Family Park Walk: Kirkland Watershed

On Saturday, we went for our weekend family walk at the Kirkland Watershed. This inaugural walk from the Urban Trails guidebook got us all just a little excited.

Kirkland Watershed

The guidebook said the freeway noise was a “background hum” (or words to that effect), but the trail we started on paralleled the freeway closely. We enjoyed more of a steady auditory background roar, but you wouldn’t know how close the freeway was just from the scenery.

Kirkland Watershed: Bower
Benji in a bower of young trees at Kirkland Watershed Park.

Eventually we wound our way away from the freeway and down a hill that led us to a very nice little creek, where Benji enjoyed launching leaf boats and barraging them with handfuls of mud. Continue Reading >>

Family Walk Goal: Walk All the Parks!

We are taking our weekend family walks to a new level, thanks to a book Mom gave us called Urban Trails: Eastside. It lists parks within easy driving distance of our house. We’ve agreed as a family to try to hike in every park in the book, one per weekend.

Urban Trails Eastside
Urban Trails: Eastside

To give Benji a boost, we agreed to count park visits from the beginning of 2021, so we already marked a few off:

Urban Trails: Eastside Tracking
Tracking our park visit progress.

Just in the last few weeks we visited Brightwater…

Brightwater Pond
On a hot day, the pond is definitely the biggest draw of Brightwater.

…and Redmond Watershed:

Redmond Watershed Walk
Walking at Redmond Watershed on a warm day a couple weeks ago.

We also visited St. Edward’s State Park, but I have no photographic evidence due to the rainy conditions. Continue Reading >>

Bay Area Hiking

As promised, here’s a post with pictures from the hikes I took in the Bay Area while waiting for my appointment time.

Just to remind you, here’s what it looked like near my neighborhood on Monday that week:


You can imagine how I luxuriated when I stepped out of the car at a park in the hills above Palo Alto on Friday and got this:

Bay Area Hiking
Bay Area Hiking
Bay Area Hiking
Bay Area Hiking
Bay Area Hiking
Bay Area Hiking
Bay Area Hiking
Bay Area Hiking

After finishing a 3.5-mile walk at the first park, I had a little extra time, so I drove up the hill a little farther. There I found another couple parks. I picked one and, at the suggestion of a helpful ranger, found a trail where I enjoyed the sweeping views. Continue Reading >>

Evans Creek Preserve Comes Through Again

The tiny Evans Creek Preserve is coming to be one of Benji’s and my favorite places to go for a walk. Cuddled up against the Sammamish Plateau, it features meadow, woodland, and hillside trails all documented with a phenomenal map system.

It doesn’t present much of a hiking challenge, but does present a perfect compromise for Benji’s love of maps and numbers and my desire for us to get outside. We simply hike from one numbered intersection to the next, and we’re both happy. Continue Reading >>

Family Hiking in Bridle Trails

Saturday afternoon, Benji and I went out to have some Mommy-Benji time. I had an errand in downtown Kirkland, but after that I suggested we go to Marina Park, or one of the other nearby Kirkland parks. Benji adamantly insisted he wanted to go for a hike. I tried to negotiate out of it by offering to do a hike on Sunday afternoon if we just went to one of the smaller regular parks within walking distance. No dice. He wanted to hike.

After giving it some good thought, I decided that if my kid wanted to go for a hike, I should encourage that, even if I’d already parked downtown. I also remembered that Bridle Trails wasn’t that far from downtown. Okay; if he wants a hike, we’ll do a hike. And the weather was lovely: sunny and above 50.

We weren’t in the right shoes — I had on old running shoes, and Benji doesn’t even have anything appropriate for hiking in that level of mud and muck — but oh well. Then, when we got there, there was a big Seattle Running Club event where people were running a 50k in teams or solo (!), so there were also runners and their cars all over the place.

Even so, we walked for about 1.25 miles and had a nice time before the sun set.

The next afternoon, all three of us went back to Bridle Trails and ended up walking a full 3 miles, pretty decent for a 5-year-old. We all agreed to have a goal of doing a family hike every weekend, rain or shine. Benji said he wants to walk 6 miles (a 10k), so we said okay, we’ll work up to that. We shall see if we end up actually pursuing that goal, but in the meantime we have a plan of hiking the 3.5-mile loop in Bridle Trails next weekend.

Bridle Trails Walk: Family

Bridle Trails Walk: Benji

Bridle Trails: Report Off-Leash Bicycles
I saw this sign and the persnickety writer in me just couldn’t resist thinking, “What’s an off-leash bicycle??”

Labor Day, School, and So Much More

The New Car

Yesterday marked the one monthiversary of buying our Bolt.

New Bolt!

Since we bought it, we’ve figured out that:

  • My bike fits in the back, but only with the seats all the way down and the passenger seat squeezed all the way forward–leaving room for only the driver. Clearly before we replace the Prius, I need to get a hitch-mounted rack for the Bolt.
  • The car has at least 300 miles per charge. Ian drove it for two straight weeks, just about 300 miles, without a charge.
  • The radio turns on every time we turn the car on, and so far we haven’t found a way to turn it off.
  • It feels like riding a bike: You’re very aware of ups and downs, since you’re paying close attention to energy usage; and it has a hand brake paddle on the steering wheel that lets you slow down or even come to a full stop without ever touching the foot brake.
    Continue Reading >>

  • Twin Falls Hike: Photo Impressions

    Day’s Verse:
    When down-and-outers get a break, cheer! And when the arrogant rich are brought down to size, cheer! Prosperity is as short-lived as a wildflower, so don’t ever count on it.
    James 1:9-11

    Dad and Carmel on the Twin Falls trail.
    On the Trail 1

    I meant to do this.
    Forest Blur

    Nothing like a hike for getting out in NATURE.

    I liked this leaf.
    Watery Leaf

    Dad gets credit for snapping this partially-submerged shot of Carmel.
    Underwater Dog Nose

    Trying out the waterproof claim of my camera.

    Check my Flickr photostream for more pictures.