Now is my time to be learning and growing and experimenting and trying and practicing plus doing all those other …ings of a similar nature! An opportunity arose to share today with friends learning about the positive things the forest truly has to offer us. Lots of knowledge about this topic has been presented over the past while and it has been capturing my attention. Before venturing out today, my friend did an abundance of homework to locate a destination where we could safely, officially and legally perform some of our intended learnings.
To complete the Glasgow Creep Loop, we needed to park at the Forgetmenot Pond Day Use Parking Lot. The official trail head parking lot for the area we were hiking is closed for construction. We had beautiful scenery from the parking lot and the view included the wild horses grazing by the fence. We crossed the Harold Chapman (pink suspension) Bridge. following my friends We ended up in areas where there was lots of snow and the trail was not obvious at all. We did a little bushwhacking and route finding. While taking a few moments to chat, I scooted downhill to capture this pretty picture. The wide open vistas were not the focus for today but I cannot let go of that idea.
I did focus up close! We found the cairn that marks our way and I now notice the ground is covered with kinnikinnick which is that green foliage at the bottom middle. I learned this foliage is also known as bear-berry. It has a ceremonial use by some people, is used in crafts such as wreaths, also it is used for social smoking and has medicinal benefits.
This is the meadow we were aiming for and where we would spend time dining, foraging, experimenting and just lazing about. You can see my friends in the center working their way towards our lunch & learning location.
settling in the sunMy friend provided us with this map that shows the numerous designated zones. After discussions with a Government of Alberta Lands Officer, my friend (a.k.a Adventure Designer) confirmed we could legally carry out our learnings in the PLUZ (Public Land Use Zones). A very small section of PLUZ is located along the Glasgow Creek Trail. We identified we were in that zone.
We clipped a small amount of spruce tips from a few different trees to make tea.My friend dropped the tips in her thermos of boiling water and let them steep for a few minutes. She shared her beverage with us. It was tasty to me and I savoured a few sips. I learned that the spruce tips are better in the spring time and are best cooked or pickled. The tips contain lots of nutrients such as Vitamin A & C. They can be used to make raw tea or added to your drinking water.
After dining & drinking, I was back into photo mood and needed to capture a destination photo. While my friends lounged about, I opted to build a snowman.It was perfect snowman snow, being heavy and sticky.It was time to get on with our day and continue on with a bit more route finding and bushwhacking. Once again we came across areas with lots of snow. We found our way to the long Big Elbow Trail and got that stretch over with then crossed back over the pink suspension bridge.
The last leg of our adventure was an easy stroll on a short section of dry dirt road.Our day began seeing the wild horses and here the mustangs are again as we drove down Route 66.I enjoyed today as I always do when I am out & about, but I truly like the learning part. Between what I learned today and what I learned on a hike in the summer with my Thursday friends, I gained only a fraction of knowledge on what our forests have to offer us. I have only had a taste of these learnings and I realize I have a big appetite for more.