It was our 43rd anniversary on September 17/20 and given that people were back at work and the kids were back in school, we decided to try a walk in Patricia Ravine, for the first time since May 20/20. On that date, people were not being very cooperative with practicing “Safe Six” or abstaining from running the stairs, like the city signs advised. We did not get very far on May 20 and hoped today would be better.
For the most part, it was. We started early, around 9:45 AM. The sun was shining, the sky was blue, but looking off into the distance we could see a hazy mixture of fog and forest fire smoke (from the Oregon fires). There was a heavy dew on the grass and even though temperatures were around +12 C (54 F), we could see our breath in the humid air.
We dawdled a bit to wait for some other walkers to clear the trail, before setting off into the smells and colours of the river valley. We were soon lost in our natural habitat.
The trails and stairs were sun-dappled and mostly empty.
We paused at the top of the main stairs (200 steps), both to take in the view and to allow distance between ourselves and other walkers. You could really see the haze in the air by this point. Down, near the bottom, the haze seemed less as we looked East along the languid river.
We were frequently passed by cyclists, less frequently by walkers and found ourselves the only ones who seemed to care about maintaining distance. This was particularly concerning as cyclists and joggers moistly huffed and puffed their way by.
Arriving at the path to the Fort Edmonton footbridge, we opted to continue West to the Terwillegar footbridge. This part of the walk was usually quite hot and boring in summer, as it crosses a rather large meadow/flood plain. On this day, with the sun at our backs, it was most pleasant and was almost like discovering new territory. The meadow was now interspersed with small copses of saplings that would provide some much needed shade in future years.
At last, we arrived at the Terwillegar footbridge, 262 m (860 feet) long, which opened on October 21, 2016 and sauntered slowly along, enjoying the fall day.
On the bridge, we were captivated by the dew bejeweled spider webs….
….the fine views down and up river….
At the South end of the bridge, we began noticing more fall colours, before opting to take the steep trail up the river bank instead of the much longer paved path. Gotta have a little adventure.
We paused at the “knitted forest”, before continuing on back East to our starting point….
To Be Continued