The Current Normal – Oh No! Not in Our Patricia Ravine!

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 first of three sets of stairs on this walk was empty. That boded well.
Physical Distance signs and signs banning repetitive exercise routines (running the stairs) were up. Another good sign or so we thought.

The new spring greenery and dry gravel paths beckoned.

The chickadees were out and about
new spring leaves silhouetted against the cloudy sky
flowering shrubs and trees were all over
new green leaves were popping out
these blossoms look a bit like lilac blossoms
the ants were out too
colourful lichen
lichen and fungi
tiny white flowers popping out on the forest floor

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 paused at a bench for this view of Fort Edmonton and to contemplate our next route

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.

a peek at the Fort Edmonton footbridge
I like dandelions better when they are not in my lawn
trail down to river’s edge
down by the water, at last
paths across from us on the South bank were busy, as well
we followed the paths East along the North shore for a while

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.

new growth amongst the old

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.

11 thoughts on “The Current Normal – Oh No! Not in Our Patricia Ravine!

  1. Great pictures as always!! Looks like a nice walk but I’m with you on the people! I’m not understanding why people all over do not think the rules apply to them. As I’m sure you have seen in the news some of our states are not doing a great job of social distancing or following rules, and some states don’t have rules they just have suggestions!!! The saying I’ve heard around here has been…only in the US will so many people fight and argue for their right to get sick 😷….Not a very funny joke as our numbers keep rising. We are going to attempt some hiking along the Mississippi River over the 4th….hoping it goes well!! Take care! Lori

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks. It was good to be there, until we ran into the Covidiot blockade. As long as society has a “me first” attitude towards following rules, we are doomed. It all starts with leadership. Our provincial premier recommends masks, but won’t mandate them, even on public transit. It would seem worth it to me to keep things open and stop the spread. I am quite concerned by the numbers I am seeing in your country. With 10 times our population, one would think there would be 10 times the cases and deaths, not almost 25 times the cases and 15 times the deaths. All we can do is look out for our health and let others do the same, until the message gets through. Hope your July 4th hiking goes well. It is always good to get out in nature when it is not crowded. Stay well Lori. Allan

      Liked by 2 people

      1. So true, Allan. I am also shocked with the numbers in our country and the lackadaisical attitude so many have in regards to it. For once we are glad we live in Iowa. By the grace of God, so far we are trending down, but Steve and I are not letting up on our cautiousness. Lori

        Liked by 2 people

    1. Do you ever get the feeling that you are invisible, Susie? I do. Very frustrating. But you keep on being the crazy woman jumping to one side and I’ll continue being the crazy man jumping to the side. Stay well. Allan


  2. What a lovely place to go for a walk but what’s with those people. And there I was sitting and thinking the other day about how the world is going to be a much better place to live after the outbreak. No, not a chance 🙈 same thing in Ireland, Allan, people gathering in groups without a care in the world. Sadly, I wouldn’t be surprised that we are headed for the second wave of pandemic 🙈

    Liked by 2 people

    1. These people would think we are weird for being careful. I went to the opthamologist today for a checkup and some people get the distance and mask thing, but others are oblivious. Hard to explain, even in the US right now with cases raging, people demand their rights to get sick. It shall be granted, I am sure. There will be a second wave, but right now it is the 2nd peak in the first wave. We have to look after ourselves, for sure. We can not be our brother’s keeper. Stay well Aiva. Allan

      Liked by 2 people

  3. It looks really lovely there, shame you couldn’t complete the walk because of the covidiots though.
    Where I grew up on the south coast of England it’s also lovely, or used to be, with miles of golden sandy beaches. You have probably seen my home town on the news this week, Bournemouth, where the beaches were jam packed, nobody paying any notice to social distancing at all. There were fights, and huge amounts of litter left behind. I am so disgusted at people. It also means we can’t go anywhere nice because of those who aren’t trying to stay safe.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Too true. The problem was even worse then, because so many were not at work and looking to keep busy. We just have to be more creative in the places we choose to explore. I did see the photo of the beach at Bournemouth filled with a lot of selfish people. I realize everyone just wants things to be back to normal, but at this rate, we will not like normal. Stay well Tony. Allan

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks Allan, you too.
        In some ways it will be nice to spend more time in the UK this year, but finding those elusive places that others won’t be flocking to in their masses might not be easy.

        Liked by 1 person

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