Monday, July 01, 2013

Trans Canada Trail, Winnipeg: Part 5 - Roblin & Dale Blvd. to Assiniboine Park Foot Bridge

Distance: 11.3kms
Roblin and Dale Blvd. to Assiniboine Park Footbridge
Yesterday (Sunday) I parked my car at Assiniboine Park where we were finishing and Sharm met me there to go back to Roblin and Dale Blvd. where we finished our walk last week.  I had my trusty paper map (above) and we started off North on Barker Blvd. I had already reviewed the map the night before so that could have a mental picture of where we were going. After walking for what seemed like too long on Barker Blvd. from where we were then supposed to make a right turn, I pulled out the map and compared with Sharm's GPS and realized that we missed our first turn off at Daly Garden which is a small park that connects Barker Blvd to Southboine Drive. We had walked almost to Barker and Stack Street - about a half a km past where we were supposed to turn off.
We headed back from our first mistake of our trail walk so far. That's pretty good considering we are on Part 5. We walked through Daly Garden  (not well marked on the map above) and connected to Southboine Drive. This is a new area for me with some gorgeous homes on the Assiniboine River. We headed South on Berkley and joined Southboine Drive again to Beauchemin Park. That is one little gem with a good sized playground and a bridge that crosses over a small body of water whose name I don't know.
We emerged on Elmvale Crescent (all new to me) and continued East. I am not sure that I read the map as carefully as I should have because the next thing we know, we are in a back lane of an apartment complex close to where Elmvale Crescent turns into Shelmerdine. Instead of turning South at Shelmerdine, we continued walking into the backyards of some apartment condos. We stopped at a foot path running right along the river but it was wet and muddy so we asked one of the residents if it was usable. He looked at us as if we were mad and said that it was not a good path to use because it was infested with mosquitoes at this time of year.
We backtracked to Shelmerdine Drive as Sharm pulled out her GPS and checked to see if a trail was indicated next to the river. I pulled out my paper map and looked a bit more closely and saw that Shelmerdine was indicated with an arrow. We got back on the right track but by this time we had now done an extra kilometre and a half from getting lost.
We stopped at the Nursing home on Roblin and Shelmerdine intending to use the washroom but no one would answer when we rang the buzzer (even though we could see people inside) so we readjusted our route to cut out the part that goes South of Roblin on Scottswood, Betsworth, Eldridge and Oakdale and instead walked East on Roblin, on to Grant at Haney Street. Why there? Well, we needed a bathroom break at least one km before so the McDonald's sign was a welcome sight in the distance. Good old reliable McDonald's. Many people would never admit to setting foot in the place but they always seems to be busy.  
After that, we headed North along the Charleswood Parkway, crossed over Roblin again and just before we took another unintended jaunt over the Moray bridge, we found the path that connects the trail to Vailoux Drive. That would easily have been missed but we were being extra vigilant at this point. We headed East to a trail entrance to the Assiniboine Park and headed North along the river path to the Assiniboine footbridge and then to where we parked my car in front of the Pavilion restaurant called Terrace In the Park. That's where Sunita and Mike got married. The Terrace restaurant is quite stunning with an amazing skylight ceiling and almost floor to ceiling windows with breathtaking views in summer and winter. The menu is quite eclectic and everything I've eaten there was good.
On the way back to pick up Sharm's car, we stopped at Starbuck's for a coffee. I don't know about you, but I am not a liker (let alone lover) of Starbucks coffee, Hence I do not usually go there.  So imagine my dismay when I wanted a simple cup of coffee with milk so what Sharm ordered was a tall, skinny, Blond CafĂ© Americano - translation - a small coffee with skim milk. How pretentious is that? I can't order small, medium or large. I have to order tall, grande or venti and now they have a trenta which is a full 30 oz. of coffee. That's almost 4 cups of coffee. Who drinks that much coffee at one time? And apparently I can get a short (8 oz.) if I want. I digress from the TCT hike but it's worth noting that this is too much work to order a cup of coffee after an 11.3km walk.
General comments about the trail: Once again, the trail is not well marked or if there were, I could not find a single trail marker. If you are planning to use the paper map, I would suggest going on MapQuest, Google or MapMyWalk and map out the route and write the exact instructions out in text like they do on these sites, e.g.
  • Start at Roblin Blvd and Dale Blvd. Go (Dale becomes Barker Blvd when it crosses over Roblin)
  • Walk .5 km North on Barker to Daly garden (Right side of road)
  • Take path through park to Southboine
  • etc
These instructions may avoid getting off course like we did. Or better yet, the trail stewards could include maps and text directions.  A good part of the trail is through residential neighbourhoods so washrooms are not readily available. Otherwise, the walk on a Sunday morning was quite enjoyable. 
Next week: Assiniboine Park to the Forks.

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