Edmonton Tourist: Market Day

Summer officially starts in Edmonton after the May Long weekend. This usually means the chance of snow is almost over. I say almost because I have seen snow in May, June and August. The outdoor farmer’s markets often start the May long weekend as well. I had family obligations for most of the month of May, but yesterday my Mama Bear and I decided to spend the morning exploring the markets and enjoying the beautiful weather Edmonton had to offer. First stop was the City Market Downtown.

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The Market is located on 104 Street between Jasper and 103rd Avenues. I haven’t been to all the Farmer’s markets in Edmonton, but I rank this as my favourite amongst the ones I have visited.

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We parked on 104th Street by the Neon Museum and walked the short half block south. The city closed the roads for vendors and this just adds to the atmosphere. There is something decadent and forbidden about strolling on the road. There isn’t the same feeling when this happens in a park or town square. It reminded me of the market I visited in Obernai France, the only thing missing would be the church bells that singled Market opening in France.

The Market is open Saturdays between 9:00 am and 3:00 pm. I like to go early so there is still lots of choices and varieties.

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The streetmosphere just adds to the flavour, Mama Bear and I like to stroll at a leisurely pace to explore the details of each booth.

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We left the market about 10:30 having purchased Moonshine donuts and Irish Moss. I have deep regret over not buying rhubarb. I will make note to get some next weekend when I explore other markets.

We left downtown and drove straight to the Old Strathcona Farmer’s Market. I like this market in the winter because it is inside, in the summer, I prefer the outdoor markets. I did learn that many vendors had stalls here and the City Market. So now I can rest easy that my favourites are located downtown. Moonshine and Jack Horner, I am looking at you.

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The Strathcona Market also have great atmosphere with the musical stylings of these people, the Straw Flowers. Thanks for smiling Mandolin man.

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A notable difference between the two markets is there are artisans actually working on their craft in the old Bus Barns, that was fun to see.

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This sewing machine belonged to her Mama Bear.

We explored all the aisles and came away with pesto and pasta, so there was dinner taken care of. I just added chicken breasts and fresh veg. It was delicious. Enough sundries tomato pesto to add to my potatoes tonight!

Around 11 am we decided to head to the French Quarter to see the farmer’s market there. I had never been to that one in the summer, only during the Flying Canoe Festival.

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When we arrived, we learned Market day is Sunday. I heard a giant Wa Wa… in my head because I was severely disappointed. But this is the site of my favourite cafe so we decided to have lunch here. There is a rumour the best poutine is served here sand Mama Bear disclosed she had never tried poutine before. I looked shockingly at her and called her the worst Canadian ever.

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I am going to agree, Cafe Bicyclette does serve the best poutine I have ever had in Edmonton and perhaps the best I have tried anywhere. Please note that I have never had it in Quebec, I should think it might be better there but being served by French Canadians in the French Quarter of Edmonton is amazlingly  delicious. Pair it with one of the best lattes in the city and you have yourself a decadent meal.

Next week I will visit the French Market, so stay tuned.

 

 

 

Canada 150: Elk Island Park

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Canada turns 150 this year and Parks Canada has opened up its gates to give visitors free access to all the national parks across Canada. When I say ‘free’ I mean I paid for it with my taxes but not out of my wallet.

I ordered my Park Pass in December and it never came – or hasn’t yet but the temperatures were so lovely to day (-2C) that I decided to get up early and head 45km east to Elk Island National Park. I went to the gate and it directed me to the Visitor Pavilion where I went in to get my pass. I was asked a few questions:

  • How many people will be using this pass?
  • What is your postal code?
  • Have you ever been to Elk Island National Park before?

Have I ever been? Sure I had! I like to bring visitors from out of country here. EIP is a nature preserve and is filled with Bison, both Wood and Great Pains. So for someone who had never seen one before, coming here is pretty spectacular. It isn’t a zoo though. It’s not like you can go to the Bison enclosure and take a look at them. It is wilderness so you might see one or you might not. I had been here when I was younger and saw herds of them and I had been and only saw a single one. Today I was hoping to see a few. The park is also filled with elk, deer, moose, wolves, coyotes and birds.

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So I hung my pass on my mirror and away I went! I didn’t have snow shoes and if I am coming back here, I think I need to either rent a pair at the Visitor Pavilion or buy a pair. The snow was deep and walking was not easy. I looked at the map and decided to head to Astotin Lake. It is the only lake where you don’t have to hike to, the parking lot is right by the beach. So that was my destination. But first I was going to circle the Bison Loop Road to see if anyone was out in the paddock today.

