A measured 5-mile walk through town, down to the river and back. I call it the the City of Lions because, for some reason, there are a lot of guardian lions in this town. Not sure what that says about the place. The South Saskatchewan river is icy and splendid as always, the paths are slippery, and it's colder than you'd think.
Location: Redcliff, Alberta
Length: 8 km
Date: 24 January, 2021
Booze Run and Tree Shadows
After a day of working from home, we set out for a late afternoon walk to Andrew Hilton wine store. Some downtown meandering took us to Nakagama's Japanese food store and the Trianon Gallery too. The sun slid in sideways, until it finally went down well past five o'clock. Appreciating the longer days, although we still got home in the dark.
Location: Lethbridge downtown, around town, and back, Alberta
Length: 6 km
Date: 8 January 2021
Coulee Loop, Lethbridge
The wind has not relented yet this year, so I keep walking in the wind. Some people say it's purifying, this wind, but for me it's irritating and it gives me headaches. The wind is what Lethbridge and this corner of Alberta are famous for. With the wind comes warmer temperatures, so the trails are a mix of ice and mud today, as I head down to the river, along the valley to Fort Whoop-up, back up the hill at the Galt Museum, and downtown where I have a few errands to do. Thinking about the joints that hold my legs together, the ways they are changing as I age. Working on course planning as I walk because I have to teach next week. Hoping that this walk is long enough to make me sleep well tonight. Wondering if one day I will be nostalgic for this town and my life here.
Location: Coulees to downtown and back, Lethbridge, Alberta
Length: 8 km
Date: 6 January 2021
Crandell Lake, Waterton
Snow and wind and blackened trees. The wind is fierce again today, making it cold to stand still. Kenow Wildfire burned through these mountains three years ago, and it is still a shock to see the slopes covered in dead trees. But they are also beautiful, the tree skeletons - rich variations in colour and texture, with their twists and shadows and distinctive profiles. There's nothing much better than a walk on a trail with friends, even in the windy, wintery, firey mountains.
Location: Crandell Lake from Akamina Parkway, Waterton Lakes National Park, Alberta
Length: 4 km
Companions: Tom, Troy, Shannell, Bekk
Date: 2 January 2021
Waterton Town Site, Alberta
The wind tosses us from one year to the next, and it's not giving up now. First walk of 2021, first Friday walk*, first time I've been in Waterton in 120 km/h gusts. Upper Waterton Lake looks like the ocean today. The relentless sound of it all, wind-battered faces, air blown out of our lungs, and tears out of our eyes.
Location: Waterton Lakes National Park, Alberta
Length: 3 km
Date: 1 January, 2021
*This first Walking the Land First Friday Walk of the year in response to Thomas Clark's poem In Praise of Walking, these lines in particular: "Wrong turnings, doubling back, pauses and digressions, all contribute to the dislocation of a persistent self-interest. / Everything we meet is equally important or unimportant." With thanks to Kel, Richard, Tom, and all the First Friday walkers.
Sandra Cowan likes to walk on trails, paths, and city streets. She is based in southern Alberta, Canada, a visitor in the land of the Siksikaitsitapi (Blackfoot Confederacy).