At the end of the last post, we were in the “Knitted Forest”, which, in fact, was more than the half way point on our hike. It just seemed like the best place to break the story.
All photos were taken on September 17/20.
Our first big stop was in an area called Riverbend, for obvious reasons. In 1999, 3 homes, built at the top of the unstable riverbank slid down the hillside, opening up a spectacular view for the homes across the street. Numerous engineering studies have been done since and some monitoring and stabilizing efforts have minimized further slips. The view was spectacular, to be sure.
From this point, we were able to see the stairs and homes near the starting point of our walk, so close, yet, so far away.
Our intermediate goal was the Fort Edmonton foot bridge and the 200 step Wolf Willow Stairs, seen in the photo below.
But, I am getting ahead of myself. We had a long way to go before we reached there. It started with a walk through the streets of expensive homes in the Riverbend area. The blooms, both wild and tame had not yet succumbed to the oncoming fall.
Finally, arriving at Whitemud Drive, we started our descent into the river valley, opting for a shortcut path through the trees.
At long last, we were back on level ground at the Fort Edmonton footbridge.
On the bridge, we weaved back and forth to keep our distance from walkers and cyclists and enjoyed the fine views when we could. The Wolf Willow stairs were closer now, walkers, cyclists and dogs were enjoying this fine day.
Across the bridge and back on the gravel paths, I spied this busy bee.
Before long, we found ourselves at the bottom of the stairs, where despite the signs advising social distancing and no repetitive exercise (running the stairs), people were not keeping their social (or physical distance) and while less obvious than usual, were still running the stairs. We gained the top, in fits and starts and the stair runners simply ignored us, one of them at one point less than a foot from my back and breathing hard.
Now, on the home stretch, we could relax a bit more and enjoy the view. The red berries and yellow leaves shone in the hazy afternoon sun.
One last look from the top of the Rio Terrace stairs and were were safely off the trail after our 8.7 km (5.5 mile) hike.