Sunday, February 20, 2011

Close Quick Escape

I didn't have time for a full day, far away, mountain escape today so the next best thing was a couple of hours, close by, hill escape! Believe it or not hiking through Nose Hill Park can feel like an escape, especially when you retreat to the valleys and ravines.  We were not fooled by the bright sunshine and posted temperature of -11C (+12F) and came prepared dressed for and with a plan for the windchill factor of -23C (-9F). 

By retreating to the valleys and ravines, we could escape the city and the wind but not the sunshine.  There was method to our madness.
Usually on Nose Hill you see deer or coyote but for the first time ever on the Hill, I saw a porcupine.  Just like the link here says you may think it's a nest at first yet upon closer observation by zooming in with my lens, there it was, a porcupine scratching its nose and eating.
We got a little closer, still staying at a safe distance, to observe it.  This was the highlight of the day!
Staying in amongst the trees in the valley, we found our visual escape from the city but had reminders off and on with audio reminders that we were still in the city.  The Heritage Classic was getting under way and the sounds from McMahon Stadium were blown our way when the wind blew in our direction.  After exploring for about 90 minutes, we climbed out of the valley, faced the cold and the wind to retreat back to our vehicles.  Just short of two hours was all it took to feel refreshed and rejuvenated and ready to face the reality of city living again!

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