Walk to Mercer Island (6.5 miles)

“Hide your troubles, try my hat.” – street magnetic poetry

I’ve had a difficult month. Without going into the whys and hows, trust me, it sucked. But I know what my “hat” is. It’s going outside.

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So, go ahead. Try my hat. When life gets you down, go for a bike ride, or find a hike and enjoy nature, or just go out walking, even if it’s only around town. That’s what I do.

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This Monday was a holiday (Memorial Day), so I decided to do a long walk by myself and recharge my batteries (they’re running low lately).

I went to Colman Park, the same park Jae and I reached, but didn’t explore last weekend. I figured that if I start a walk in the spot where I ended my last walk, I’ll eventually explore all of Seattle on foot.

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Colman Park is a wonderful nature oasis in the middle of the city. There is a community garden, nature trails and lots of stairs to climb.

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I walked up from the waterfront and ended up on top of Mt. Baker hill. And guess what? I discovered a new neighborhood!

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Well, not really new. Mt. Baker Ridge is part of the Mt. Baker neighborhood, I suppose, but this little part I’ve never been to before. It has its own cluster of businesses. A pizza place, a French Bistro, coffee shop and a pet store (I’m convinced that every neighborhood in Seattle has a coffee shop and a pet store). I loved that feeling of not knowing where I am at first! Reminded me so much of when I moved to Seattle and would delight in every little place I discovered.

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A community magnetic board had some magnetic poetry and that’s when I saw my found motto, which I will now include in the quotes section on the main page (and as an opening paragraph to this post).

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There is a viewpoint in Mt. Baker Ridge where you can see the city, snippets of the Sound, and the Olympics off in the distance.

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When I looked down from the viewpoint, I finally knew where I was! That’s the I-90 bike trial. I know it well, because until very recently this was the only way to get across Lake Washington on a bicycle.

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That’s the I-90 bridge. I’ve biked on it before, but never walked across, so now I decided that’s what I needed to do!

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To get to the bridge you first go through the I-90 tunnel. I love tunnels!

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Some fun murals in the tunnel.

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And some more serious ones.

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View of the mountain (aka Mt. Rainier).

Walking across the bridge seemed more fun than biking ever was. The bridge is windy and it’s loud and it can get pretty crowded, so biking it usually feels like something you just want to get over with. But the walk was very pleasant!

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I made it over to Mercer Island and used one of their public bathrooms. Despite my previous claims, I stand corrected, Mercer Island is good for something!

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I then turned around and enjoyed walking back to Seattle.

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Hey, that’s the Portal to the Pacific!

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There is another viewpoint up on the hill. From this one you can look over the bridge, Lake Washington, Mercer Island and the Cascades off in the distance.

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And another shot of the lake (and Leschi neighborhood), this one from the little park that’s under the I-90 bridge.

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So…  I wasn’t planning on keeping track of my city walks, but for some reason I’m a data junkie (how did I even survive before iPhones and Strava?!) and really enjoy counting miles. So I came up with a new category. Urban Hiking. I guess I’ll shoot for 100 miles per year? Same as ‘regular’ hiking? Or 200? 200 might be better. I don’t want to get lazy.

So far this year:

Havana* (Day 1) : 10.9 miles

Havana* (Day 2) : 8.7 miles

Seattle (Burke-Gilman) : 5.9 miles

Seattle (Beacon to Mt. Baker) : 12.6 miles

Seattle to Mercer Island: 6.5 miles

YTD Urban Hiking: 44.6 miles

*I haven’t yet written about the Havana walks, but will soon!

 

 

 

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