Tag Archives: walking

A Summer Walk in and around Fort Edmonton

The newly reopened Fort Edmonton Park

Beautiful walk this morning with Tom from Fort Edmonton to Terwillegar and back.

Because of extensive renovations and expansion, Fort Edmonton has been closed for three years. It just re-opened on July 1, so there were more cars in the parking lot. As a kid, Fort Edmonton was one of the less enjoyable outings, which was often a yearly event or whenever relatives visited. It was literally a fort and not much else, but I liked the train, whose distinctive whistle can once again be heard through the trees. With a cost of $165 million, I’m guessing it’s a lot better and more kid-friendly now, and there’s a ferris wheel. We’ll have to check it out.

View from the Fort Edmonton Footbridge

Lots of fresh coyote shit on the trails but we didn’t see any of the furry dispensers. Not sure if that’s good or bad. I love seeing coyotes, especially if they’re close enough to get a good photo, but not too close. Not being a snack dog or a young kid, I don’t fear them, but I also don’t want to be seen as potential prey, however remote. The vast majority of the time, they don’t want to have anything to do with humans, and I don’t blame them.

Fun fact: you can always tell the difference between coyote and dog shit by the amount of berries. Obvious berries, I should add, no microscope required. Also, most people pick up after their dogs, whereas coyotes have no such service. Thankfully, Tom didn’t notice. I was afraid if I told him he would want to turn around. He loves coyotes too but the amount of berry-filled shit shimmering in the bright sun at regular intervals was a little alarming.

Lots of grasshoppers. We’ve had everything else this summer, why not a plague of locusts? (Seriously though, I love them).
Hello hard-to-spell footbridge

Cool to start (12C), and warm by the end (21C), but the breeze helped to keep the temperature down. Although it seems like a much longer walk than our usual walk around Glenora/Ravine Drive, it’s actually only about a 1,000 more steps. I got about 13,597 steps in total that day.

AM Walks

Delphiniums are simply everywhere!

To beat the heat, back to morning walks with Tom. Early morning walks, like 6:00 am. I don’t even shower. Out of bed, drive over, start walking. It makes the after-walk shower and breakfast truly righteous.

Getting a little dry out there…

Started out foggy and cool (12C), ended sunny and warm (19C), with a hot afternoon on the way. One of the other benefits of walking early is that I can take photos of people’s gardens without them knowing. About 11,799 steps.

Tiger lily
Day lily

A Mild December

Heading into the far south edge of Glenora

Went for a gorgeous lunch time walk through Glenora with Tom under blue skies. The clouds were very nicely shaped and rather friendly. At noon it was 6C but it went up to 11C!

A vertical version of the first photo…

We’ve definitely had some cold days, but December (so far) has been pretty mild. Right now, the sidewalks and streets have no snow. I’m sure that will change.

More cool skies from the MacKinnon bridge
I definitely see a bunny sitting in that tree…

A Christmas Tree in MacKinnon Ravine

Note the magpie, top left

Much needed lunchtime walk through MacKinnon Ravine, up to Glenora and then home. Not surprisingly, I ran into Tom taking his walk, but he was just starting, and I was near the end. Sometimes we coordinate. Sometimes I just go when I go.

Acetylene sun

The day looked darker than it actually was, with bits of blue sky peaking out here and there. It can be challenging under those conditions to take good photos, when the ‘acetylene light’ of the harsh winter sun (thanks Sting), is glaring from behind the clouds, reflecting on the snow. The important thing was that I got a walk, not great photos.

View of the river from the lower path in MacKinnon Ravine. Looks colder than it was.

However, I ran across a decorated tree in the ravine, guarded by a magpie! Maybe it was his handiwork? They do like shiny things.

Stairs up to Ravine Drive (Glenora)
View from MacKinnon Bridge, heading into Glenora

Definitely needed the micro-spikes for the uphill’s (and downhills and pretty much every path in the ravine). The trouble with our now regular freeze/thaw winters is that there is always plenty of ice, but also lots of bare pavement. Hard to know what footwear makes the most sense, although I err on the side of staying upright…

Noon to 1:30 p.m. 4C.

November Sunset

Groat Road, looking south

A sunset walk to Tom’s and then back to my place. Beautiful skies, nice crunch underfoot.

More Groat Road!

The sun sets around 4:36 p.m. so if I’m walking to his place after work, or today (Sunday) I have to leave a little earlier than I would prefer. Gone are the days, at least for now, when I could leave at 5 or 5:30 in full daylight! This is the worst part of winter for me, the darkness. Well, the darkness and the ice.

Ubiquitous museum trail photo #1
Ubiquitous museum trail photo #2

Still, a lovely walk under clear(ish) skies and not too cold.

The river, looking south west
More sunset!
The river, looking east

-6C, 4:15 to 5:30 pm.

A Return to Whitemud Ravine with Stella

Whitemud Ravine. It was actually sunnier than the clouds would suggest.

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.

Stella refuses to pose

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.

Stella stops to smell the whatever

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.

Hello slough!
Slough too!

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.

New bridge!

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.

Next best thing to jumping in the creek…

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.

Creek is high

70 minutes, about 20C