Tuesday, December 10, 2013
Blogging the Centurion Achievement Challenge #97.
I won't tell you how cold it was as I began the "mid-island" walk on Mercer Island this afternoon. I'll show you.
Keep in mind this is the warmest part of the day, and flowing water is the last to freeze.
Walk Y1050 starts in the city of Mercer Island, whose dedication to public art is shown in the various works displayed along its streets and paths.
Leaving the town, the route climbs the island crest passing through parks.
At the top of the hill, the 10k route turns and walks through neighborhoods of beautiful homes, past more parks, community centers and schools. I have limited time today, so I chose the 6k route which headed back down the hill towards the town.
I went through a park with this fun toy -- my boys would have loved it as children.
I passed the post office (and mailed in the "start card" for this walk) a beautiful fire station, then returned to my car.
Thanks Trailblazers for sponsoring another nice walk.
Thursday, December 05, 2013
It's FREEEEZING, literally. It is 32 degrees at 11:30am as I parked the car and started to walk. There are five interesting walks out of Fisheries Supply near Gas Works Park in Seattle. I chose Y351 University of Washington because today admission to the local museums is free and this walk goes by two I wanted to see.
The route begins on the Burke-Gilman trail. This railroad bed turned biking/walking path is used for recreation and commuting; I am one of many walking toward University of Washington. At 1 1/2 k the route leaves the trail to pass through the retail area of the community. "The Ave" (University Way) has changed since I graduated in the early 80's. Once lined with bookstores, record stores and cafes it is now filled with shops serving every kind of Asian cuisine imaginable.
Turning off The Ave, I stroll down "Greek Row" and entered the University of Washington near the Burke Museum. I spent a lot of time in this museum as an undergraduate, and am pleased that they have continued to develop and update the displays since that time. Not so with the Henry Art Gallery, the next stop on my campus tour. Housed in a gorgeous 1927 building, the curators' focus on the avant guarde conflicts with the beautiful space they have for display.
Now it is time for a trip down memory lane. Making a loop through campus, the trailmaster has incorporated views of interesting architecture and natural beauty.
As I rejoin the Burke-Gilman trail I get a view of the sundial. I was surprised that on this cloudy day there was a shadow marking 1:30pm (those side trips have made this a long walk).
The return walk follows the shoreline more closely. I loved the view from a pocket park on north Lake Union. If you look hard you can see the Space Needle in the distance on the right of the propeller.
No doubt, I had a good excuse to stay in and read a book today. But I am glad I braved the cold and took a wonderful walking tour of the University of Washington Campus
Friday, November 29, 2013
The startpoint is a residence. I first walked from this location in (see June 8th blog for walks 40 & 41). Since that time I have met the home owner/trailmaster/patch designer and even walked with his group in August. This is a committed Volkssporter. There are 5 year round events starting at this address. A chest-high wooden walk box takes up half the porch. Contained within the box are detailed color coded maps, instructions, pouches for stamps and waiver/sign in sheets. It is impressive.
I am trying to do 100 different walks this year, so I chose and checked in for the Celebration Park and the Steel Lake walks.
The Celebration Park walks begins right there, so I grab may backpack out of my car and start down the road. A street this size in my neighborhood would be flowing with traffic, but only a few cars pass as I make my was to the commercial area.
When I reach that, the traffic is still very light and it is a pleasant sidewalk stroll to the park.
Celebration Park is large, with several ball fields and play areas. After walking on the paths around the park we exit and join a trail which follows the Bonneville Power Administration overhead electric utility corridor. The BPA Trail is a nearly 4 miles long and connects Celebration Park to the downtown areas of Federal Way.
When the trail pops out on the street, I return to the start/finish.
To begin the second walk, Steel Lake, I must drive to a new start point. I guess I didn’t read carefully before signing up...the start is the major mall in the area and this is Black Friday! I was trying to avoid going near shopping areas today. I decide to drive a little way from the mall and park there. It was a good choice.
The walk starts in a heavy traffic and commercial area, but when I arrive at Steel Lake Park, it is worth it. This 52 acre city park has lots of picnic tables, lawned areas for Frisbee or catch, and of course the lake.
I liked the artwork on this rail.
This large children’s play area would have sparked my imagination as a youngster.
After passing through the park, I returned to commercial and retail area. As quickly as I could I fetched my car and returned home.
There is still one walk out of this location. It includes a nice State Park on Puget Sound. I’d like to come back and do that one on a sunny day.
Saturday, November 23, 2013
It was another beautiful day in the Puget Sound area; it was the perfect day to walk the Kirkland/Lake Washington Waterfront, Year Round walk #Y0134. Although slightly altered this year to maximize use of Kirkland Public Paths, it is almost the same walk that was voted the 7th Best National Year Round in 2001. It is obvious to me why this was so popular.
The Lake Washington waterfront is lined with well landscaped condominiums and parks. Kirkland Public Paths allow you to walk through many of these buildings' "backyard."
The route has many public works of art, mostly sculpture. I had to take a video of this Whirligig�though only a thumbnail will load to Spark.
There are fabulous views of the Olympic Mountains and Seattle skyline. My husband and I paused at the 5k mark to enjoy Downtown Marina Park, its view, waterfowl and boats. (At Christmas the lighted ships parade leaves from this marina. At several locations, including here, you can come enjoy a bonfire on the beach and local choirs singing carols from the deck of the ship.)
After a loop through Heritage Park, we enter the downtown area...a charming mix of art galleries, shops, eateries and a nice public library.
We started the route back to the start, not quite retracing our steps because there were different Public Paths to follow. I thought quite a cleaver way to direct the walkers taking in half the paths heading out and half on the return---like making a braid along the waterfront.
We worked up an appetite and headed out for hamburgers.
Thanks Interlaken Trailblazers for continuing to sponsor great routes.
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