Transportation is a pretty simple thing for me and Keri. We walk or take the bus. In really good weather, we can take long hikes in and around the River Valley. We can find ourselves walking some silly distances and if we finally give up we can find a bus stop going in our direction home. That might be a smaller carbon footprint but it’ll burn through sock, shoes, and the crotch seams of our pants. Socks can even be a Christmas event because by then we’ll need more of them.
Walking through the valley near the downtown area gives one a perspective of the history of twentieth century transportation. Older buildings, older yards, and driveways originally designed for the horse and carriage. Some of those driveways may even have a mid-50s Chevy parked alongside a modern fleet truck. There are odd turns and angles in the road, adapting to the twists and turns of the river. There is roadway design dating back to the time when the historical estates were new. These days, if a horse and carriage is spotted around those scenic turns it’s because someone got married in the spring time.
None of our travels are particularly fast. Keri and I are still in hiking footwear carrying City of Edmonton bus passes. I love my bus pass! Misplacing it makes me sweat like misplacing my keys. It’s a transportation security blanket if you’re living in the city. There’s always the fun adventure of simply picking a bus, a direction, and looking at different parts of the city. We make estimations of when things were built and how old the neighbourhood could be. Just a scenic ride, not quite like the ones Dad took you out on back in the boonies while looking at other farmers’ fields. Even if you’re just gawking and not on your way to work or appointments, you’re still transporting yourself past daisies that you could stop and smell. Just don’t be going so fast.
One particular item of city transport that we really love doesn’t go far, just over the river and back. It is the High Level Trolley Car. This car dates back to post-First World War. It’s provides a practical jaunt over the river connecting busy parts of the early city. Today, the car runs seasonally for sightseers and tourists. It’s run by volunteers who seem glad to do the upkeep on history. There are also cars from Melbourne or Berlin dating back to the 40s or 70s. This gives us a sense of traveling through the memory of early twentieth century transportation. It doesn’t take me to work or any appointments. I just enjoy what I see while going on by. You can do that when you’re not driving.
Reinhardt lives in Boyle Street with his wife, Keri Breckenridge.