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That was a negative. There were lots of animal tracks but none around. What I did see was the Red Chair. These Red Chairs are set up all over Parks Canada and are located in special view point spots. These beauties were overlooking the paddock on Bison Loop Road. I saw two earlier at the Visitor Pavilion. Now I want to see all of them in Alberta.

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After I left the loop I drove north to Astotin Lake. We (me and Cap) came to the parking lot and I saw a single bison munching on grass in the distance. I rolled down my window to take a photo and my pup was over my shoulder barking, snarling and growling at the bison – who was unaffected and just ate. Bison are a lot like cattle. They seem docile and only concerned about eating. This was was no different, although I am smart enough to know to keep my dog away and not to approach these large creatures. They are after all, wild animals.

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We left the beach parking and I headed up to the golf course because I just didn’t want to fight with Cap. I knew there was a nice little 6k loop around the lake and thought it would be a nice diversion.

We got out of the car and I noticed the silence. I didn’t even hear birds which was weird for a park that has 250 bird species.

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My goal was to head out to the next set of Red Chairs. Cap found all kinds of new smells. As a former wild dog who has now retired to a cushy city life, he was sniffing and digging in search of all kinds of old familiar scents.

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We hiked through a foot of snow towards the bison gate.

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I was happy I decided to wear snow boots instead of my trail shoes.

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Once we made it to the gate, Cap was a little reluctant to go any further. He stopped dead still and listened. I heard nothing, but being deaf I wasn’t all that surprised. Still, the silence was so peaceful. We were the only two city people out and I was the only human except for the park ranger. Early morning does that, people are still in bed.

We made it around the bend before Captain stopped and would not go any further. He sniffed the ground and looked further down the trail. He sniffed again at a very large paw print. it was 3 times the size of his. The he turned around and began pulling me back towards the gate. I have a sled dog. This fellow can pull me up a hill without much effort. He is about 75lbs and is a big boy. Pulling me is something we fight about. He is not allowed to do that, but he sensed danger so we needed to get out and fast. I had never seen such urgency in him before.

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I think the track was wolf. Likely more as they run in packs. The difference between a coyote and wolf track is the size and the claws at the end of the toe prints. This thing was huge. Captain wanted nothing to do with this smell. He was going so fast and so hard he pulled the leash right out of my hands and he ran for the car. Stopping every now and again to look over his should to see if the wolves were coming. Once he got to the car, he sat and waited. I swear he was tapping his foot say ‘COME ON HUMAN – HURRY UP!’

As soon as I opened the door he was in – he usually goes through the back hatch, but he jumped into the front seat and then made his way into the back where he sits. He was not getting out of the car again.

I drove back to the beach and the bison was far off in the distance. I wanted to get out but Cap would not leave the car.

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I got out and took some photos but it was less fun without my pal, so we left for the drive back.

I am definitely coming back. I will rent snowshoes and bring a picnic lunch. Skating round the island opens up in February so that might be fun and this is the perfect spot to set up the telescope at night. With my handy pass and the park being only a 30 minute drive from my doorstep, I can see me here a lot this year. I am also not coming without my pal, clearly he is the watch dog I need. Who knows what might have happened if I snuck up on a pack?

I am so very thankful I live here. Thanks Parks Canada!

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Adventure is out there!

I just arrived home from a much needed vacation. It took me a few days to settle into my zen-like need for relaxation and rest. Once I was feeling the relaxed vibe of vacationers everywhere I was able to see things in a different light.

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Canada Place at Burrard Landing

It has taken me a very long time to learn this lesson but I think I have finally understood it completely.

Lesson: Appreciate things as they are without comparing them to what they are not.

So what does this mean? Vancouver is without question an amazing city. Vancouver is not Edmonton. Nor is it trying to be. Just like Edmonton is not Vancouver, nor does it need to be. I love both cities as they are. Each offer a perspective and views that vastly different from each other. I can appreciate eat city for its virtues and be disappointed in them for what they lack without comparison. I have been to Vancouver many times but this time, I could see it for what it is, rather than what it is not. I love Vancouver and all it has to offer.

