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Unfinished Business

All photos taken on July 29, 2022.

The North Saskatchewan River valley parks system, also known as the Ribbon of Green or the River Valley Parks, is a continuous collection of urban parks around the North Saskatchewan River valley in the Edmonton Metropolitan Region of Alberta, Canada. The park system encompasses over 7,300 hectares (18,000 acres) of parkland, making it the largest contiguous area of urban parkland in the country. The park system is made up of over 30 provincial and municipal parks situated around the river from Devon to Fort Saskatchewan, with trails connecting most of the parks together.

Proposals to create a large park along Edmonton’s riverfront was first proposed by landscape architect Frederick Todd in 1907, although the formation of a park system did not take shape until the late 20th century. In 1996, the River Valley Alliance (RVA) was formed to coordinate the development of the park system across the metropolitan region. Although large portions of the river valley is public parkland, some sections of the river valley is privately-owned. In addition to park system, the river valley is also used by the metropolitan area for stormwater management.

Most of the river valley is grasslands, although sections of it are forested. The river valley supports a high level of biodiversity, and is used as a wildlife corridor by a variety of animals.

(Source: Wikipedia)

Talks are currently under way to create a new National Park here.

My Unfinished Business title explained by:

  1. When I retired in late 2014, we had a plan to hike the length of the Edmonton River Valley. While we hiked 107 km (66 1/2 miles) in 2015, we never made it past Capilano Park and 50th Street.
  2. When we bought our new folding E-bikes, we planned to drive them into the city and ride the trail system. Today, at long last we made it. It was a bit more of a challenge to reload the bikes into the car after our ride, so while the ride was enjoyable, we need to make some adjustments on transporting them.

Today, the temperatures were headed back up to +30 C (86 F) with a “feels like” temperature of +37C (99 F). There was no way we were going for a walk and no way we wanted to be out in the sun in the afternoon.

We skipped morning coffee and drove into Edmonton with the rush hour traffic. Arriving in Goldbar Park, we were greeted by many aromas, The Goldbar waste water treatment plant, the Kinder Morgan Edmonton Terminal, The Esso Refinery. OK, so not necessarily the smells that connote fine summer mornings.

We rode to the nearest washrooms which were still locked. Glad we did not have coffee, we set out along the paved paths to go as far East and North as the trails would take us.

The blue line indicates our route today

For those of you who doubted that two Radbikes would fit in the back of a Prius V, they do. Getting them in was a bit of a challenge, but getting them out was fairly simple. Turns out cardboard is not a good surface to slide a heavy bike on. Back to the drawing board.

When reassembling the bikes, attention must be paid to ensure the folding mechanisms are locked properly and the seat post is in the right position.

And we are off through the Goldbar Park paths

We paused on the Ainsworth Dyer Memorial footbridge to take in the river views. Did I mention that Eastern Edmonton is home to a lot of petrochemical plants?

Corporal Ainsworth Dyer was one of 4 Canadians killed in a friendly fire incident in Afghanistan in 2002 when an American fighter dropped a laser guided bomb while the Canadian group was conducting night fire exercises.

Now in Rundle Park, we paused for a few more views….

…before rolling along more paved paths on our journey North

Now down at the river’s edge, we stopped for a few more photos of the Strathcona Science Park Pedestrian Bridge, the Beverly and Clover Bar traffic bridges and the Clover Bar/Beverly Train Bridge (10th largest in Alberta) ahead.

This group of Prairie Asters caught my eye as I wheeled back to the main trail.

Strathcona Science Park Pedestrian Bridge

bridging the gap

under the Beverly Bridge with Clover Bar Bridge and Clover Bar/ Beverly bridges in view

Sunridge Ski Area

rolling along under the last bridges

Parks waste collection truck doing the morning garbage pickup along the trail. We are now in Hermitage Park

On the dock of a stocked trout pond in Hermitage Park

I told these guys to wait for the waddle light

The multi use path was closed, so we rode on the roadway for a while….

…before riding on a grassy path…

…and stopping by the wetland pond to see who was out and about. The white spots in the center…

…turned out to be a squadron of pelicans

coots and ducks also enjoyed the cool water

a lady walking her pooch recommended we ride the path around the pond and she was not wrong

This duck family was out for a swim…

…in algae infested water. The algae bloom is due to the recent hot weather

The peaceful path continued…

…before we pulled off on a little viewing platform. This Mom had 21 young ones in her wake…

…and this Momma coot had some gangly looking young ones ignoring her instructions.

Another view of the pelicans

One more look at the pond

Now, we were on the grass path for sure as we approached the area of trail reconstruction

Now at the furthest point of our ride, we reversed course…

…back into Rundle Park, where we pulled off to cross the Strathcona Science Park Pedestrian Bridge for more river views.

Back in Goldbar Park, we could feel the heat building…

…but the real sweating started as I loaded the bikes back into the car.

All in all, a good 20 km (12 1/2 mile) ride in the “cool” of the day. If we can simplify the loading and unloading, we will do this again.

