Trail Walk, Redcliff, Alberta
After several days driving and several days sitting around, I was fairly desperate for a walk. Starting off through the neighbourhood, I picked up a trail that took me along the rim of the coulee, between chainlinked backyards and the steep hills sloping down to the river valley. It’s spacious, Alberta, so much bright sky and land, long views, flat horizons. The trail winds down the hill and loops through the coulee, coming up alongside the South Saskatchewan River. The ground was muddy and patched with snow, cottonwood trees hulked along the shore, the river was full of ice and light. Hills are scarce around here, and walking up out of the valley made my legs sing. A few dogs and their walkers. A field full of Canada geese. Beaver, magpie, rooster, horse.
Location: Redcliff, Alberta
Length: 9 km
Date: 20 November, 2018
City Woods, Hamilton, Ontario
An after-work walk on a stretch of the Rails-to-Trails pathway between Hamilton and Dundas. It’s a lovely place to walk, away from traffic, through the ravines and tall trees that are typical of this part of Ontario. We saw city wildlife - a deer flashed its tail and ran downhill into the brush, a rabbit never breaking its frozen crouch. Half the trees were bare skeletons against the dimming sky, and half still flaunted their fall colours. We walked and talked as darkness fell earlier than it should have.
Location: Hamilton to Dundas, Ontario
Length: 3 km
Date: 7 November, 2018
Old Quebec City, Quebec
I love this city, the age of it, the architecture, the French. Taking a break from a cross-country drive, needing to move my stiff legs and aching hip, I set out for a stroll. It's a magical place, and I was happy to be there. No matter how aimlessly you walk, all streets seem to lead to the Chateau Frontenac and the promenade overlooking the St. Lawrence River. I picked up speed along the Promenade des Gouverneurs boardwalk. In the distance a silver autumn light joined the river and the slate grey sky. Skirting the Plains of Abraham, alongside the Citadel, down to the 17th century wall that once surrounded the city, and back into the narrow streets full of cafes and restaurants. I grabbed a café au lait, but had no time left for lunch before I headed west again.
Location: Vieux Quebec, Quebec City, Quebec
Length: 4 km
Date: 4 November, 2018
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).