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Seawall at Coal Harbour

The beauty of Vancouver took my breath away while at the same time frightened me with its ugliness. The juxtaposition of the art, shiny and clean city with the dirty tent cities and homelessness was a lot to take in. Vancouver has done a great job promoting the arts and sculptures on many corners throughout the city add to its vibrancy. The views from various locations were stunning and the amount of filming for TV and Movies made perfect sense. Vancouver is without question a city diverse in its beauty.

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Set front for Once Upon a Time in Steveston (Storybrooke)

People are kind and friendly, at least the ones I encountered are. Dogs are a huge part of the lifestyle of people who live here. I spent my days greeting people with pleasant salutations and admiring their pets while I was taking in many of the sites.

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I spent time downtown, exploring the city, dipping my feet into the sea water, checking out filming locations and stumbling upon open sets and actors – famous and not so famous. I was giddy with excitement when I saw a spoiler for one of my favourite superhero shows and was overwhelmed with emotion when I saw such beauty in the landscape for which I had no words.

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Horseshoe Bay, West Vancouver

I saw Orcas, Otters, Harbour Seals, Raccoons and Bald Eagles. I experienced rain, wind and sunshine. I sampled craft beers and local wines. But mostly, I enjoyed my vacation with my family because there were zero expectations and no deadlines to meet other than be sure to catch the ferry back from the Island.

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Cute little critters at Stanley Park

This was without a doubt one of my most favourite vacations. Exploring Canada in a way I had not done it before. I am happy to be home but look forward to visiting again.

 

 

Edmonton Tourist: Whitemud Park

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I am fortunate enough to know this city very well. I explore it enough that I should have a pretty good idea what is what when it comes to the River Valley. Ask me about restaurants, bars and shops. I haven’t got a clue. But the valley? I know my way around.

This week was a very difficult week for me. Emily Murphy or Hawrelak Parks were supposed to be next, but the last thing I wanted was to be amongst the throngs of people utilizing the parks. I wanted peace and quiet or at the very least, I did not want to see people I knew and make small talk or chit chat. SO I packed up my pup and we headed towards the Whitemud Reserve located south of Whitemud park. It is a lovely unpaved path that leads to Rainbow Valley, yes it is a pretty as it sounds.

We hit the park in-between rain storms. The park itself was empty and there was a wedding over at the Savage Centre, but other than the odd hardy picnicker, Cap and I were on our own. Exactly what I was looking for.

The grass was wet but fresh. There was the smell of campfire in the air. The last time my family had a picnic here I was just a kid and the park wasn’t developed as nicely as it is now. I remember watching engineering students traverse of the creek, making a bridge for one of their projects. When they fell to the water below, it was knee deep and mostly mud.

We are on the cusp of berry season. The Choke Cherries were hanging in green bunches, the High Bush Cranberries had finished blooming and the Saskatoons were not yet ripe, but the clover was abundant and Cap decided to munch on some on our journey to the path that would lead us to the creek.

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The path took us to the wide open picnic site where one family had strung a tarp and were keeping the campfire lit. It made me think of all the reasons I love camping in the rain, then I quickly remembered all the reasons I don’t like camping in the rain. Walks were enough.

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We worked our way to Whitemud Creek and walked North towards the bridge.

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This was the spot I remembered sitting as a kid watching the engineering students before the bridge was built.

I love this section of the park. I often map out a great run route that can either be a quick little 5k or as much as a 16k depending on my mood. I avoided the running trails today knowing everyone was training for the upcoming Edmonton Marathon and they were all out for their 16k or 32k long runs today. So after I said hello to the North Saskatchewan River, I turned south and headed towards the Whitemud Nature Reserve.

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The south path takes you up the the major corner of Fox Drive (Hi Charlotte!) and Whitemud Freeway. This by no means is a peacefully quiet park. There is a lot of noise from the freeway, but visually you would think you were in the middle of nowhere.

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Before I went onto the path to the reserve, I looked at the flags that were celebrating the Canadian Olympic Trials happening this weekend at Foote Field. Most of Edmonton was there for that event. Pretty exiting seeing Olympic Champions in the making.

IMG_3637Down the path I went and noticed it might be fun to do a bit of bridge climbing but I think I was not the only one who thought of that.

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Now I was on reserve land, it boarders the Fox Farm to the west.

All along the path were naturalist signs highlighting berries and other plants that grow here in the valley. Information I already knew from my Grandfather years before, only if he forgot the name he would make one up, so my information was sketchy at best until I took my Anthropology: Comparative Medicine classes in University.

We came to a fork in the road that suggested the path was unsafe from all the water we had this year.

