Twin River Reserve, Southern Alberta
Wide open prairie interrupted by barbed wire, we walked among herds of cattle and pronghorn antelope. Down to the shrinking Milk River to sit on its bank and talk about emptiness while the cows all stared at us. So far south that our phones thought we were in Montana.
Location: Twin River Provincial Grazing Reserve, Southern Alberta
Length: 5 km
Companions: Troy & Annie
Date: 13 September, 2020
Backcountry, Southern Alberta
I was just along for the walk while the guys were hunting grouse. One of the last hot summery days of the year. The quiet weight of sky over fields. There were no grouse that day.
Location: Backcountry of rural southern Alberta
Length: 4 km
Companions: T & T
Date: 5 September, 2020
Lethbridge Coulee Loop
Feeling pretty lucky to be able to do this walk right from my house. Down through the dog run, along the river valley to Fort Whoop-up, up the hill to downtown, and back home in time for supper.
Location: Through the coulees to downtown and home through town, Lethbridge, Alberta
Length: 7 km
Date: 30 August, 2020
Window Mountain Lake, Alberta
A steep, rocky trail opening through the trees to a sparkling alpine lake is plenty enough reason to hike. It was so still up there, quiet and sideways sunny, in spite of all the other hikers and even a few people camping and fishing. We decided to come back to camp one day, to find out what this place feels like at night.
Location: Window Mountain Lake hike (from the road), Crowsnest Pass, Alberta
Length: 8 km
Date: 2 August, 2020
Ambulant* walk, Lethbridge, Alberta
Go for a walk. Looking for text, looking for signs. We still walk, we still communicate, we still live with each other in these times, in all times. We're in it together.
South Coulee, Southern Alberta
It's all about the grasses at this time of year. So many shapes and shadows and shades of green. I set out along deer trails, hoping to pick some Saskatoon berries. Finding instead the sage and tumbleweeds and badger holes and rusted out farm machinery and thistles and lichens and fields of barley. Thinking about the non-dualism of map and terrain.
Location: South Coulee, Southern Alberta
Length: 3 km
Date: 25 July, 2020
Elizabeth Hall Wetlands, Lethbridge
Walking-with: mosquitoes, birds, a young owl, beaver, turtles, Oldman River, friends.
Location: Elizabeth Hall Wetlands, Lethbridge, Alberta
Length: 3 km
Companions: Rai & Troy
Date: 19 July 2020
Midsummer Day farmyard walk, Southern Alberta
We've never walked the farm perimeter, but we walk the yard and the coulees on most visits. It had been a flawlessly summery day, this first day of summer. Now thunder rumbled to the southwest. We saw both great horned owls fly. The whitetailed fawn was nearby with its mother. A flock of blackbirds chased a large kingfisher. A storm was approaching and mosquitoes swarmed, sending us in early for gin & tonics, hoping the storm would come close enough to watch.
Location: Farmyard near Lethbridge, Alberta
Length: 2 km
Date: 21 June 2020
Johnston Canyon, Banff, Alberta
First hike of the year. The nourishment of the trees and mountain air, and the delicious sense of normalcy to be hiking with friends were intoxicating. We climbed the trail, passing several waterfalls and few other hikers, until we arrived at the top, where we enjoyed spectacular mountain views, mysterious pools called the Ink Pots, and 20 minutes of rest before it started to rain lightly. The downward walk made different muscles ache than the way up, reminded some of us of aging joints, and gave me a blister the size of a silver dollar on my heel - and it was all a complete delight.
Location: Johnston Canyon, Banff National Park, Alberta
Length: 12 km
Companions: Heather and the Squids
Date: 6 June 2020
Pavan Park, Lethbridge, Alberta
The Pavan loop is a regular and favourite walk, but this time around it was a scenic tour. Is it summer coming that makes everything so extraordinarily full of light and life?
Location: Pavan Park loop, Lethbridge, Alberta
Length: 6 km
Date: 3 June 2020
Sandra Cowan likes to walk on trails, paths, and city streets. She is based in southern Alberta, Canada.