Tag Archives: Rossdale

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.”

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.

Walterdale Bridge (Junior)

First time to walk under and over the new Walterdale Bridge (Walt Jr.).

It’s really something, and the area around it is gorgeous! For all of the inconveniences – of having that trail cut off for years on both sides of the river; for all the trees that I knew, that were cut down, I would say that this new bridge makes up for it. As a driver, it’s amazing. As a walker, even more so.

The pathway across the bridge is extremely wide, with a wide open view to the sky and the river valley. It’s like a promenade. Below the bridge is a paved pathway leading to the trail that eventually becomes Skunk Hollow, which I will take next week sometime, especially as the new Indigenous Park is scheduled to open at the former Queen Elizabeth Pool area. There is also an unpaved path that is closer to the river and actually leads to the shore. The stairs are nice. The replanted foliage is nice. I give it a 10.

This path from the university to the Walterdale Bridge used to be my main river valley commute. There are trails leading off to other areas, in particular the trail that skirts around Rossdale beside the north side of the river (which is still blocked off), but this was the one that most often got me home.

I missed it.

For the first time in over five years, that trail got me home yesterday, but circuitously. I took a few photos of the bridge and then carried on the far path to Rossdale and then Louise McKinney Park, which is currently cut in half by the Valley Line LRT construction. It was wonderful to walk such familiar paths again. Once I was in McKinney, I took the stairs to downtown and then walked home from there.

Rossdale, headed toward the Low Level Bridge

We’re having a bit of a reprieve from the cool weather that hit us like a bang mid-August. It’s been cool and rainy ever since, with a few sunny days thrown in. Yesterday (Thursday) and today, however, it’s beautiful and warm (21C and 25C, respectively). A smattering of yellow here and there, and a bit of crunch underfoot, but for the most part, visually it still looks like late summer.

North Saskatchewan River from Louise McKinney Park

Red leaves, Louise McKinney Park

There were no posts in August. It’s been a rough couple of weeks, and I had little opportunity or inclination to walk in the woods. My sister Barb spent most of August in ICU, and then passed away on Sunday, September 2. She was plagued by Lupus and latterly, COPD, for decades, and in the last few years her body grew increasingly exhausted (but not her mind!). Her lungs struggled to breath and her kidneys shut down, and while she had been on dialysis for a year that too proved to be a burden on her health (although I’m sure it prolonged it for a little while). In the hospital, she was communicative and even sometimes, quite happy. She had reached the stage of acceptance with her failing health. But the last week, and her last 48 hours, were extremely difficult and sad. She was gone by Saturday morning, but her body continued on until Sunday afternoon.

Walking has helped to shed some of the grief, but as I have learned (unfortunately), it is something that comes and goes on its own capricious schedule. Rest in peace, Barb.