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So we crossed the creek again, this time heading East.

We walked past Fox Stairs and the Savage Centre heading back towards Whitemud Park. A storm was on its way and by the humidity in the air and how quickly my hair was curling, I knew a lot of water was going to drop from the sky.

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We made it back to the car just in time. I watered Cap in the car instead of outside as usual.

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I got in myself and the sky opened up.

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The quiet oneness with my pup was just what I needed. This is one of the best reasons to live here in Edmonton. A major urban centre and in 20 minutes from my home I can be in the middle of the wilderness.

 

Edmonton Tourist Globe Trotter

I have spent the last 2 days, on and off, watching movies. I do not do that very often. Each movie had a different theme and message but none of those things stuff with me, it was the visuals. It was the locations. I heard myself say “I have been there.”

Sunset on Great Slave Lake

I have had the good fortune to have parents who taught me the experience is more important than stuff. I had to go through a phase of needing stuff but thankfully I outgrew that. Give me a plane ticket or a Tiffany diamond to choose from and believe it or not, I would take the plane ticket every time.

I have been places that gave me a sense of DejaVu, The Cliffs of Moher. I felt like I had been there before or lived there. Then there are places that frightened me beyond words like the strange FanTan Alley in Victoria. I have no reason to fear it but please never make me go there again. I have been as Far North as the Canadian Arctic and as far south as dipping my toes in the Southern Ocean of Australia. I have wandered around Europe and explored kookie touristy places in Nevada. I still do not feel like I have seen enough.

There are places I still want to visit, like St. Barts or New York or Prince Edward Island. There I places I never want to see, India, Pakistan or Sauria Arabia. I’d like to visit Copenhagen or Prague but I’ll pass on a trip to Seul. Places I have been to and would love to spend an entire summer would be Monterey, London, Vancouver, Inverness or Niece. Places that make me think one and done are Yellowknife, Saskatoon, Winnipeg and Tacoma. I am torn at the thought of being given an opportunity to travel anywhere in the world and how where would I go? Someplace new or someplace that deserves more time exploring? How do you decide the place to visit? I have never been that girl who wishes to spend my holiday staying with people I know. I’d rather dip my toe in all the oceans and have someone with me who wants to experience new things than the comfort of same.

This concept has me planning my next vacation to the West Coast of Canada. Sure I have been there before but I now have the means to explore it without someone telling me what I need to do and how best I can accomplish it. That will also be next year’s trip. I am taking my vacation to a city I have dreamed of going to forever. Your trip will not be mine because we do not share the same interests. I have a list that I will check off. Following that trip? I think I will explore the East Coast of Canada and see an Iceberg for the first time.

Where do you love to go?

 

Edmonton Tourist: Henrietta Muir Edwards Park

100 years ago this week is a big day in history for Alberta. Women received the right to vote. Women became persons under the law. That is a big deal. For all the complaining I do about how far women still need to go to achieve complete equality, I am pretty pleased I live in 2016 rather than 1916. Knowing me the way I do, I can pretty much guarantee that I was a vocal suffragette or at the very least a participatory suffragette.

Henrietta Muir Edwards was one of the Famous Five who were important figures in Canadian history and the have 5 Edmonton River Valley Parks named for them. This was my 1st Famous 5 Park and my 4th park in my quest to visit all Edmonton River Valley Parks this summer.

I was anxious to get to this park because Edmonton is in the process of adding the Valley Line through here. Soon construction will happen and the lovely little park will change because of the LRT (Light Rail Transit) slated to come through here. Evidence was clear, this will begin sooner than later. The park signage was gone and I had to dig up some internet evidence that it once existed.

The sign says Trail modifications begin April  20.

I didn’t park in the parking lot. I came from the east and parked further down in the residential area of Cloverdale. I love this little neighbourhood and have a strong desire to live here in my near future.

Cap and I began at the statue of George the Principal of Bennet School. He must have been quite the community leader to have a this area of the park dedicated to him.

This park starts out quite urban with brick sidewalks and lovely light posts. We walked across the open grassy promenade and found our way on dirt trails leading to the river.

I run through here frequently so none of this was new for me. I did notice the sounds of nature we deafening this morning. I love that I can be this close to the Edmonton Downtown Core and still feel like I am in the middle of the wilderness. The valley came alive today with birds, ducks and geese calling out to Cap, mocking him because he couldn’t reach them.

