July 30, 2011
I am about as good at Disc Golf as I am at real golf, which is not very good. Fortunately, I was playing with a group of people who were all beginners themselves. So I didn’t feel too out of place.
The event was organized by the Edmonton Outdoor Club (EOC). This organization has been in operation for five years. It relies on volunteers to coordinate non-competitive adventure activities, social events, and travel excursions. I joined the EOC this past month in order to meet others who like to hike and enjoy the outdoors in the city.
Since joining, I have been on two urban hikes. These hikes consisted of exploring different areas of the river valley. There are a lot of maintained walkways throughout the river valley, allowing urban dwellers to enjoy the benefits of nature. One of the best ways to explore these many pathways is to hike with someone who knows the area.
Both hikes challenged me enough to require physical effort. Yet, both were comfortable enough to allow me to talk with the other group members. Part of the EOC’s mission is to provide their members with the opportunity to socialize. This mission is met by the physical activities that are coordinated to provide members with the chance to meet others who have the same outdoor interests.
On top of the two hikes, I have also taken part in a trip to the Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village, just east of Edmonton. I spent an enjoyable part of the day with a small group of EOC members, learning about the Ukrainian influence in the region. The Village is a “living museum.” The interpreters are dressed in authentic clothing, and interact with the visitors as if it were in the early 1900’s. The skill of the interpreters in carrying out their duties enabled us to catch a glimpse into life as it was for the Ukrainian immigrants in the early 1900’s.
My most recent activity with the EOC was Disc Golf. Nine of us spent a few hours negotiating through the course at the Strathcona Wilderness Centre. Due to the heavy rain that we have had over the past few weeks, there were areas of the course that were muddy. Some areas just off the path were swampy and required careful maneuvering when we tossed a golf disc off course.
I managed to keep my golf disc on the course for the most part. I did this by tossing my golf disc as powerful as I could, only to see it progress forward by a mere ten feet each time. I spent the entire course tossing my golf disc numerous times to get to the target basket. Since the object of the game was to get the disc golf into the basket in the fewest number of throws, I didn’t achieve the objective very well. But I did keep the golf disc close to the path.
My fellow “golfers” were not so lucky. They had far more powerful throws and were able to toss their golf discs further down the path. However, they spent more time combing the trees and bushes looking for their wayward golf discs. While they looked for their golf discs, I continued to toss mine a few feet a time up the path to the basket.
In the end, we all finished at the same time. Fortunately for me, we were not too serious about keeping score. And we had agreed that the cut-off for throws would be eight. After that, the tosses didn’t count. So I ended up with a solid line of “eights” on every hole, and did manage to get my golf disc a littler further up the path as the game progressed.
I’m looking forward to the next EOC activity, when a group of us are going to hike to the Clifford E. Lee Natural Area, just southwest of Edmonton, to watch the Perseid meteor shower. Hopefully, the weather will cooperate and allow us to see some spectacular meteors.
If you would like information on this organization, go to: http://www.edmontonoutdoorclub.com.
If you would like information on the Strathcona Wilderness Centre, check out the website at: http://www.strathcona.ca/departments/Recreation_Parks_and_Culture/Recreation_Centres/strathcona-wilderness-centre.aspx.
If you would like information on the Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village, go to: http://www.history.alberta.ca/ukrainianvillage/default.aspx.