And the Sidewalk Ended

You know, I have no idea where this post is going to go.  I have been suffering a bit of bloggers block since the Chilly Hilly, the creative juices have simply not flowed. The weather has not been cooperating for long bike rides, which is the prime source of my muse.

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But Tuesday, I was taking my lunch time walk from the new downtown office near Lake Union….

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The mighty P moved from its prime location next to REI (sigh) to a perch overlooking the water.  It’s a pretty view, and right on a bike path, so there are some advantages. This also means that there are new places to walk.

Tuesday, I worked my way down closer to the lake at lunch.  I was kinda hoping for a walk along the shore, but instead I ended up walking along a lot of business store fronts, and succeeded in stepping in dog poop! (Darn it people, clean up after your dogs!)

I was thinking about calling it a day and heading back to my desk, when I rounded a corner and came upon this.

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The sidewalk just came to an end on this part of Westlake, and for a couple of hundred yards, was this peaceful quiet section of old rails.  The traffic on the road seemed farther away, the birds were singing, and it seemed kinda peaceful.  Plus there was a bench and a stick to clean the crap (literally) from the bottom of my shoes.

This picture of rails for some reason, has been popping into my head a lot this week.  We all know I love being outside.  Rain or shine, I go for walks at lunch.  Back in the days of working at the Holy P I was lucky enough to work near a wetland trail.

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Its one of the few things I miss about that job (and some of the people).  Nowadays in Lynnwood,  my walks usually take me near or into the mall.  The closest thing to nature is REI.

This area, though, this little patch of nature surrounded by urban sprawl. People who were walking the same path were detouring into the parking lot to avoid this section. I made a point to walk right through it, stepping on each railroad tie.  I felt like a little kid walking along the tracks, and there was a smile on my face (I could feel it!)

I’ve been trying to figure out why this picture has been on my mind so much, and I think, while writing this, I may have figured it out: I need nature time.  The last time I was in the Mountains was in July for the RAMROD ride

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I was too damn tired to appreciate it though.  Our August vacation last year, though thoroughly relaxing and fun

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Was not long on nature, though the hummingbird at Joseph Phelps winery was cool! image

I have to go WAY back to May, when Michelle and I were at the Ocean,

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To remember my last big outdoor fix.

I think, now that spring is coming, I am somehow going to have to get myself up into the mountains for a hike and sit.  Michelle and I will be at Canon Beach in May.

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So there is hope for the future, and I will be getting longer rides in soon, so at least I will be outside.

Until then, I just have to keep looking for spots where the sidewalk ends for quick fixes.  I need to watch for things, at work that make me happy

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And make sure when I get the chance, I get outside and, more importantly, when I do get the chance, make sure I sits and enjoys it.  I may just go back to the tracks and sits for bit in the near future….

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11 Responses to And the Sidewalk Ended

  1. Ace! Is there no law re dog shite? Totally illegal here not to pick up your dog mess. Reading this makes me realise yet again how I can just pop out the village and I’m out in the countryside, fields, hill or sea.

    • Oh there is a law! just not always followed. A buddy of mine in Portland has a sign in his yard saying “Clean it up or I will fling it at you!” and he does!

      I have about an hour or so drive to get to ‘countryside’ But I do love those trips

  2. This is just wonderful — you have really captured the feeling of wintertime angst and I am sure you will feel better if and when it ever stops raining! It is always a good idea to ponder and to pinpoint where your spirit has found nourishment. The train tracks, incredible! It is like a secret message that you will be able to “go somewhere” soon!

    Recently I was at the Lake Forest Park Town Center where at the southern end of the complex, there is a Subway sandwich shop and a Starbucks adjacent to one another — my idea of a perfect location. I was surprised to see, over on one side, a newly-created natural area called Whispering Willow. A section of Lyon Creek flows along under a bridge to the shopping area. Just around the corner from the busy mall and the traffic on Bothell Way NE, it was completely peaceful with only the sound of the gurgling water and the “whispering” of the breeze in the trees. This was like a wash cycle for the soul! I felt rejuvenated.

    • I know that area well! I park there a lot when I ride the BG. The did a great deal of work on that stream last summer, and I am hopeful sometime soon to see salmon spawning.

      The BG, being an old rails route (as you taught me!) lets me use another train path to spot my eagles, otters and bunnies!

    • Seattle Park Lover says:

      I’m sure the work around the creek was done for a good reason, but I want to cry every time I see it now. There used to be a row of weeping willows along the edge of the parking lot, and it was a lovely spot to get some green on a hot shopping day and watch ducks. Now it’s open wirh no shade for fish or critters.

      To Mountainstroh, I love the discovery of where that sidewalk ended and how you applied the thought to a wider idea. Here’s to all of us finding our own little sidewalk ends to tide us over to greater nature encounters.

      • They were trying for more open water and more conducive to wildlife I believe, and I am hoping they will replace trees. I agree it looks bare!

        thanks for the great comment!

      • I think that the creek work at Whispering Willow/Lyon Creek created a new stream channel and it will look bare until the new plantings grow. Updates on the Lake Forest Park page say that the water has washed out some of the plantings so they will try again and will re-position some plantings. I also know that they want the water to flow, and the bigger trees such as willows can soak up more of the water than is wanted — they want a stream to flow with enough volume for the salmon. So they don’t want big willows right on the bank of the creek, for now. The existing willow tree is over on one side.

      • Seattle Park Lover says:

        Interesting info about the effect of willows on stream flow!

      • The truth is, they suck up too much water and both the willow and poplars along the stream banks at the recent Meadowbrook project, had to be removed for that reason. It is true that the stream needs to be shaded for salmon but when trees are right at the stream bank, they take the water.

      • I learn lots from You!

      • That’s because I am a know-it-all, but I also know that the people who do these stream projects have learned from past efforts. The City of Lake Forest Park has posted that the soil at the Lyon Creek project has not stabilized yet. http://www.cityoflfp.com/CivicAlerts.aspx?AID=591

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