Like Chili and Cornbread

Here’s an old, old Seattle joke:

“What do you do around here in the summer?”
“Ummm, if it falls on a Saturday we go out for a picnic!”

Early spring fell on a Saturday this month, not to mention Sunday and unbelievably, Monday too (70F!) So Mrs. Trike and I went for a really fine trike ride, from Kent to Algona-Pacific, on a combination of the Green River and Interurban trails. The views of Mt. Rainier were spectacular, with the sun glinting sharply off a few of the glaciers in glowing bands. Many other people were enjoying the sunshine, on wheel or foot, including three other trikers we passed.

Driven by their need to make more of themselves, the birds were out in force, which allowed Mrs. Trike to Trike n’ Bird. One of the great things about triking is that you can look up for fairly long periods without danger of going over the handlebars due to an unexpected crack in the trail. You can even raise binoculars for a quick look without stopping. The spot of the day was a Eurasian Wigeon, in a pond on the Riverbend Golf Course with a mixed flock of ducks. At the north end of the golf course there was a pair of nesting bald eagles, just off the trail. You couldn’t miss the spot, with Big Glass being pointed in their direction. As soon as little heads pop up I’m sure there will be a crowd control problem.

Trails and trikes go together like chili and cornbread. If you haven’t much paid attention to our trails, it may surprise that the Puget Sound area is incredibly blessed with them. In addition to the classic Burke-Gilman Trail, we have the Interurban, Sammamish River, East Lake Sammamish, PSE, Snoqualmie Valley, John Wayne, Centennial, Foothills, Larry Scott and Olympic Discovery Trails, as well as many lesser-known trails and connectors.

Many of these are works in progress, with dedicated citizens working towards acquiring land, rights of way, and funds to fill in the gaps between completed sections. The Olympic Discovery is a prime example. It has long stretches of terrific paved trail, with short gaps temporarily filled by low-traffic back roads. The intended final product runs from Port Townsend to La Push, a distance of 140 miles. Foothills is another example. Currently, you can ride from East Puyallup to Buckley on continuous paved path, a stretch of about 30 miles. Eventually, a gap will be filled extending the trail to Enumclaw.

In the near future I plan to begin a series of posts reviewing our local trails. John Anderson of Enumclaw, a dedicated trike rider and Foothills Trail booster, has an amazing collection of videos (set to music!) of Washington trail rides, including a few rocky ones in Mt. Rainier National Park (abandoned roads where cycles are allowed). I’m not up to speed on video yet, but I plan to post a few stills to help show the trails I review. The more people know and cherish our trail legacy, the better off we’ll all be.

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