I did something today I never, ever do: I went for a walk. I always joke that I refuse to walk anywhere because I’m from L.A….but it’s not really a joke. I love my car and it’s hard for me to see the point in walking somewhere when you can get there so much faster by car. I mean, I have stuff to do.
But today I had NOTHING to do. This Sunday capped off an awesome, relaxing weekend with zero obligations (I’m a 9-to-5er, but my weekends are usually when I work on my freelance journalism; this time, all my deadlines were earlier in the week so I could actually kick back!). Plus it was insanely beautiful in Seattle at 70 degrees and sunny. I tried to settle in to spend the afternoon watching the Dodgers take on the Astros, but when Houston knocked in a grand slam, on their way to a 12-0 win (ugh), I took that as my cue to quickly put together a sunny day playlist on Spotify, turn off the TV, and go outside. I have the fortune of living steps away from Lake Union, and I always see people jogging or walking or cycling, but I’ve only taken a walk around here once, right after moving to Seattle, when I couldn’t afford a single gallon of gas or even the bit of change needed for a bus ride, and I had to get to Seattle Center. That was September 2010. And I remember not enjoying the experience.
But this time…. I don’t know what came over me. Actually, I do: Seattle’s insane beauty.
Obviously this is Instagrammed, but it’s not that far from the truth…
When I rounded the lake on my way to my old Starbucks where I used to work, I stopped for the first time at Lake Union Park. I meant to only stop for a moment, but the view was so insane, I spent half an hour just staring out at the water. And then I spotted Gas Works Park in the distance and thought to myself, “Hey, I’ve never been there before, either. That doesn’t look TOO far away…”
…so I kept walking. I meant to use Starbucks as my turn-around point, but I had a quick iced tea and snack and then decided to move on, following the Cheshiahud Lake Union Loop.
And then I arrived at Gas Works Park. I know, I’ve lived here a year and a half and I haven’t experienced many of Seattle’s major green spaces. I know that’s weird.
Seattle’s parks are so different from my parks back home in L.A. At least, the ones I’ve encountered. When I think of a park, I think of a green space that has plenty of activity, educational, or athletic opportunities (courts, pools, swings, horseback riding, observatories…) but the spots designated as parks in central Seattle seem to just be areas to sit and stare. But that’s not a knock. With views like this, I can understand why.
From Gas Works, I could see my apartment on the eastern side of the lake. But because of the way Lake Union juts up in the northeast corner, I still had like 2.5 miles to go. At this point, I didn’t really have a choice, so…I kept going, experiencing a bit of the Burke-Gilman Trail.
Once I crossed the University Bridge and got into Eastlake, I found this little nook called South Passage Point Park. I think it’s one of my new favorite spots! It’s tiny and completely random, but you can sit on the concrete border and dangle your feet just inches from the water. It was so quiet and I never even knew it existed. I definitely want to go back one day, with a book to get lost in.
Along the walk, I passed by tons of beautiful spring flowers–and I saw the Eastlake P-Patch for the first time, which completely impressed me.
All told, I spent 4.5 hours on my walk (I stopped a lot, obviously; there were so many beautiful spots where I could sit and get lost in my thoughts!) and went a total of 6.5 miles. To someone who walks or runs or cycles or anything, that must sound like nothing. But for me? That’s actually kind of shocking. I can’t really believe I went all the way around Lake Union, and I’m kinda proud of myself. Earlier, I had been contemplating walking the Loop Trail at Discovery Park, but wondered if I’d be up for 2.8 miles. And I ended up walking more than twice that. I just was in such a good mood, and part of that is from an AMAZING concert I went to on Friday night (more on that later), and a hugely kickass Saturday where I reached a big personal goal (more on that later, also). Basically, this was the best weekend ever. The only downside is the sunburn I got on my face and chest (in an awkward v-neck shape, which is the worst part). I didn’t put on any sunscreen because I didn’t expect to be out for so long. Oops.
Anyway, here’s hoping this can-do, happy mood isn’t squashed by the work week, ha. I’m already looking forward to next weekend. If it’s sunny, you can bet I’ll be outside again, discovering more of this great city! If you have any suggestions for great walks in Seattle, lemme know. I’m feeling invincible. :)