It's been so unseasonably warm and dry here, albeit with insane winds, that I decided to walk home through the creek valley after dropping off the urban assault vehicle for servicing. Not something I would normally do in January. Particularly since I am becoming increasingly terrified of ice patches.
But although any snow that remains has long been transformed into wind-polished snirt, enough of it has disappeared that I figured I could skirt my way around the slick spots.
This walk home was also to be a test of my knee. I have been gradually increasing the length of my elliptical workouts, but I am still a slower walker than I once was, and walking on uneven ground could prove tricky.
And then there was the matter of that killer hill that you have to climb to get out of the park.
I'm glad I did it. I needed a change of scenery, a touch of nature. There certainly was a lot of nature down in the park. Piles of it. I don't know what those coyotes have been eating, but it goes through them like shit through a goose. Or through a coyote, I guess.
I didn't encounter any coyotes this time, although I stopped on the little bridge just before killer hill to watch some ducks bob about in the water, in amongst the ice floes. I lingered there on the bridge for longer than I had intended, to allow two women with westie terriers to overtake me. I didn't want anyone to witness me labouring up that hill.
The hill wasn't as hard on my knee as I expected. I did take my time, and it took 185 steps instead of my usual 150. Yes, I count steps going up hills, what of it? It felt good to be a little winded again, something I have really missed with my slower workouts.
My knee is a little swollen tonight and I can feel the bits moving around and rubbing against each other, but the outing was all worth it. Especially for a January day.
Where is your favourite place for a winter walk?