Plane Jane: Coming This Sunday!

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It’s a crazy idea, something you’re not supposed to do. But walking to YWG, whether for pleasure or to catch a flight, is entirely possible. We’ve done it. For the adventure of exploring places normally off the pedestrian road map. And for kick-starting a travel-light, carry-on-only vacation to Europe.

Want to try it, too? Then join us on our 3-4 hour round trip, starting in the Wolseley neighbourhood and winding through residential, commercial and industrial areas to James Richardson International Airport. We’ll return by way of Omand’s Creek, as it takes us by strip malls and big box stores  — all those place you usually drive to  — and through surprising stretches of restored prairie.

En route, we’ll explore such architectural gems as St. James Church, find hidden vest-pocket parks, investigate austere industrial parks and reflect on airports lost and new. But, most importantly, we’ll take ownership of places in our city where no pedestrian was meant to tread. And, who knows? Maybe your next Hawaiian junket will start with a jaunt to the airport.

Gail and I were on a local radio show to promote Jane’s Walk in Winnipeg as well as our own walk to the airport. You can download the recording here: http://www.umfm.com/programming/shows/episode/33309/

We hope you can make join us this Sunday!

Start Location

We will be assembling on our front yard at 521 Raglan Road. That’s at the west edge of the Wolseley neighbourhood, just off Portage Avenue. Rae and Jerry’s Steakhouse is just across  Portage Avenue from Raglan Avenue. There will be a washroom available as well as a cup of lemonade to get you started.

Parking/Public Transportation

There is ample street parking on Raglan Road with no time limit on weekends.

There are bus stops on Portage Avenue at or near Raglan Road (when travelling from the west) and at Valour Road (coming from the east), at most 290 metres or a 4-minute walk.

Start Time

The tour will start at 12:00 pm (noon) on Sunday, May 3, 2015.

Walk Duration

This is a 12-kilometer round-trip walk that will likely take 3-4 hours. The actual timing will depend on the pace of the group, breaks for washrooms, coffee, pie, etc.

There is an option to walk just half the distance by taking a bus or taxi back from the airport to the starting point.

Route Description

We will follow sylvan paths and roads along the Assiniboine River, then cross Portage Avenue into the King Edward neighbourhood and walk along its quiet residential streets. This suddenly gives way to stark commercial/industrial development as we head north on Berry Street, west on Sergent Avenue, north on Flight Road, past the site of the former airport and into the arrivals lounge of the current airport. Leaving the airport, we will walk east on Wellington Avenue through the St. James Industrial Park to Empress Street. Here we will connect with the Omand’s Creek Greenway, through a mix of prairie preserve and commercial development. The Greenway path leads us directly back to the starting point of our walk in Wolseley.

A larger version of the route map below can be found here: http://alltrails.com/tracks/plane-jane-a-walk-to-ywg

Accessibility

Unfortunately the path is not recommended for wheelchairs. Although the path is generally accessible, there are  a few sections that require hopping over curbs and crossing grassed landscaping. Omand’s Creek Greenway generally has a smooth flat surface but maintenance of the path is not always up to scratch and there are a few rough sections that a wheelchair could not navigate.

What to Bring/What to Wear

This is a fairly long walk so you should wear substantial shoes, such as good quality runners. Hiking boots are not necessary. Sandals are not recommended.

Bring a bottle of water to keep you hydrated.

Watch the weather for the day of the walk and bring a small backpack with a light jacket and rain wear as the forecast demands.

And bring a small camera!

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