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
Fleetwood & London Road Neighbourhoods, Lethbridge, Alberta
After repotting my prolific aloe vera (one of the few things that came with me from New Mexico when I moved here in my little old truck), I walked though my neighbourhood distributing its offspring to various neighbours who wanted one. It's not that I'm unaware of the enormous pain and the impossibly difficult problems in the world right now, but it feels sane and healthy to connect with my own neighbourhood and the people in it in these small ways. Not really helping the big picture, which feels completely beyond my control and renders me unable to budge from my couch some days, but helping me feel more connected and appreciative. Which in some tiny way must generate a fraction more contentment and love available in the world.
Location: Neighbourhood walk, Lethbridge, Alberta
Length: 5 km
Date: 1 June 2020
Another coulee-river walk, Lethbridge, Alberta
Overcast and drizzly afternoon. An abundance of small wildflowers dot the gradually greening slopes. Birds. Beaver architecture. Sitting side by side on a rock by the river. Lots of uphill, less down.
Location: From Sugarbowl to river and back, Lethbridge, Alberta
Length: 6 km
Date: 12 May 2020
Upper Coulee walk, Lethbridge, AB
Walking and talking make a good pair. This is one of those times in my life (there have been others) where almost all the social contact I have is through going for walks with people. The walks, which are always important, become even more important when otherwise I spend entire days sitting in my house alone. Pandemic walks are a big deal. I'm sure there will be dissertations written about it. A very simple activity, but it's a way to connect with nature and the world around us, a way to connect with people, and a way to have some movement and fresh air. These are some of the most important things.
Location: Coulees, Lethbridge, Alberta
Length: 4 km
Date: 2 May, 2020
Shore Walk, Medicine Hat, Alberta
The walk that would be the malecón, if this was the Caribbean. A shore walk is nothing to take for granted though, even if it is along a prairie river. Everyone is out today, with their dogs, kids, bicycles, motorcycles, kayaks, jet skis, and skateboards. Most people are good about keeping the social distance along the river walk, maintaining as wide a berth as possible when passing. Surprising to see three or four planes fly overhead - who is coming and going from Medicine Hat airport on a pandemic Sunday afternoon? Ending where I started, downtown at one of the beating hearts of this town, the Station Coffee Co.
Location: Along the shore of the South Saskatchewan River, Medicine Hat, Alberta
Length: 4 km
Date: 19 April, 2020
Oldman River Valley, Lethbridge, Alberta
I have work to do, and painting to do, but I just can't focus. It seems to be a pandemic problem, this muddled tightness of mind. It seems also to be compounded by near-constant screen time. I set out for a walk in the sunny afternoon, with my mind so constricted it took a few blocks before I remembered to see what's in front of my eyes. Longer before I tuned in to sound and smell. Once I got to the dog park and started downhill into the river valley, everything loosened up. I am so thankful for this long, wide, swath of wild parkland that runs right through the city. So glad to see happy dogs. So happy to be able to walk. So grateful for the signs of wildlife, the trees, the river, the sky.
Location: Down to the Oldman River and back, Lethbridge, Alberta
Length: 8 km
Date: 13 April 2020
Pavan Park, Lethbridge, Alberta
This time around the Pavan loop offered up sunlight reflecting on water, a porcupine in a tree, beautiful land art by Troy, the call of a Northern Flicker, beaver-chewed branches, mud, riverspace, sunspace, skyspace, hillspace, trees. Awareness.
Location: Pavan Park, Lethbridge, Alberta
Date: 28 March, 2020
Sandra Cowan likes to walk on trails, paths, and city streets. She is based in southern Alberta, Canada.