give or take many stops to let Stella play in the water and check her peemail. Will definitely go on this walk again…and again.

Terwillegar Footbridge view of the river

Sunday Marathon

Walterdale Bridge

That was some walk with Tom today. A few hundred steps short of 20,000, with a final uphill ‘sprint’ to Glenora. Last half hour my feet were sore, mostly because I need new running shoes. Overcast and very, very humid but also caterpillar-free!! The fuck-you worms are gone and we have reclaimed the university river valley and Rossdale area!

Still Walt Jr!

We walked from his place in Glenora, down the hill into MacKinnon Ravine, went east down river road to the Kinsmen and then into Rossdale. Back the same way. It was definitely a marathon!

Heading into Rossdale
So. Much. Clover.
Poor buddy…

About two and a half hours 9:30 am to noon. 18C

The Old Museum in Old Glenora

The old museum sunning itself

[Addendum: I’ve uploaded better photos from a June 29 walk.]

Very often, after my work day is over, I walk over to Glenora to ‘pick up’ Tom and then we walk back to my place. It’s a relatively short walk, about 25 minutes, but I can make it longer by walking via Mackinnon Ravine, or finding different ways to get to where I’m going.

Front entrance

Today, I wandered around the old provincial museum grounds, which I haven’t been to in many years, and I’m not sure I ever walked around the perimeter, at least not unless I had aged relatives with me.

First Nations hieroglyphs

It’s such a beautiful piece of land, right above the river valley. I really like the new museum downtown but this location is unbeatable, and full of childhood memories. It’s possible the old museum will be torn down, and the grounds will no longer be accessible to the public. Who knows?

Not sure if this fountain is dry because the museum is closed, or for budgetary reasons
Beautiful and weird

Walk while you can, and if you have a moment, sign the petition to save this beautiful piece of Edmonton’s history.

This wall sculpture is pretty weird tho’
Animal wall sculpture on the east wall
The trail behind the museum, soon to be explored!

From the petition site, a little more about the museum (by June Acorn):

Built in 1965, the Alberta Provincial Museum Building on 102 Avenue and 129th Street in Edmonton stands as a true gem of modernist yet historic Alberta architecture. This beautiful structure is adorned by fossil-rich Tyndall Limestone from the Red River Formation, extensive marble interiors and exquisite brass fittings. The South face of the build has reproductions of the First Nations hieroglyphs of Writing-On-Stone Provincial park carved into the walls. The building is a cherished place for generations of Albertans and the site of many wonderful memories of learning and discovery. The grounds of the building are already a beautiful green space and the new building stands in elegant relation to the also historic Government House.

And…I’m back

Walterdale Bridge (Walt Jr.)

It took me awhile to write that last post about my injury, and throughout the writing and beyond, I’ve been walking. A lot. Yesterday (Sunday) was my longest walk since Scottsdale. Two and a half hours, 16, 887 steps. I would say that six weeks after my slip on the ice, I am fully recovered. I suppose if I were to trip again, always a possibility, I could re-injure my hamstring, but so far so good.

It’s proper Spring, and yesterday was warm (23C) so Tom and I left early, around 10 am. The route I chose was down into the river valley, across the LRT bridge, and then a loop from the Kinsmen to the Walterdale Bridge, Rossdale, and then back again. Once we crossed River Road on the way back, however, we walked up the trail below Victoria Park Road.

Clouds moved in for awhile, and then moved out. View from Victoria Park Road.

Most of my walks have either involved walking to work (semi-weekly, for an hour or two, up Emily Murphy Hill and back home over the High Level Bridge), or various routes to ‘pick up’ Tom on his way over to my place. Since he spends most evenings with me, I often walk over to his place and then we walk back to mine. (He hardly drives anymore, preferring to walk). Lately, I’ve been walking to his place via MacKinnon Ravine and the steep hill up to Glenora. One thing I haven’t done yet is walk on an unpaved trail. The fear of tripping over a tree root is still there, but dissipating.

Magpie public art in Rossdale
Goose Patrol
Gosling patrol

Walking is not what it used to be. People are still friendly but the social distancing can be awkward, and still feels super rude. However, it’s what we gotta do…

Because I haven’t written in the blog since early May, here are a bunch of photos from my walks, in somewhat chronological order.

Dandelions! April 20, my first hill walk since the injury

April 27: “A sunny lunchtime walk in the river valley today, my longest walk yet (since the injury). Walked down Victoria Park Road, under the Groat Bridge, up through MacKinnon Ravine, up the steep hill to the bridge, and then back home through Glenora/Oliver. The ice has mostly melted from the river, but the shore still has bergs. Highlight – spotted my first snake in years, a little garter snake, sunning himself on a log. He slithered away before I could take a photo. I also ran into a friend, Teresa, and caught up on our remote working lives. Her sister also had a hamstring injury, requiring surgery. I am SO lucky I have almost fully recovered, without any medical intervention. About 18C.”

April 27, MacKinnon Ravine
April 27, right around where I saw the snake.
Still April 27…
April 27: MacKinnon Ravine bridge from below
April 27: MacKinnon Ravine bridge from above
May 3 walk with Tom: MacKinnon Ravine
Glenora
May 13: “My good deed for the day. On my after-work walk I came across a beetle who was upside down and struggling to right him(or her)self. So I helped him(her), and he(she) beetled off. As many know, I am a fan of beetles. Take care, little friend.”