Hoofin’ It

I had two days of assessment marking in City Centre this week. While I normally hop the bus when I have stuff to do downtown (I refuse to drive in traffic that dense) earlier this week the weather was so beautiful that I decided to walk. Google Maps informed me the walk was just shy of four kilometers each way and that I would arrive at McKay Avenue School after a 46 minute hike. Since my legs are more of the Shetland pony than racehorse variety, I allowed myself an hour to make the trip.

Tuesday morning I really skipped along, worried that I had somehow miscalculated the travel time and would be late for my session. The walk, while long and sometimes sweaty since spring has arrived at last, was refreshing and left me perky and proud of myself for the rest of the day. After the walk home, shin splints aplenty, I basically collapsed on my couch. Later in the evening I bought pretty new sneakers. They’re very blue and part of my grand plan to turn thirty on better terms with my butt. They may or may not be featured in a future post.

Anyhoo, because no paltry detail of my life is too small to share with my readers, I took my camera along on Wednesday. Prepare yourself to be jealous of my lovely walk to work on a glorious (albeit windy as heck) May morning. As always, these are original photos, unedited because I really suck at playing with Photoshop.

I started photographing about 15 minutes from home. 

I live in a neighbourhood of lovely little older homes and big trees on boulevards. I can be at the North Saskatchewan River valley after a fifteen minute walk in two different directions–the river bends in a good spot for me. It’s a wonderful place to be a homeowner, indeed.

The sun was too bright to aim the camera, so I just stuck my arm out and pushed the button.

Walking in rush hour traffic is uplifting beyond the cardiovascular benefits. There is a special kind of joy that comes from stomping my way past rows of cars barely moving in the early sunlight. The cars you see in the above photo are headed downtown via a huge hill to a bridge low in the river valley. The High Level Bridge only brings auto traffic south, but pedestrians and cyclists can use it to access downtown with minimal hill descents and climbs. If I was walking for leisure, I might have braved the hills, but I took the bridge to ensure I made it on time to work.

Approaching the valley, darting out of the way whenever a bike bell rang behind me. 

The High Level Bridge is exactly what it sounds like: high. It was built way back in 1913 and it’s a hulking, heavy bridge that certainly lacks flair or poetry but gets the job done. Way back when, horse–and later car–traffic was on the lower deck with trains running above, but now only the historic streetcar uses the tracks periodically during the summers. Driving the bridge makes me uncomfortable because it is definitely too narrow for the two lanes that pass through it. Each side has a walking/biking path and signs offering help to those considering suicide by dramatic fall.

I feel like a travel agent, folks.

The only downside to my Wednesday walk was the wind, which threatened to blow me off the bridge. I had a reusable shopping bag with a class set of papers inside, and I had visions of 33 writing assignments drifting all over the river valley.

It will be much more beautiful when the trees are fully green.

Approaching downtown on the bridge, which takes close to ten minutes to cross, a person can see the Legislature grounds (not in this shot) and the features of the valley including park space, a golf course, and ball diamonds. Tuesday’s shin splits were really slowing me down, so I didn’t get as many photos as I wanted to. When I saw the time, I tossed my camera back into my purse and shifted my feet into a higher gear.

I busted the camera out again in the Legislature park, since I’m in love with old buildings and am particularly fond of sandstone. Sadly, there was construction on the grounds, which actually represents the features of the warm months in Alberta very handily.

If you look really closely, there are a pair of Canada geese snuggling on the lawn. 

I guess ten minutes past eight in the morning is not the usual time for sight-seeing in our province’s capital, because the construction folks looked at me funny once I started photographing the building from the good side.

It could almost be a postcard, except for the stupid orange pylons.

I arrived at my marking meeting right on time, and even had a moment to buy a Diet Pepsi in a little corner store. Healthy, early-morning walk? Check. Timely arrival to work? Check. New post topic? Double check.

I anticipate many cheesy “walk with me” photos in days to come, friends. You may experience the Kay tour of Edmonton this summer, if my shins hold up.

copyright 2012:  http://bluespeckledpup.com


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