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Yesterday my friend Carol and I escaped the sultry 90+ degree heat in Seattle and sat on the beach at Jetty Island in Everett.  This was an adventure of sorts, since neither of us had ever been there before.  Jetty Island is a manmade jetty, just three minutes by a little passenger ferry across the channel from the Port of Everett.  In the summer, the port runs a free 60-passenger ferry to the island.  Everett residents can make advance reservations to secure a place on the boat, but since we were not able to make reservations, Carol and I arrived early and got seats on the first crossing of the day.

The 2-mile long jetty offers plenty of sandy beach, and yesterday’s mid-day low tide exposed even more sand.  Kids and families in neon-colored bathing suits toted equally colorful shovels and buckets for a day of play on the beach.  Running was the order of the day — kids scampered from place to place — it was rare to see a child walking.  The cool breeze and salty air were refreshing antidotes to the heat of the city.

It’s no wonder that Jetty Island was the winner of the 2013 Red Tricycle Totally Awesome Award for Best Family Escape and Getaway.  Visiting Jetty Island had long been on my Summer To-Do List, and we picked a perfect day to discover this unusual place.

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“But most of these far walks have been taken just for the joy of walking in the free air.”
— John Finley, “Traveling Afoot,” from The Joys of Walking, ed. Edwin Valentine

“Increasingly, walking itself became a source of happiness, something to be enjoyed in its own right, bringing an intensity of experience and a sensual awareness of surroundings that grew more addictive by the miles.”
— Nick Hunt, Walking the Woods and the Water

View of downtown Seattle skyline from Alki

View of downtown Seattle skyline from Alki

At this point in my multi-day project of encircling the periphery of Seattle, I no longer questioned why I was walking these segments.  I simply enjoyed the journey.  I was especially looking forward to this day’s walk because I knew I would have Puget Sound in sight almost the entire day.  I was reminded of how beautiful Seattle’s location is, with distant mountains to the west (the Olympics) and to the east (the Cascades) and the gentle waves of Puget Sound lapping its shores.

I started my walk from the Barton Street Pea Patch at the intersection of Barton Street SW and 35th Avenue SW.

Sunflower

Sunflower

Barton Street community garden

Barton Street community garden

I followed Barton Street west and downhill to the sound.  The Fauntleroy ferry was disgorging cars and passengers.  It would have been a lovely day for a ferry ride to Vashon Island, but I stuck with my plan to walk.

Ferry to Vashon Island

Ferry to Vashon Island

Disembarking

Disembarking

I followed Fauntleroy Avenue SW to Lincoln Park, a heavily wooded space with playground, picnic tables, and below the bluff, a beach with paved walking and biking path.  Families, joggers, and dog-watchers enjoyed the beach.

Picnic table under the trees, Lincoln Park

Picnic table under the trees, Lincoln Park

 

Beach at Lincoln Park on Puget Sound

Beach at Lincoln Park on Puget Sound

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Exercising with beach rocks

Exercising with beach rocks

The Seattle grunge look -- starting early

The Seattle grunge look — starting early

Seattle is a very literary city.

Seattle is a very literary city.

From Lincoln Park I headed north on Beach Drive where I was separated from the beach by a row of waterfront residences.  As I approached Alki Beach, I discovered a set of 27 constellations embedded the sidewalk, West Seattle’s own “Avenue of the Stars.”
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Beach Drive turned into Alki Avenue.  The point here was the original landing spot of the Denny Party, Seattle’s first white settlers, in 1851.  Later they relocated across the Sound to establish Seattle on the shores of Elliott Bay.  Today the beach is one of the city’s favorite recreation spots, especially on summer days.

Blue bottle house

Blue bottle house

Alki Beach

Alki Beach

Alki has its own miniature replica of the Statue of Liberty, which commemorates the 40th anniversary of the Boy Scouts.

Alki has its own miniature replica of the Statue of Liberty, which commemorates the 40th anniversary of the Boy Scouts.

Picnic on the beach

Picnic on the beach

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Flowered house on Alki Avenue

Flowered house on Alki Avenue

Alki Avenue turned into Harbor Avenue SW and now the views over the water took in the Seattle skyline.

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Recreation and industry on Elliott Bay near downtown Seattle

Recreation and industry on Elliott Bay near downtown Seattle

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The next stretch of my walk took me away from the relaxing beachfront and back into the city’s industrial area.  Pedestrians are prohibited on the West Seattle Bridge, but I had access to a nice bike trail across Harbor Island on an older, lower bridge.  I passed over the Duwamish River, and Mount Rainier gleamed hugely and whitely on the horizon.

Bike path along the lower bridge

Bike path along the lower bridge

Under the West Seattle Bridge

Under the West Seattle Bridge

Duwamish River with Mount Rainier

Duwamish River with Mount Rainier

Duwamish River looking toward downtown Seattle

Duwamish River looking toward downtown Seattle

My final trek was along East Marginal Way South past the shipping docks.  The Starbucks headquarters punctuated the skyline in the SODO (south of Downtown) neighborhood.  I passed an historical marker near 2225 E marginal Way S on the spot of the world’s very first gasoline service station (1907).  Who knew that Seattle played a role in this part of our country’s driving history!

Loading docks and shipyards

Loading docks and shipyards

Starbucks headquarters

Starbucks headquarters

East Marginal Way South

East Marginal Way South

Bike path into downtown Seattle

Bike path into downtown Seattle

Ferry coming into the downtown terminal

Ferry coming into the downtown terminal

I ended my walk at the downtown ferry terminal.

