The long walk home

Earlier this week, I was reminded of the lovely trail between Kinsman Park and Emily Murphy park. It’s one of my favourite “pretty long” routes home (the actual route home is less than 2km, but this one can be 6 or more km) and its a great place to wander after a snow fall. But, I haven’t been there in over a year because of the random joint injuries I inflicted on myself last year.

The sun was out on Thursday, but there was a nice cool breeze. I was tired, but part of me wanted a slightly longer walk home. So, I made a deal with myself: if I took a longer route, I didn’t have to do any hills or stairs. The plan was to cross the High Level Bridge, loop around and cross back over it again, then head home, zig zagging through the neighborhood. No hills, only the slight incline at the south end of the bridge.

The North Saskatchewan river, from the High Level Bridge

I made it across the bridge, looped down the stairs and under the bridge, intending to go up the stairs on the other side and head back. But, I got distracted by a wood pecker. I could hear it, but I couldn’t see it. I fumbled along the trail around the trees it was hanging out in for a few minutes. Head up. Nearly tripping several times. When I finally stopped and looked around, I saw this.

The trail I took on a whim

How am I supposed to resist this?! Aside from the risk of being run over by a cyclist (these are trails forged and used by mountain bikers), this is one of the most inviting sights for me.

Trail

The trail was lush and pretty. It smelt of slightly damp earth and green.

Bridge

By the time I saw the foot bridge (which is next to the bridge I crossed on), I was hooked. I knew it would be a long walk, but I had water with me and I wanted some time to clear my head, enjoy the quiet and savour the rhythmic thud of passing joggers.

The view across the river

I stopped to rest on a bench when I got to Emily Murphy park and took some time to admire the view (and the lucky canoers) while crossing the Groat Road Bridge.

The river, which is quite low these days

Ah! If only I had a canoe! A picture from yesterday's long walk.

The last leg of the walk was killer. It’s up a long and steady incline. It’s not a bad hill, but after a long day with lots of extra walking, it felt like a mountain.

In the end, my walk home was about 6.5-7km and hilly. My feet were very tired, but it was worth the fatigue. Edmonton’s river valley trails are pretty fantastic!

I really need to get back in the habit of taking this route home once a week.

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