The eighth of a series of jaunts in the key of white. This week: the first half of a walk on Omand’s Creek from the Assiniboine River to Brookside Cemetery.
I stand at the mouth of Omand’s Creek. Behind me, the broad Assiniboine River surges by on its way to meet the Red River, just a few kilometres to the east. Ahead is the diminutive Omand’s Creek, my frozen path for the next six-plus kilometres.
It is late February and winter still holds a tight grip on the land. The waters of both the Assiniboine and Omand’s Creek are solid ice and walkable. A thin layer of snow blankets their flat surfaces and the surrounding landscape of bare tree limbs and dead bullrushes. It is a comfortably warm day under the clear prairie sky. The temperature hovers just below freezing. The sun warms the back of my dark parka. Perfect conditions for a walk along one of Winnipeg’s most under-appreciated waterways. (more…)
The seventh of a series of jaunts in the key of white. This week: a walk to the top of the Canadian Museum of Human Rights.
This post is dedicated to Gail, my partner for life. Together, may we continue to climb towers of hope for years to come.
From high above,Gail and I can see the junction of the Red and Assiniboine Rivers on the horizon. We can trace the River Trail’s course as it winds along the surface of those frozen waterways. Below us, a blanket of snow stretches across the broad plain of a territory known, these last few decades, as The Forks but, for centuries before that, as the home of First Nations people. All around us lies Winnipeg with its high-rises and bridges and train tracks, a belt of development tightening its buckle around the city’s earliest settlement.
This is our view on this wintery afternoon. We are about 100 metres above the rivers, perched atop the Canadian Museum of Human Rights (CMHC) on a slender circular platform surrounded by a delicate mesh of steel and glass. (more…)
The sixth of a series of jaunts in the key of white. This week: part two of a January 26, 2018 walk along Winnipeg’s Assiniboine and Red Rivers.
As I approach the Osborne Street Bridge, a form slowly reveals itself below the bridge’s concrete arches.
The first of the warming huts.
The warming huts are the latest iteration of our city’s on-again, off-again romance with our frozen rivers. In past, ski hills have thrust their avid adventurers from high above the river’s eroding banks down to the Assiniboine’s icy surface. So too have tobogganers been sent gleefully on near-death thrill rides from the heights of wood platforms down to the frozen Red River. (more…)
The fifth of a series of jaunts in the key of white. This week: part one of a January 26, 2018 walk along Winnipeg’s Assiniboine and Red Rivers.
Is it a gift offered up by nature? Or is it nature conspiring against the city? These are questions that come and go from my mind as I make my way down nature’s highway, along the frozen surface of the Assiniboine River and, later in the day, the mighty Red. (more…)
The fourth of a series of jaunts in the key of white. This week: a January 19, 2018 walk through Assiniboine Forest in Winnipeg.
I lift the rear hatch of the car. Styxx emerges from the dark interior, unfolding from a tight curl into a tall spindly majestic greyhound. From his car door podium, he surveys the world. He stretches his head high, scans from side-to-side, sniffs the cold air and I can see in his eyes a delighted recognition of where he is and what he will be doing for the next two hours. (more…)
The third in a series of jaunts in the key of white. This week: a January 7, 2018 walk alongside the Assiniboine River in Winnipeg.
It’s a well-trod path, this one. From our home in the Wolseley neighbourhood, it takes me west along the south side of Assiniboine River to my destination, Assiniboine Park, and then back home along trails and quiet streets skirting the river’s north bank. (more…)
The second in a series of jaunts in the key of white. This week, I recount a December 27, 2017 walk along Mosquito Creek in North Vancouver.
I have misgivings about attempting a walk this morning. With a mug of hot coffee in hand, I watch the snow fall just outside the expansive windows of my sister’s North Vancouver home. A curtain of white flakes all but obscures the dense stand of conifers lying not more than 10 metres away. It looks beautiful, to be sure. The opportunity for a good walk. Yet my planned course down the familiar paths skirting Mosquito Creek worries me. Just three days ago, I climbed that very route. It was cold and the path was icy. Today, that fresh snow would cloak a slick, glassy surface. Slipping and falling holds little appeal.
But the scene outside is too enchanting to ignore. I will take my chances. (more…)