North Saskatchewan River, AB - Eric Addie
My Watermark is the North Saskatchewan River, Alberta.
I lived in Edmonton for 10 years and I've never been on the water before. Just spent an afternoon canoeing down the North Saskatchewan River. We certainly started in a spot where the skyline wasn't visible; it was cliffs (and) trees. You got a sense of what people long before you were looking at. It connects you with the past, the history, of not only this area and Edmonton, but it connects you going back to the Hudson Bay Company and how we connected east and west before the railway was born.
There's the High Level bridge that connects Uptown to Southtown. That bridge to me is the closest thing to being on a roller coaster when you're a little kid. Every time I go over that bridge, I have a lot of friends that look at me and wonder why I have this big smile on my face. I look to the left and I look to the right, and in 10 years it was the only time I'd ever see the water. The next time I go over it, it will be more exciting because I've gone under it.
The river created a valley here in Edmonton that we all take advantage of: biking trails, hiking trails, [and] beautiful, gorgeous scenery. I finally got to enjoy the moving body itself that actually created that valley that we all enjoy. It was a historical journey, and for me, picturing the people that have come before me that have run that route, made me feel a little insignificant that I was in a fibreglass canoe. Nonetheless, it connected me to the city, myself, and the history of not only this area, but the country. If I have no friends coming out from out of town in the near future then I will go do it by myself, most definitely. I want to do it again, and I will be doing it again.