We walked part of it last week, but we arrived in the afternoon and the place was so crowded that only the pay parking was available. We prepaid for two hours of parking and then walked an hour up the river before returning to the car. Yesterday we drove down in the morning and managed to secure one of the free spots.
I logged our walk in Run Keeper because I was curious to see how long a stretch of river they had cleared.
The city had been warning that this might be the last weekend when the river walk would be open. One might have been forgiven for being a bit sceptical about that, given that we were coming off a week where our temperatures had been brushing -30 with wind chills into the mind-numbing range, but when I looked at the long-range forecast this morning, they are showing above-zero temperatures through the foreseeable future.
I daresay maybe winter really is letting the door hit it on the way out after all.
If someone tasked me with finding the definitive picture of "Canada in the winter", I think this is the shot that I would pull out.
Frozen river? ✔
People bundled up? ✔
Some guy in a hockey jersey stick-handling a puck down the length of the skating path? ✔
Discarded Tim's cup just out of the frame to the right? ✔
I had hoped that the end of the trail would be marked by, say, a portable coffee outlet, or at least a big Thermos of hot chocolate. Instead, there was just a little loop for the skaters to turn around, and an unpretentious marker that said, "Congratulations". Ah well, I guess the pay-off was the exercise we got.
There was a final warming hut at the end, where the hikers and skaters could sit down for a spell and let the cold sink in a little deeper before dragging their weary bones back out into the elements for the long return trip. How insane is this city for their hockey team? Besides the usual crowd of adults and kids wearing Jets jerseys, I saw at lest 2-3 dogs wearing Jets sweaters as well.
Even the fauna came out to enjoy the weather. I would not have noticed this girl if atara had not pointed her out to me. It made me glad that I had paused midway along our walk to swap out for my larger zoom lens. It is a little unusual (for me anyway) to spot deer this close in to the city centre. This one appeared to be aware of the crowds of people nearby, but seemed largely unconcerned.