Total walking distance:  about 12 miles

 

 

 

Riding the ferry to Bainbridge Island

Riding the ferry to Bainbridge Island

My friend Carol and I made a day trip back to the Bainbridge Island Museum of Art to see its new exhibits.  The ferry ride is always a welcome transition away from city life, and it is a joy to stroll the streets of Winslow and enjoy the small town ambience.

I love that the Bainbridge Island Museum of Art changes its exhibits so frequently.  Who knew that there is so much local talent to showcase!  The current exhibits, which run through January 5, 2014, feature the works of oil painter Gayle Bard and children’s book illustrator and artist Richard Jesse Watson, as well as new selections from its permanent collection.  Admission is free, and the museum is a short walk up from the ferry terminal.  No need to bring a car.

Gayle Bard: A Singular Vision exhibit

Gayle Bard: A Singular Vision exhibit

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From Richard Jesse Watson: Inner Zoo, Outer Orbit exhibit

From Richard Jesse Watson: Inner Zoo, Outer Orbit exhibit

Richard Jesse Watson, Quilted Angel

Richard Jesse Watson, Quilted Angel

Richard Jesse Watson, Infinity Within

Richard Jesse Watson, Infinity Within

Richard Jesse Watson, Star Gazer

Richard Jesse Watson, Star Gazer

Sidewalk mosaic of ferry boat, Bainbridge Island

Sidewalk mosaic of ferry boat, Bainbridge Island

Bainbridge Island Museum of Art

Bainbridge Island Museum of Art

One shouldn’t need an excuse to enjoy a ferry ride from time to time — being out on the water is its own reward — but now I will be looking forward to more frequent trips to Bainbridge Island just to visit its new Bainbridge Island Museum of Art.  Opened in mid-June of this year, the light-filled museum is a showcase for artists and craftspeople from the Puget Sound Region.  I loved the focus on local art, and because the museum promises to change its displays seasonally, I am looking forward to returning again and again.

One of the whimsical sculptures in Margie McDonald's "Sea 'scape"

One of the whimsical sculptures in Margie McDonald’s “Sea ‘scape”

"What Shakes the Eye" by illustrator Barbara Helen Berger

“What Shakes the Eye” by illustrator Barbara Helen Berger

"Cat Table" by Frank Renlie

“Cat Table” by Frank Renlie

Bainbridge Island Museum of ArtThe museum couldn’t be more welcoming — admission is free, and it’s conveniently located a short walk from the ferry terminal.

One of my favorite things about the Bainbridge Island Museum of Art is its rooftop garden.  It is set up something like the art inside the museum in that it is meant to be viewed from behind a fence — it’s not a garden you can touch and walk through.  It’s a rock garden and very Zen-like.  The sculptural shapes of the rocks and succulents also make it feel like a continuation of the art exhibits inside.

Rooftop garden, Bainbridge Island Museum of Art

Rooftop garden

Rooftop garden

Succulents, rooftop garden

Succulents, rooftop garden

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Rooftop garden

Ferry rides and museums — both vehicles for transport.  A satisfying combination on this day trip from urban Seattle.

From a street mural in Pioneer Square

From a street mural in Pioneer Square

“Green is the prime color of the world, and that from which its loveliness arises.”
— Pedro Calderon de la Barca, Spanish poet

A line of towering trees at Green Lake

Striped leaf

Unfurled poppy

Adorned poppy seed cases

Gladioli stalks

Leaves of a dogwood tree

More poppy seed cases

Little green apple

 

The yellow-green of a new sunflower waiting to bloom

Fluorescent yellow-green escalator in Seattle’s downtown library

Seattle green is the dark green of the trim on the Washington State Ferries.

And it’s also the green of Starbucks, our local Seattle coffee company, now a worldly giant

Wave by Richard Serra, Olympic Sculpture Park, Seattle

The Seattle Art Museum’s Olympic Sculpture Park is one of Seattle’s best bargain destinations.  Admission is free!  It’s located right on the waterfront overlooking Elliott Bay, so you can enjoy superb views while you view the art.

The Wave sculpture

The Wave by Richard Serra

Typewriter Eraser, Scale X by Claes Oldenberg and Coosje van Bruggen with Alexander Calder's red Eagle in the background

Detail of Typewriter Eraser

Flemish Lines by Nicholas Nyland

Flemish Lines

Seattle Cloud Cover by Teresita Fernandez, with Spaceneedle

Red chairs with ferry, Olympic Sculpture Park

Olympic Sculpture Park, Seattle

 

Moss-covered public phone outside the Visitor's Center in the Hoh Rain Forest

On my day-off work this week, my husband and I took a road trip to the Olympic Peninsula to visit the Hoh Rain Forest, a temperate rain forest in our state that averages over 12 feet of rain per year!  We caught the Edmonds-Kingston ferry across Puget Sound to the Olympic Peninsula.  It hadn’t started raining yet.

On the ferry crossing to the Olympic Peninsula

One of the Olympic Mountain peaks

As we drove Hwy 101 north and west, we left any sun breaks and saw low-lying clouds caught in the trees on the mountain slopes.  By the time we reached Lake Crescent, it was raining.  From then on, our windshield wipers got a real workout.

Clouds caught on the mountain slopes near Hwy 101

It was still raining when we arrived at the Hoh Rainforest.  We hiked the Hall of Mosses trail, a 3/4 mile easy loop, where we were surrounded by immense trees, ferns, mosses and lichens.

Hall of Mosses trail

Ferns growing out of mosses on the side of a tree

Mosses and ferns

This fallen tree was 190-feet long!

Even the river was full of green plant life.

Some of the prettiest scenery on our drive was the section of Hwy 101 along Lake Crescent.  This was a trip where the journey was as satisfying as the destination.

Magnificent tree on the western shore of Lake Crescent

Low clouds over Lake Crescent