North Saskatchewan River, AB - Erik Hapke

My Watermark is the North Saskatchewan River, Alberta.

We're here on the shores of the North Saskatchewan River in downtown Edmonton. The river trip we just completed, I wish I could say I've done it several times in my life here. Did the trip with one of my good friends, known him for well over a couple decades now. Both of us living out here for an extended period of time, me 7 years years, he's probably about 10 years now. His first time doing something like this as well.

We started the trip at Laurier Park at the Edmonton Zoo and finished at Capilano Park. It took us about 3 hours or so. We did the trip on Canada Day. Me being a giant sports fan, and with technology these days, I got MLB TV on my phone. I had the ability to glance down and watch a couple live pitches here and there. When we pulled over for lunch it was great to relax, have lunch, and watch a bit of the game too with nature in the background. It was one of the longest games in Blue Jays history, 19 innings, and it was neat to say I was still able to keep up with what was going on in the sports world.

The highlight for me was coming around this bend right here. You can see the city skyline and where nature meets civilization. I have been here 7 years now and never had the perspective of being on the river that provides the water for so many different people. Drinking water, water for farmers, the ecosystem that's here, it was nice to be on and be apart of that. Coming around the corner to really see where civilization and the modern world meets nature was a cool realization for me.

I care about this river because it provides drinking water to me, my family, and every other citizen in Edmonton. The reason why Edmonton was set up here was because of the North Saskatchewan River and this location. My wife would love to experience something like this, I really want to bring her down here. All my family members, and everyone that comes out to visit me now, I'm going to make this canoe trip apart of the itinerary for everyone to do.

It's just such a great experience. It's something I want to do now at least two, three times a summer. It's something that allows for life to slow down a little bit. You come out here, board a canoe, and let the river tell a story.

Doug Copping
Erik Hapke

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