We turned away from the River and walked towards the Clover dale Bridge, the foot path that leads to Louise McKinney Park, another of the Famous 5.

 

It is April and I saw leaves budding out on the trees. I don’t know about where you live, but there should still be snow patches and no real visible signs of green for another couple of weeks.

When I run though this park, I tend to keep to the foot paths, what I didn’t realize is this is a lovely picnic spot with stoves for camp fires. I had no idea. This has been the greatest lesson for me, slowing down to take in my surroundings. I thought of lost opportunity for family picnics and made a mental note to come back once the construction began. Knowing Edmonton, they will leave this place better than they found it once the train comes through.

Captain and I walked up to the Bridge to take in the view.

Although you cannot tell, the paths were busy this morning with friends running their 20kms in training for the Vancouver Marathon in a few weeks. It was good too see so many people I know. It was a stark contrast to the deserted feeling I had last week in Goldstick Park.

I added a clarify filter to show the detail of the river valley and noticed all the ice has melted.

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The Hotel MacDonald looked majestic this morning.

The Chinese Gardens can be seen in the distance of Louise McKinney Park, a place I will visit later this summer when I begin my explorations of the North Side of the River.

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Cap and I continued exploring West towards Rafter’s Landing where the Edmonton Queen has been put on the auction block, opening bid $10, 000. Its a fixer-upper with limited traveling ability because of the sand bars on the river. I never did go for a trip via Edmonton Queen, but I have paddled down in my trusty canoe. If you ever get the opportunity to see the valley from that perspective, I highly recommend it.

Captain had a run-in with a protective gander and the two of them go into a bit of a scuffle. Luckily for me, the gander flew off because it was all I could do to hold my dog back from a tastily snack. I think the goose realized this and decided to save himself, so he and the missus flew off in unison while I stretched out my shoulders. My Pup is a big boy who is stronger than I in situations like these, but I managed to keep him at bay. I then spent the next half hour picking burrs out of his fur.

While I didn’t expect to learn or discover anything new here at this park because I frequent it regularly, it did teach me to always expect the unexpected. Give the park a visit before it changes on the 20th.

Next week The Captain and I will visit my favourite running path Mill Creek Ravine Park, but as usual explore path not travelled by me.

 

Edmonton Tourist: Goldstick Park

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Park Number 3 in my quest to visit all the Edmonton River Valley Parks. I visited Goldstick for the first time in my life. Pretty impressive, because I have lived here most of my life AND I run/walk regularly through the valley. Yet I had never been here. After visiting, all I can say is, “Mom! THIS should have been the park of my childhood, the hills alone would have my brother happy…and tired.”

Goldstick Park was named after a Cecil “Tiger” Goldstick, a local athlete and sports caster here in Edmonton. His tireless work for Sports Central, helping kids with out the financial means acquire sports equipment, endeared him to the city as a builder or communities. Something that Edmonton has an abundance of. People coming together to help make great and lasting legacies for the community.

I must admit to being slightly frightened about coming here. This park does not look appealing from Baseline Road and I had no idea what to expect. The fear of the unknown space or predator entered my mind. Happily, I had my wolf-boy with me. He is strong enough to pull me up hills and is fiercely protective of me. I should be solid.

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Goldstick Park is sandwiched along Refinery Road and the community of Goldbar on the East end of the city. It has been here for as long as I can remember and the entrance always left me thinking “Yuck, why would I want to go here?”

My loss. This place was filled with hills and valleys and great fort building opportunities. The kind of place that I wish I came to as a kid and worse, I missed out on bringing my kids here when they were young. It just looks sad from the entrance.

Captain and I were the only ones here. I was not surprised. Did you see the entrance?

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We found a way to what seemed to be the main path. It ran parallel to the refinery on the right.

The city had planted a large buffer along the fence of the refinery. In the summer once the leaves are out, you would never know the oil refinery is just steps away.

To the left and what is known as the upper park, is an amazing ball diamond, kitted out with DUG OUTS! I have never seen this in the city other than at Telus Field the home to  semi-pro baseball.

Behind the ball diamond is a fantastic soccer pitch. The sports fields have lights, electric scoreboards and bleachers, something that I wished for when going to my kids games. I reflected on Tiger and thought this was a fitting tribute to his memory.

There was also an Off-Leash Dog park, and in the winter, miles of groomed cross-country ski trails that spill into Goldbar Park an the bottom of this unbelievable hill.

