Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Munson Park

Munson park is a narrow band situated on the river in the Crescentwood district of Winnipeg. It is oddly not very noticeable even though it is located along a major street with large residential homes and a few fancy condos. I haven't been there in 20 years I think.

It is not that large a park and not very busy, but has lovely vistas of the river. The brush close to the river looks pretty wild and natural to Manitoba but with the addition of tons of rhubarb growing wild, a reminder of early homesteads. The center part of the park is quite open and --- well park like. When we were there there were a few couples going for walks a couple of older individuals walking their dog, and a young woman in a nice suit eating her bag lunch. The grass in the center had a man on the ground doing his yoga moves with great seriousness and concentration.

John Munsen, a prominent Winnipeg lawyer, had his farm estate and home constructed here on the river in 1889.

It next became the home of the Richardson family in 1919 and they eventually had the house demolished and then donated the property to the city for a park in 1976.

The trail still running through the park was a transportation trail along the river dating to the days of the fur trade and used by traders and early pioneers traveling west from Upper Fort Gary.

Very cool to think that we were walking a path has been in use through the whole history of our city.



Participaction is back!

Participaction was a popular government sponsored healthy living promotion that Bob and I remember from the early 70's. Well it is back! They are touring 31 cities in Canada and were in Winnipeg last Sunday and we went to try out their event.

It was a challenge to go on an "In Motion walking rally" and scavenger hunt around the Assiniboine Park and read some clues about how many steps are involved in some common activities as part of healthy living. First they had a prominent athlete speak and then a govenment official. We were let in a little stretch warmup, picked up the new pedometers they were giving everyone and we were on out way.

The walk was along major sidewalks so it was very walker friendly. The lady giving out the pedometers told we where we could take a short cut and cut the distance in half when she saw I was going with the walker but it was only a kilometer and a half and I knew I could walk that far. I must admit I was pretty sore by the end. I seem to be straining things on my "good side" a bit especially now that I am walking more. Bob and Emily took a while to throw around a foot ball they had available and they had a great time. We had to stop at Canadian tire and had to pick up one of the cool orange and purple balls for our own.

We got back from our scavenger hunt and put our names into a draw and it was shock to have both Bob and Emily have their names called. They each got a nice canvas tote, hat, shirt, a metal water bottle and some paper and a chap stick. I was pretty happy with some of the booklets that they were giving out. They have a few very good resources.

Check out the ParticipACTION website for lots of good ideas.

And don't miss the Manitoba in Motion website that is sponsering healthy living through activity in Manitoba.

There was another interesting event going on at the park at the same time. Herbfest, an activity of the Herb Society of Manitoba was held in the grounds of the park near the conservatory. It was a collection of vendors and entertainers and it was kind of a different mix of events than I have been to before. It was fun but I was pretty darn exausted by that point in the day and I needed to get home and have a real rest.

Herb demonstration garden located at the park with the tents set up for Herbfest showing in the background.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Happy Canada Day 2009

Happy Canada Day!

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

In the Neighbourhood

My walking has been slowed down a little for the last few weeks. My husband had a health problem and couldn't get around much for a while but the good news is he is now doing well and part of his recovery is going for lots of little walks!

We have been walking to the library which is only about three blocks away and it makes a nice little trip with a distraction in the middle. The bonus is new books to look at when we get home.

On the way home we are walking through the playground of a school two of our children attended. There is an interesting play structure. One of my daughter's grade one classmates was severely injured in a pedestrian car accident right in front of the school and the impact on the whole school was vast. After the little friend was back at school there was a huge drive to replace the structure with something more accessible. There was an awful lot of heated discussion about the wisdom of taking down a relatively new structure and how necessary a new structure was but the decision was made that accessibility was a right in the playground as well as the classroom. Next came the endless parent fundraisers and wrapping paper selling because it seems the school board left the arrangements and paying to the school and the school's parent teacher association.

I walked up the ramp of this current accessible structure with my walker yesterday and this play equipment is a very good thing. A child might not be able to play with all the features of this structure but at least they could be in the middle of the action instead of forced to watch from the sidelines. When we were in the middle of negotiating accessible school yards I approved of the project but didn't work too hard at making it happen. How my understanding has changed with time and changes to my own life and mobility!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

A first canoe trip brings the joy of new vantage point for a little guy.

Live your life each day as you would climb a mountain. An occasional glance toward the summit keeps the goals in mind but many beautiful scenes are to be observed from each new vantage point.

