On a cool cloudy morning, nine of us started from Terwillegar Park going east over the new Terwillegar bridge.We lunched in Whitemud Park’s Savage Centre coming out to a warm sun for our return walk. We were entertained by Canada geese swooping up from the river and settle back to the ice cackling with friends. Spring is here!
How refreshing it was to get outside after the cruel cold snap of early March.
Ten of us started out from the little shopping centre in Westridge and headed straight into the ravine. After a short walk through neighborhoods, we descended into the river valley. We crossed the river on the Fort Edmonton footbridge, and saw just below us a patch of open water occupied by ducks.
(By the way, have you noticed the geese are back?)
As we neared Fort Edmonton, David caught up to us and made it eleven.
We had our lunch at Edmonton’s best-kept-secret rest stop—the Alfred Savage Centre. Always clean and bright and comfortable for hikers.
On our return, we left the river valley by taking those
10200-step stairs that we all love to grumble about. But I’ll bet the climb is no higher than Schnee Hill or Rest and Be Thankful (which is coming up on April 23!).
Fifteen of us descended on Whitemud Park to take in the hike to Hawrelak Park. It was a perfect day to be out in the suddenly warm temperatures and enjoying what should be the final weeks of winter.
We started out by heading west to cross the river on the Quesnel bridge. It was here that we saw the earliest sign of spring—a ribbon of open water on the North Saskatchewan River. Although the weather was mild, the ground still had a good cover of packed snow. That made it very easy for walking except on the very steepest of slopes.
We even spotted a few ravens along the way to the footbridge.
At Hawrelak Park, the Silver Skate Festival was in full swing. We ate our lunch at the main pavilion, and noted the synchronized skating teams rehearsing their moves on the patio.
After lunch, we walked up to the ice castle, then turned back and watched the ice sculpturers busy at their work. This year’s theme appears to be Canada’s 150th birthday. Creations included monuments to the voyageurs and the Last Spike.
As we made our way back along the south bank of the river, the sky brightened.
In total, we walked 9.5 km.
Thanks to everybody for coming out and making it such a great day.
Check out our pictures on Flickr