Saturday, March 22, 2014

Carkeek Park expedition

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When I was in Seattle back in November, I said something about not being in a very scenic part of town. That was certainly true of the area around my hotel, which (other than the Ivar's restaurant) was the usual could-be-anywhere jumble of strip malls and chain stores. A short drive west of there, though, was Seattle's Carkeek Park, a large nature area on Puget Sound. Much of the park is a forested ravine with a large network of trails, with a small gravelly beach on the sound. I'd just driven up from Portland and needed to stretch my legs a bit, and kind of wanted to do at least one thing that wasn't funeral-related, so I drove over and headed for the beach. A busy rail line runs right along the shoreline, so you have to use a somewhat rickety-looking skybridge to get from the parking lot to the beach. It was bitterly cold and windy that day, and the forecast included an off-chance of snow, so I didn't stay long. It was still a nice break from everything else, though.

I lived in Seattle until around age six, mumble-mumble years ago, so on the rare occasions I'm up there I inevitably try to figure out whether such-and-such a place looks familiar at all. This does actually work sometimes; on a previous trip I managed to find the house I moved away from in 1976, and hadn't been to since then, starting with a couple of cursory looks at Google Maps and after that it was all about recognizing the neighborhood. That was way down in Federal Way, though, and I don't think we spent a lot of time north of downtown Seattle unless it was to visit the zoo. The name "Carkeek Park" sounded vaguely familiar, because it's the sort of Dr. Seuss name that sticks in a five year old brain easily, but the park itself didn't look familiar. I mean, I guess it's technically possible that they've changed something here since Gerald Ford was President. Although I'm prepared to argue that 1976 really wasn't that long ago, all things considered. Ask any geologist, they'll tell you it was practically yesterday.

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