By Harold B. Melchart

Sunday, June 7, 2009

More Pictures from Riding Mountain

This is me "On the Trail"

Us at the Hotel

Behind the golf course at the hotel

Pine stand on the hiking trail

Catherine Lake

A tree damaged in a lightning strike

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Wheel and Walk

Supporting SAM
I have been attending activities at an organization called Stroke Recovery Association of Manitoba. It has come to mean a lot to me over the past several months. The support of other stroke survivors has helped me keep looking forward and in the process I have made many wonderful new friends and I have found a few ways to feel useful at a time when I have given up so many of my normal activities and volunteer commitments. Today was a major fundraiser the "Annual Wheel and Walk" It was held at te Assiniboine Park. There were , bagels to begin with and Pizza for lunch. Rainbow Auction and of course the walking part! Participants asked to have donations made to SAM in support of our walking, or rolling, but mainly this was a fun family style event.

Assiniboine Park Map

Brûlé Trail in Riding Mountain National Park

I asked if it was a good trail.. Honest!!

We had a midweek getaway in Riding Mountain National Park, about 3 hours from our home, and when we visited the park's touristy town we went to the Parks Visitor Center. The place is a beautiful log building built in the 1930's and has a great old fashioned museum and gift shop. I asked the cute young girl at the desk for her suggestions. I told her I didn't need to have a wheelchair rated trail but that I needed something level that I could push my walker over. She suggested the Brûlé trail. She said it was lovely, well groomed and rated as easy and after we hiked we could visit a lovely lake, Catherine Lake, just down the road.

Okay that sounds perfect!! I had no doubt that I could walk the distance of the trail. Well! We were only 15 minutes up this self guided trail when we found the trail changed to a wooded area with Pine roots crossing the trail in a huge tangles mass. It was really impassible using the walker. We didn't know if it was just a short section and we should persevere forward or we should turn back. The next area was a small ravine. The sensation of going downhill pretty much freaks me out at the moment and I was in tears and shaking by this point. Bob who wasn't feeling great himslef had to carry the walker and I clutched his arm for balance and stepped slowly and carefully onward. The trail really was beautiful and very interesting but it sure wasn't a good choice of someone who needs a walker! We kept going forward and the woods changed again and the last half wasn't anywhere as difficult for the last half. I was ultimately very proud of myself and feel I met a real huge challenge. When we got back to the hotel I could hardly move and more or less collapsed for the rest of the evening.

The next day was our "Spa Experience Day" and Bob and I had our very first massages ever and played in the hot tub and spa waters before packing up the car and heading back to our home in the city.

I was walked out.

Kings Park

Walk the Labyrinth and Hike the Trails

Kings Park is a lovely city park located near our university. It is almost surrounded by water and has a few interesting features like a pagoda and terrace area. As usually in Winnipeg the river views are particularly fantastic. A new addition at the Park is the Carol Shields Memorial Labyrinth. We attended an event at the new labyrinth called Exploring Sacred Spaces - Labyrinth Experience

I wasn't ready to actually walk the labyrinth, especially in a crowd, but it sure was interesting to see. I have been attending a group about Mindfulness, Wellness and Meditation and I am just starting to broaden my horizons. I am taking baby steps exploring new ways of thinking.

We didn't get as far walking around the park as we wanted to so we will just come back and try and get a little further later in the summer.

Kildonan Park

My husband, my friend Barb and I went to Kildonan park for our first "outing" walk but it sure won't be our last. We had a wonderful time together and have plans for lots of other locations to visit.

Kildonan Park is the home of our city's major outdoor theater Rainbow Stage. That is where Bob and I went for our very first official date almost 30 years ago. It has literally been decades since we went walking there.

A favorite place to visit is the Witches Hut.
Witches Hut
Picture from the City of Winnipeg website.

The park features beautiful gardens but it is too early for much to be growing so far this year. The walking trail wind around various planing areas, through picnic areas and one lovely route follows the river. The walk around the park is 1.9 kilometers.

Click here for Google Maps

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Getting Going

I have been walking!
Yes really... me!!

This started as part of therapy to get me mobile after a serious health crisis, and much to my surprise I like it! My goal is to go walking in a variety of different locations in my neighborhood, my city, my province and anywhere else life leads me. I plan to try to remember my camera and share some of the interesting sights. Hopefully as I walk more I will be able to do even longer walks and hikes and I can share my progress toward recovery and reaching a healthy life too!