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82 Parks, 82 Stories: An Odyssey by Bicycle to Explore the Diversity of Sites on 2020’s “Optimizing Parks” List

July 28, 2022

Wild Lands Advocate article by: Sean Nichols, AWA Program Specialist

Click here for a pdf version of the article.

On a hot, dusty afternoon of July 28, I paused at the top of Range Road 100, about 7 km northeast of the town of Swan Hills, and surveyed the road ahead of me. The rough and badly eroded industrial track led down a steep hillside, and out across a broad valley. On either side, pumpjacks filled a landscape crisscrossed with cutlines and powerlines. Although the valley was several kilometres across, between the dust from the road, the smoke from BC’s summer of forest fires, and the general haze, the vista became indistinct after the first few hundred metres and my eyes strained to pick out details. Near the bottom of the hill, a kilometre or two away, an oncoming truck, flatbed laden with equipment, BRAAAP’ed its presence as it worked up enough steam to tackle the rocks and cobbles of the ascent.

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