These photos were taken May 20/20.
Still euphoric about our successful river valley walk on May 13, we thought we would try a hike in one of our favourite locations – Patricia Ravine near Fort Edmonton. Long walks on narrow paths can be risky these days for a number of reasons, not the least of which is the lack of available washroom facilities in the area. This would determine how long our walk would be.
We found the washrooms at Whitemud Park were open, which was a good thing, as this location provides a no-touch situation, after you start the tap water flowing. Even the access door is motion sensor activated.
We headed for our usual jumping off point for the ravine walk and there were a few more cars parked in the area than normal. Nonetheless, we opted to give it a shot.
The new spring greenery and dry gravel paths beckoned.
To this point, the walk had been fairly uncomplicated with only a few other polite hikers out and then we arrived at the Wolf Willow Stairs where that all changed. We noted a lot of hikers congregated here and asked if this was the queue waiting for a turn to go down. We were assured this was not the case and that everyone was just standing around resting from running the stairs (oopsie) or just having a good time chatting. This was not for us during the time of Covid 19 and as nobody made a move to provide a clear path, we turned around, rather than dodge people at the top, middle and bottom of the 202 steps down into the river valley. Looks like some people were still doing repetitive exercise. What were they doing on OUR trail? Sigh!
We opted to take one of the rougher trails down to the river’s edge. While some of these have existed for a while, many new ones have now appeared, likely due to mountain bikers looking for new challenges. Pity. The vegetation was taking a beating.
the Caragana hedges were coming into bloom. We wondered if they were natural in the area or escapees from some 19th century farmsteads that may have once been in the area.
White moths flitted about the forest, alighting from time to time.
At one point, we stood on an earthen bank looking at the river, before realizing we were in the middle of a flurry of ground wasps and bees going about their business.
We moved on, back toward the creek, where we encountered a narrow bridge that may have been constructed to facilitate the mountain bike community.
Before long, we were back on the trail by the stairs near our starting point. People were lingering on the staircase and in the area, so we took a steep dirt trail up instead, pausing at the top to look at the piece of art against the greening river valley below. The 70 minutes driving did not seem worth the 45 minute walk we managed. We would need to plan our next walk better.