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It is a gentle slope until its not. I was warned by a pal of mine who said he uses this hill to do hill repeats on for his track practice. No wonder that guy is fast and always wins his heats.

I let Captain lead. I wasn’t that interested about walking to the river. It was cold and out of the shelter of the trees, the wind was not kind. There were a few snowflakes in the air and I was not dressed warm enough. IMG_2348

He dragged me along the grassy ski trails that led into down to the creek. Deep in the woods, only here it has street lights for night skiing. This was also amazing!

It always amazing me at how quickly you are in the city and then suddenly you are in the middle of nowhere surrounded by nature’s silence. Cap made me run after Jack Rabbits, mice and Canada Geese. We heard the banging of Wood Peckers and the chirping of Sparrows in the trees. But the sounds of people and cars were nonexistent. We made it down to the creek, I think its Fulton Creek but I couldn’t find any signage labelling it.

Then the big climb. Holy heart-rate increase! I admit to being quite dizzy after all that climbing.

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Walking alone here in the valley I thought about how this place came to be. I am incredibly grateful the the Peter Lougheed Conservative government for allocating 35 million dollars of Oil Boom money to develop the River Valley Park park system. This is the greatest thing that Edmonton has ever done. Develop this space for generations to come.

While I am not sure how often I will come back here to Goldstick Park because of the hills involved, I am looking forward to coming here and building forts with any future grandkids that might enter my world.

Ghosts of Days Past

When I was a kid, my dad was an Education student at the University of Alberta. We often went to meet him after class or walk around Campus while he dropped of papers or popped into the library. It has always been a favourite haunt of mine. When I attended my classes here, I would often eat my meals on the quad or lean up against a tree and just take in my surroundings. I often would plan and set goals for my future and imagine where I might be 10 or 20 years from that point.

Not one of those goals ever came true.

Yet, thinking about how the place made me feel as a kid and then as an adult, not much has changed.

I work on the outer rim of campus. I try to go for a run through there to renew my juice every now and then. As soon as I do, I am instantly transport to being a kid and running around Convocation Hall or the Turtle with my little brother. Mom and Dad would stroll at a leisurely pace as Mike and I raced around and climbed rocks or stone stairs for fun.

This week I had the opportunity to go for a run with my Captain. I had not brought Cap to the fairy ground of my youth, so I figured it was a great day to do so.

We started at our home base – RunClub and left the car keys in the basket. I led Captain West down 87th Ave.

It was reminded of the Universiad Games when they built the student housing and then past the Timmons Centre for the Arts. None of which was around when I attended my Anthropology classes. I showed Cap the Quad and my favourite spot between the Arts Building and the Business Building. There is a little dry creek bed with a pond at the base. It is surrounded by benches and an eclectic mix of architecture.

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We paused for a moment to take in the surroundings and I remembered running up and down the steps of the Arts building as a kid. Its amazing how memories can just flash back into your brain after decades of not recalling them.

We headed North towards the river and past the Turtle – or rather the Tory Lecture Theatre. I often use this great website to interpret the U of A lingo that evades people who are new or never attended Campus. I was likely 24 before I realized the Turtle was actually the Tory Building.

We stumbled upon the Geoscience Garden, which is a Rock Museum/garden allocated at North Campus.

Captain enjoy this part of the run most.

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There were Geese nesting here which I thought was an odd place for them, so I gave them a wide berth and led Captain far away from where they were perched.

After passing the Faculty Club, I ran through the sciences and saw the Nanotech building for the first time. Strange how I come through here all the time and notice something new.

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We ran over to Assiniboine Hall and checked out the Tulips and Hares.

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The very next day would see 5″ of snow dump on these pour petals.

I marvelled at the artwork on the sides of Civil Engineering, something I had not remembered seeing before.

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It was here that Captain watched a fox saunter around the buildings. He didn’t growl or attempt to go chase him, but gave a respectful distance. It always amazes me at the variety of wildlife found on the edge of the river valley.

The last big stop we made was at the back of the Education Building, I remembering coming to some lectures here I was 4 and again when I was 19.

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I reflected on how different my life turned out than what I expected or planned. I am not a teacher, well, I am not a teacher of children. I suppose we are all teachers in some capacity. I am a runner and work in that industry. Never in my wildest dreams or fantasies would I think I would move into that direction.

Me, the girl who used her brain and not her physical being. Now both are so important to my daily routine. Working on the edge of campus makes me long to go back to school. But for now, I am content to just run the paths and visit the ghosts of my past.