Medalta to IXL, Medicine Hat, Alberta
Exploring the trail system behind Medalta on a sunny spring day. Everything is brown, but the deer and the rabbits are out grazing. The mud is drying. Ross Creek, a tributary to the nearby South Saskatchewan River, is running cheerfully. It is so good to walk free of snow and ice and mud.
Location: Medalta Potteries to I-XL Brickworks, Medicine Hat, Alberta
Length: 2 km
Date: 28 March, 2019
Oil Change Walk, Medicine Hat, Alberta
I had an hour to kill while I had my oil changed.
I had an hour to wait while I had my oil changed.
I had an hour to explore and move and get some fresh air and think while I had my oil changed.
Location: Medicine Hat, Alberta
Length: 5 km
Date: 15 March, 2019
Snowshoe Walk, Boulder, Montana
The snow is deep, the sky is blue, the sun is out, it’s a perfect day for a walk on snowshoes. The contours of the land are soft and shadowed under sparkling snow, and the pine covered hills rise up all around the valley. We followed paths made by humans and by deer, first heading face-first into a small but cold easterly breeze, then turning our backs to the wind and climbing the hill to the old concrete hotsprings catchment. There were tracks of birds and weasels and other creatures scattered across the snow. The surface of it with its small footprints and planes of light, and its organic shapes formed by wind and land, and the way it catches light and shadow. The patterns of nature are so beautiful, so un-human, often overlooked by our eyes looking for more human meaning in the landscape.
Location: Boulder Hot Springs, Boulder, Montana
Length: 2 km
Date: 10 March, 2019
Coulee Walk, Lethbridge, AB
It warmed up to minus fifteen during the week, but this weekend it was back to -30°C. We bundled up and went out anyway. A sunny day, with that cold, hard, invigorating winter brightness. We walked a loop from Fort Whoop-Up on well-maintained trails. They seem to plow the park trails more than the streets or sidewalks in Lethbridge. A train passed over the trestle bridge 95 meters above our heads. The Oldman River was mostly frozen, but a couple dozen geese were huddled around a patch of open water, unmoving in the cold. You have to wonder why they didn't fly south when they had the chance.
Location: Indian Battle Park, Lethbridge, Alberta
Length: 2 km
Companions: Rose, Helen, Olivier
Date: 3 March, 2019
Sandra Cowan likes to walk on trails, paths, and city streets. She is based in southern Alberta, Canada, as a visitor in the land of the Siksikaitsitapi (Blackfoot Confederacy).