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Published by kagould17

Not much to tell. After working for 3 companies over 43+ years (38 years 7 months with my last company), I finally got that promotion I had waited my entire career for……retirement. I have been exploring this new career for the past 7+ years and while it is not always exciting, the chance to do what I want for myself and my family instead of what my company wants has been very fulfilling. Early on, there was a long list of projects in my “to-do” hopper and I attacked these projects with a vengeance for the first 9 months of retirement. Eventually, my brain told me that this was not what retirement was about, so it took me another 5 months before my industriousness again took over and I attacked another line of projects, this time somewhat shorter and less complicated, as well as many new projects related to the family weddings in 2016. After going hard for 6 weeks and 3 weddings, my body was telling me to relax, then the flu bug hit and as soon as that was done with me, my sciatic acted up. No rest for the wicked. In 2020 and 2021, the Covid 19 pandemic changed the whole retirement gig. I was lucky to not be still working, for sure. I enjoy photography, gardening, working with my hands, walking, cycling, skiing, travelling, reading and creating special photo and video productions obtained in my first pastime. I may never become wealthy in any of these pursuits, but I already feel I am rich in life experiences far beyond any expectation.

21 thoughts on “Unfinished Business

  1. Wow! What a ride! It always feels great to finish something you started! Love how your bikes fold up. Do you like the bikes? We rode our first e-bikes a couple of weeks ago and fell in love with them! On my want list!! Great post and great inspiration.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I know it is not quite the same as walking, but these new bikes make it so easy and enjoyable. Our son is an avid cyclist (has no car) and rides everywhere. When we visit, we need to be on E-bikes to keep up and also due to Pat’s knees. We had E-bikes before, but they just never felt right. When we saw these in the Vancouver showroom in May, we knew they were the answer to comfort and portability. Since getting mine in June, I have almost 700 km (435 miles) on it. Good power, good long distance battery and they fold. If you are looking, take a look at Rad Power Bikes. Here is the link: https://www.radpowerbikes.com/?utm_source=Bing%20Search&utm_medium=NonBrand&utm_campaign=TL%20-%20Non-Brand%20-%20Rad%20Power%20Bikes%20-%20Bing&b_campaign=TL%20-%20US%20-%20NB%20-%20Rad%20Power%20Bikes%20-%20Bing&b_campaignid=425136990&b_adgroup=Electric%20Folding%20Bike&b_adgroupid=1158886185552772&b_adid=72430612746415&b_term=folding%20electric%20bikes&b_termid=kwd-72431013128088:loc-190&b_isproduct=&b_productid=&msclkid=e9d1292fd133109e437b4a012ca8a26d&utm_term=folding%20electric%20bikes&utm_content=Electric%20Folding%20Bike
      Thanks for reading and commenting Lori. Hope all is well with you. Allan

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Putting a roof rack on a Prius was counter intuitive, which is why we did not do it. My refinements to my interior transport system worked wonders and we took them into Edmonton once more, as well as taking them to Jasper with us. Thanks for reading Glen. Allan

      Liked by 1 person

    1. It was a good thing my planning all worked out. It takes about 7 minutes to fold and stow and between 5 and 10 minutes to unfold. The only reassembly required is the seat post installation. Everything else is just folding and latching. The odd time, I need to reconnect the brake light cable. The whole thing is brilliant. Thanks for reading and your question Marion. Have a great weekend. Allan

      Liked by 1 person

    1. It is actually supposed to go up to 27 C here next week. Strange weather and we will enjoy our hikes and rides. Not sure we will ride in winter, but with the fat tires and lowering the tire pressure, who knows. Thanks for reading. Allan

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Quite often our fall weather will be nice up until Hallowe’en, then turn colder and snowy. This year is weird, as typically we will have had a killing frost by now. Nothing in the forecast for the next 2 weeks. Sun tan weather….if I were a sun tanner. 🏖🌞😎

        Liked by 1 person

      1. Yeah. I’ve heard all the jokes about Edmonton “8 months of winter and 4 months of good skiing.” We love our seasons, including winter. Edmonton has a beautiful river valley and great festivals and people. 😊

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I couldn’t help but laugh at your setup to load your bikes into the back of your car. You’re so crafty and creative. What a scenic spot to go for a bike ride. It’s even better when you have your own dedicated path for biking and don’t have to deal with any road traffic.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It is kind of funny, but when you buy something based on a premise (in this case, that we could transport the bikes in the back of the car) you had better be able to deliver. I knew I had to protect the interior of the car as much as possible and I had this huge cardboard bike box. What better way to use it? Cardboard was not a good base to slide the bikes on, so wait for the next incarnation. The Japanese call this type of invention “Chindogu”. This is the practice of inventing ingenious everyday gadgets that seem to be ideal solutions to particular problems, but which may cause more problems than they solve. Happy to be a practitioner of this style. The multi use trails in the area are a benefit, for sure. Thanks for reading Linda. Allan

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Edmonton is blessed with forward thinking city councillors who made sure that the river valley is available for everyone. I have two more posts coming on different parts of the park system. We love seeing the pelicans as well. They look like a bird designed by a committee. Thanks for reading Ruth. Allan

      Liked by 1 person

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