An Invitation to Come and Walk with Me
Thanks to Jody Hyndman for the image at the top of the page.
When: Approach me with a few dates between now and the end of July, and we will come up with a date together. I need to stay out of the midday sun and heat, so prefer times before 11 a.m. and after 3 or 4 p.m. I love early morning, and early evening can be a great time to explore as well.
What: This is a chance for me to share some of my favourite spots with others, to look at wildflowers and wild edibles, pick berries if it’s berry picking season, watch birds, and explore together. Past hikes and walks have included time together, as well as time on your own, conversation and silence. Hikes can be anywhere from one to eight kilometres long. I love wildflowers, and often stop to take time to look at them. Some hikes can be on flat land, while most involve some hill climbing and a little bushwhacking. For those unable to go far, I know of a few beautiful sitting spots a few steps from a car. For those who wish, creating art can be a part of our time together but it does not have to be (go to the bottom of the page for art suggestions). Together, we can come up with the walk that is right for you.
Who: Anyone is welcome. I would like to keep numbers small – a maximum of 4 participants at one time. I am also happy to hike with just one person. We will keep physical distance to the best of our ability. I plan to use willow hoops to highlight plants of interest. We will travel to the hiking location in separate vehicles. Bring your own water, snacks, bug spray, sunscreen.
Where: The starting place is Kerry Farm located near Abernethy, 110 kms from Regina. If we go to private land, I have obtained permission to hike there. None of the 4 places listed below have “trails” but we do sometimes follow deer and cattle paths.
- Pheasant Creek – Grandfather Rock is the place I know best and is a 10 minute drive from Kerry Farm. For those uncomfortable with hills, there are a couple of spots where you can sit and enjoy the environs. For others, hill climbing and creek crossing are possible. This small ravine has an intimate beauty, lovely wildflowers, grasses and abundant berries. Private land. Plan for 1.5 – 2.5 hours.
- Pheasant Creek East. This 4 km hike takes us through chokecherry and Saskatoon bushes, then onto meadows and up a hill to an old farm site, across a field and back down a shady dirt road to where we began. Private land a 15 minute drive from Kerry Farm. Plan for 1.5-2.5 hours.
- Pheasant Creek South – The Sacred Spot. A half hour walk through an alfalfa field ending in a beautiful patch of uncultivated prairie which overlooks Pheasant Creek as it meets the Qu’Appelle River from the top of a beautiful hogs back*. We can picnic at the top or for those who wish we can climb down the hog’s back and explore the coulee bottom.It takes a half hour to return to our vehicles, so there is a minimum of one hour walking. The starting point is a 20 minute drive from Kerry Farm. Plan for 1.5 -2.5 hours. * a hog’s back is a long, narrow ridge or a series of hills with a narrow crest and steep slopes.
- Pheasant Creek South – the Ridges. This is the start of a possible 8 km hike that begins with a steep climb up the ridges, down again through a forest path, through meadows and small woods with stops at the creek as we go, and finally a climb up the hog’s back with a stunning view of where we have come from. Then we return the same way. The starting point is a 25 minute drive from Kerry Farm. Some private land. Plan for 2.5 – 4 hours for the whole hike. If you just want to climb the ridge and explore a bit on the other side, 1.5 – 2 hours should be lots.
- I also enjoy hiking at Echo Valley Provincial Park (where there are trails) and at Nature Conservancy’s Pasqua Lake Land both a distance from Fort Qu’Appelle.
Camping: For those travelling or wishing to stay a few days, very basic camping at Kerry Farm is possible. We have a fire pit and wood, and the downstairs bathroom can be disinfected and reserved for campers (no shower, just a toilet and sink). We ask that you bring your own drinking water, food and stove and take care of your own eating needs. I feel comfortable with one family at a time. Also at the farm is a wonderful willow tree (Grandmother Willow), some trees to balance on, 3 dogs, 1 old cat who loves being cuddled, and three old (non-riding) horses who enjoy being brushed.
Cost: No cost at the present time (until end of July). When hiking on private land with a group, I sometimes offer the landowner a gift of money (goodwill and gratitude). If you wish to contribute to that, please feel free to do so. If you have the means and can contribute to a charitable donation as a way of paying it forward, please do.
How To Make This Happen: Contact me with dates that work for you, and some idea of what kind of walk or experience you would most enjoy. I welcome outlandish suggestions. Text or call : 306 331 9719 Land line 306 333 4501 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Art and Other Possibilities: It is possible to combine a hike with other elements, like creating art. I enjoy field sketching once the wood ticks are less populous – maybe early July? For younger children, I have put together booklets with line drawings of plants they are likely to meet…they have to find them and give them a name. I can add some of the elements of Befriending Wildflowers to our day – often sketching and painting in the shade, but there are other possibilities as well. Last year, I held Sticks and Stones – families came back to Kerry Farm and painted driftwood or sticks or in some cases stones.Although I am not offering these PLAYshops this summer, I have kept their pages up for reference.