An accidental hike

I took the day off work on Tuesday. I intended to run some errands and get some things done at home, but I ended up spending most of the day wandering around in the snow and visiting the Muttart Conservatory.

Here’s what happened: I left the house to do a few quick errands. While I was at the library, I remembered that I was suposed to be taking a picture “from a distance” for my photo challenge, so I decided to walk over to the top of the river valley. For those of you who’ve never been here, Edmonton is transected by the North Saskatchewan River and the river valley is laced with walking trails, parks, and other recreational spaces (golf courses, etc.). It’s lovely and full of places to explore.

It was mid-day, so the sun was glaring and hanging low in the Southern sky. This was a problem, because I was on the North bank and the harsh light made my pictures look bad. I wandered along the top of the river valley a bit to try a different angle. Then, I noticed the Edmonton Chinese Garden (which is simple, but lovely). In retrospect, I should have given up on the idea that I was going to get anything done as soon as I started thinking it that it wouldn’t taken too much time to wander down a few stairs and check out the garden. Once I was there, I had to wander a little further, and a little further, and a little further. Next thing I knew I was crossing the foot bridge to the Henrietta Muir Edwards Park and wondering down by the Edmonton Queen Riverboat. As I was in the neighborhood, I figured I should check out the Muttart Conservatory (more on my visit here). Then I started  heading home, but I’d just missed a bus, so I started walking and eventually ended up climbed a whopping 201 stairs when I got back to my side of the river (this is easily 10 times more than I climb on an average day, so it was grueling, but gratifying). By the time I got to the top, I was hot, tired, and ready to head home. It was also almost 5 hours after I’d first left my house.

It was a lot of walking, but I really enjoyed it. I had a chance to explore a few new places, walk through “virgin” snow, enjoy the sun (a rare thing when daylight isn’t much longer than your work day), and spend some time with nature. I definitely need to do this sort of thing more often. I also need to start carrying snacks with me at all times and a better camera on days when I’m heading somewhere other than just work  (heck, I should really have a good camera with me at all times).

Here are a few pictures. You can see the rest on Flickr.

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