If not for Viggo, our Icelandic Sheepdog, I’d have sipped on a third cup of coffee this morning. Instead, we headed out for a walk at the tail end of a snow storm! It was something I was actually looking forward to because the snowfall makes our favourite walk even better! Viggo, of course, loves the snow.
We head down into the Don River Valley south of Bloor Street on the east edge of downtown Toronto. The snow means the bike trail will be traffic-free and I can let Viggo walk off-leash on some of the side-trails that go down to the banks of the river itself.
Another great thing about going down to the Don is that Viggo gets to walk on clean snow instead of the salt-saturated brown mush on the streets of our neighbourhood. This morning I carried him over Broadview Avenue to spare his paws from touching that stuff.
I did notice a couple of sets of footprints and paw prints, one set of cross country ski tracks, and one mega-wide bicycle tire track – but that was it for activity on the bike path itself.
As for our favourite side trails, no one had walked them yet this morning so we broke trail! I have adopted and spent some time maintaining these trails over the past ten years – clearing deadfall, removing litter and garbage, etc. Some Ontario paddlers adopt portage trails up north that they return to each year and take care of. I figure this trail running along the Don River two hundred meters south and north of the Prince Edward Viaduct is my portage trail contribution!
Here is a one-minute sample of a section of those side trails as it was this morning –
We walk north under the viaduct and continue along the river. This morning we returned on the bike trail. The shot below is taken from north of the viaduct. Downtown is about two kilometers to the southwest.
Back at our favourite bend in the lower Don, I take the shot below for the 51st time! If I could only photoshop out that hydro tower and the wires!
Back up the steps we go. To the left is the Riverdale Farm and Cabbagetown. We are heading right (east) and our Riverdale neighbourhood. I do a bit of a detour to avoid the salt.
Tonight we do another shorter clean snow walk in Riverdale Park East below Broadview. If not for Viggo, I wouldn’t be doing that either! Along with becoming my constant companion, he has made sure that every one of my days has its share of low-intensity aerobic exercise. See below for this morning’s benefits.