Exploring the Seattle Area

I have to say that being from the North East it is amazing for me to be somewhere where I can see snow capped mountains on one side of me, the ocean on the other, and be in comfortable 50 degree weather in Seattle. On Friday Penny and I took a short half hour drive first to go see Snoqualmie Falls and then to climb Little Mount Si, a relaxed 2.2 mile hike to a 1,576 ft. summit with incredible views. This was the perfect hike to do as a afternoon hike or with kids (we saw many families including a little girl hiking in a tutu) and the view is definitely worth it, as one girl informed us on our way up. Here are some pictures from Snoqualmie falls and Little Mount Si.

Snoqualmie Falls. There was so much mist in the air from these powerful falls that it felt like it was raining.
Penny on our hike saying hi through a crazy root formation. Nature does do incredible things.
Penny and I at the peak. I think (?) that might be big Mount Si in the background.
More views from the peak of Little Mount Si.
Mountains in the distance on our way down.

I also finally made it to a rock climbing gym for the first time in many months. Although I am not as strong as I used to be it felt good to boulder and use my arms and upper body strength. I went to Stone Gardens Seattle, a large, impressive rock gym and I think I will try to go again before I leave Seattle.

***

A Sunny Tuesday led to Penny and I walking from the Ballard neighborhood all the way to Fremont, another funky, fun Seattle neighborhood and the home of the Troll, and the center of the universe. It was a beautiful day and a very pleasant walk. We found some wonderful little stores on our way, even some that Penny hadn’t noticed before, including one that sold beautiful little terrariums called Midnight Blossoms. It made me think, how cool would it be to have a terrarium built into a cob wall? It might have to be filled with non living things as my conversation with the store owner indicated that you really have to be able to open them sometimes to clean out condensation and mold. Or wouldn’t it be cool to have a ship in a bottle as a window in a cob house?

Anyway, there were some other fun architecturally inspiring things we saw on our walk as well. Here are a few pictures of a wacky building and some cement sculptures (they both have roofs over them so they totally could have instead been made out of cob!) and boast houses (now that is another appealing idea… a small, self sufficient, moveable house on the water…)

Funky apartment building
Cement sculpture under the bus stop
The Fremont Troll
The Fremont Troll
Fun brass sculptures of two clowns do-si-do ing
Boat houses across the way
A particularly cute boat house. That would be plenty of room for me!

***

Somehow, Tuesday wasn’t enough walking for us so today we walked all the way to Discovery Park, a 534 acre natural area. By the time we had walked there, done the loop trail through the park and walked back home we had walked almost ten miles! Discovery park was beautiful. Today was not as sunny as yesterday but the somewhat overcast threatening clouds added to a dramatic view from the park out over the water.

View from Discovery Park: Stormy clouds over the water
Another beautiful view from Discovery Park
Another beautiful view from Discovery Park
And one last view from Discovery Park

The wind was fierce at some points but the rain held off until just before we got back home. We finished off our day with a trip to Wide World Books and Maps, a travel bookstore, where we listened to a talk called Walking Seattle. I think our next long walk will be at Interlaken Park which is also close to the Washington Park Arboretum… That will be another good day of walking to look forward to.

But first I will be heading off to do a ten day silent meditation retreat. Yup, that’s right. Tomorrow I leave for a 10 day Vipassana Silent Meditation retreat. I am not quite sure what to expect but I am sure it will be transformative in some way or another. Wish me luck!

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