Gorgeous walk around Terwillegar with Stella and Sharon this morning. (Part of my ‘interloper’ period while we await possession day on the 15th.) A bit of rain last night so everything smelled fresh and spring-like. Absolutely gorgeous. Too cold for Stella to have a dip, but she would have been more than game.
For most of the day on Saturday, it rained (about 20-30mm, cumulatively). Beautiful, glorious rain. I had intended to walk Stella in the morning (Sharon and Vic are visiting Beth and Josh in Minneapolis) but it rained on the way over, and by the time I got to Sharon’s, the skies were VERY dark. I decided to take Stella for a quick pee and poop in the nearby park, and then we waited to see what the weather would do.
It stormed, and thundered, and rained. There were successive storms, so by the end of day, there was no walk with Stella in the woods. Poor doggo, she was quite frightened by the thunder. She’s not usually that sensitive but not having Sharon around probably compounded her anxiety. I’m her favourite auntie, but I’m still just an auntie.
So today, even though it was cloudy and cool (12C to start), I picked Stella up and we drove to Whitemud Ravine, by the Rainbow Valley entrance. It was cool and wet, but still gorgeous. Things seemed the tiniest bit greener.
Now that she’s ten, Stella is a bit slower these days. The slight hesitancy reminds me of Maggie. In her later years, Maggie clearly and intentionally shortened our walks. Sometimes she just stopped in the middle of a trail, and said, no further. Slowly, our circuits became smaller. Finally, it was just the park, but she was always enthusiastic. Stella is on some meds now for sore joints. She gets two or more walks a day with Sharon, and is mostly fine, but she used to run like the dickens. She can still gets lots of speed up when she wants, like when she’s greeting me from across the park, or running after a ball. She’s become more of a sprinter, I guess.
We both enjoyed the walk, and Stella read and/or sent a lot of pee-mail. No creek splashes though. In spite of the rain yesterday, the creek is still pretty murky.
About 15C, 4,000+ steps (I’ll get more later walking to Tom’s)
Crazy beautiful walk with Sharon and Stella in Whitemud Ravine (south) starting at the Westbrook trail head. As per usual, Stella wouldn’t pose, but also as per usual, affable company.
With lots of fairly steep ice-covered hills, spikes are absolutely necessary, at least for the near future. Even with them, it was a bit iffy, but I stayed upright. Always a good thing.
Even walking from one end of the trail to the other (ending at Rainbow Valley Road) it’s not quite 10,000 steps but they are quality steps, and the rest were easily made up just walking around the grocery store.
Drove over to Whitemud Ravine south (Westbrook trail head) to walk with Sharon, Vic and Stella. It was a frosty, beautiful morning walk under blue skies. It’s hard to stay inside when the sun is shining.
If we couldn’t be together for Christmas, at least we can go for walks. And even though we were outside, because we were walking fairly close to each other, we all wore masks. It gave me a chance to bust out my “Tell Your Dog I Said Hi” mask. A ridiculously true statement. It’s also on my car.
There were lots of folks on the trails, no surprise, and spikes were an absolute necessity since the Whitemud trails have lots of ups and downs. I don’t walk enough on that beloved trail. It’s as familiar to me now, and as resonant with sense memories, as my old favourite Mill Creek Ravine – another neglected trail. There are definitely some spectacular river valley trails where I live now, but I am missing the variety.
It’s hard to believe I haven’t walked in Whitemud Ravine since the winter. I’m not even sure I walked there in the winter! I probably did. I can account for February and March (Scottsdale and then the injury) and April/early May (COVID-19 shutdown) but since mid-May, I’ve really had no excuse. In fact, my walking in the last month or so has really sucked. We’ve had lots of rain, and I’ve been busy at work (including working some weekends) but if walking is not a priority, it’s not going to happen. And it hasn’t been a priority, for some reason. When I have walked it’s been over to Tom’s or with Tom, in and around Glenora. Great walks, but not the woods.
It’s so clear that I feel most at home, most like myself, walking in the ravines and the river valley. There’s just something about the woods. I felt immediately better once Stella and I walked down into that ravine via Westbrook. It was also wonderful to be with her, and to be surrounded by green. Sharon and Vic are away on holidays to BC, so even though Kate walks her, she doesn’t take her into the woods. Stella loves it. Whenever I come over, she noses the door of my car. She knows.
Whitemud Ravine is incredibly lush right now. We’ve had so much rain, everything is moist, overgrown and ridiculously green. This is also my first unpaved trail walk since the injury. Crazy that I haven’t done this yet, but I was worried about tripping on a tree root and hyper-extending my leg again. It was totally fine. I didn’t feel any strain. Stella goes up hills very slowly now, but that’s OK.
One thing that was different was the little construction project about half way through is now completed. Last year, they took out the rickety boardwalk bridge and the very rickety wooden stairs. Somehow, in a feat of wizardry, they put in a bridge that doesn’t seem to have an incline, but still ends up at the top of the hill, next to the little lookout that is always full of seed for birds, squirrels and chipmunks.
Stella and I made it to Rainbow Valley Road and back. It took a little more than an hour, but surprisingly, it only adds up to 7,600 steps. The good thing is that it’s up and down, so a good, occasionally strenuous walk. Stella really, really wanted to go into the creek, but it’s too high and fast right now. Maybe in a couple of weeks. I sprayed her with the hose when we got back.
The walk was really rejuvenating. I’m having a hard time taking care of myself these days. Lots of anxiety, stress, poor sleeping. The ironic thing is that if I was walking more, I probably wouldn’t be experiencing those things, or at least not to the same degree. Not only does walking decrease stress and anxiety, it can also prevent it. At least in my experience. The world is kind of a dumpster fire at the moment, so the least I can I do is take myself for a daily walk. It worked for 20+ years. No reason why it couldn’t work again.