Down by the Riverside
CANADA OR BUST, CHAPTER 10: IN WHICH WE SLEEP IN LATE AND CRASH A GATE
Days 11 & 12: Edmonton, AB. The half day of relaxing, recovery and planning we scheduled for Tuesday stretched into a full day as we spent most of the day in our hotel room devising an itinerary and booking reservations for the remainder of this trip. Since we have a commitment in early September, we must be home no later than the 9th, so our habit of meandering wherever the road happens to lead has to be restrained.
|Edmonton on the North Saskatchewan River (photo from Sutton Hotels)|
As an established supply post, Edmonton became a natural layover for prospectors to equip themselves before trudging north in search of fame and fortune in the Klondike Gold Rush of the late 19th century. When that didn’t “pan out,” many of the would-be miners returned to Edmonton and settled there, creating a major population boom.
|Reproduction of Fort Edmonton|
Our first stop of the day was Fort Edmonton, a living history park. When we arrived around 9:00, we followed a line of cars through a gate. The park is divided into four main sections by time period with historic reproductions of buildings and grounds appropriate to each era. Following the information on our car GPS, we drove to the back of the park to check out the 1846 fort. Based on all the cars we followed in, we were surprised to be the first car in the parking lot there.
|Red River cart at Fort Edmonton|
|1905 town reproduction|
|Alberta Legislative Building, aka the Ledge|
Parking for the Alberta Ledge was considerably more challenging than in Winnipeg or Regina, where we left our car a few yards from the entrances. Unable to locate visitor parking in lots nearest the building, we ventured into surrounding streets. As we were groping to find the entrance to a parkade (Canadian word for multi-level parking garage), a kindly security guard walked from his booth next to a federal building, took pity on us (maybe because of our Georgia license plate), and pointed us to a spot along the curb on a dead end street near his booth, next to what we suspected was his personal car. Not only was it free, it was less than a quarter mile to the Ledge.
Though the security into the building was the most structured we have seen at the three legislative buildings, complete with the standard bag x-ray and walk-through metal detector, outside the atmosphere was carefree. Numerous day camp groups of young children were visiting the park and the wading pool in front of the building was teeming with the little ones.
|The rotunda features a fountain built to commemorate Queen Elizabeth's first visit to the building in 1959.|
Like its neighbor Saskatchewan, Alberta had very few provincial symbols when the legislative building was designed, so emblems of the British royal family were employed. A few nods are also given to First Nations cultures—mostly the Cree and Blackfoot—who preceded Europeans in this area.
|Speaker's procession to the legislative chamber**|
Typically made from precious metals encrusted with semiprecious jewels and decorated with iconic symbols meaningful to the province, the mace is set in a prominent place in the center of the chamber, where it must remain until the close of the meeting, when it is ceremoniously removed.
|1905 Alberta mace**|
|Wading pool in front of the Ledge main entrance|
|Pyramid pattern is popular at the Muttart|
|View of Edmonton from pedestrian bridge|
Though its oil industry has fueled Edmonton’s growth and prosperity, the city has certainly not neglected its green spaces. Extending or 30 miles along both sides of the North Saskatchewan River as it winds through the city is continuous collection of more than 20 parks encompassing more than 18,000 acres, making it the largest stretch of urban parkland in North America.
|Edmonton's riverside parkland|
TUESDAY, 18 AUGUST AND WEDNESDAY, 19 AUGUST 2015
**photo from Alberta Legislature web site
- Miles driven: 38
- Miles walked: 7.2
- Weather: 48° to 79°, sunny to partly cloudy
- Letterboxes found: 4
- Kids in Ledge wading pool: 217
More Photos from Today
|Cooperage at the fort|
|Animal skin windows let in light while protecting inhabitants from the elements.|
|1885 town street|
|An unusual dome, open at the top to reveal 80-year-old potted palm trees on the upper floor.|
|Grand staircase at the Ledge|
|Exhibit in the tropical pyramid at Muttart|