120 miles ago I started this journey, and tomorrow I start home for my first break. As I reflect back on the past 2 weeks I really can’t think of a single thing I didn’t love about it. Even my least favorite parts – being sick the first few days, battling the elements and being away from my home & family had a benefit. It reminded me that when I am weak, He is strong – and it reminded me to find my strength in Him and Him alone.
I leave for home after church tomorrow, and will get there on Tuesday afternoon – please pray me home! 😀
The weather over the entire 2 weeks was really rather remarkable for this time of year. Out of 12 days walking, I only had to wear my rain gear for 3 days – including today, which was a combination of either rain & no wind, or wind & no rain. When the temperatures are cold (low 40’s to low 50’s range), I’ve decided that I prefer the rain to the wind. I haven’t yet had to deal with ‘the perfect storm’, which would be rain, wind AND cold – yay!
I was also blessed with generous people who offered to pick me up or drop me off – and with abundant bus service on some days, I only needed to use my bike on one day, and then only for 3 miles. The first host family in my next walking cycle has space for my bike, so I’ll drop it off with her on my way out of Seattle – which will do wonders for my gas mileage!
I didn’t blog here during week 2, so I’ll catch you up now. I stayed in 2 more host homes – with Dawn & Bob and their 4 teens in Marysville, and I’ve spent the past 3 nights with Don & Sue, their daughter Christie and sweet cat Mosey in Mill Creek. Mill Creek reminds me a lot of Orange County – only greener & wetter!
Monday I walked (in the rain) from out in the middle of nowhere, through more ‘nowhere’ to Silvana, which is just south of the middle of nowhere. 😀 Actually, Silvana is a cute little town, and it was a pleasant rural walk. Four and a half days of walking in the city really has made me look back fondly on those country roads.
On Tuesday, after about 3 miles of rural walking out of Silvana, I entered Smokey Point and never really left ‘city’ for the rest of the week. Bye-bye countryside – I’ll miss you!
As I walked in the Seattle suburbs, I noticed SO many cute little coffee shacks – many of them with signs that said “Family Friendly”. I wondered about this, so I asked my host family. I was told that unfortunately, there are many of those coffee shacks that have female baristas in various stages of undress – and some have been cited as fronts for prostitution. Coffee shacks!
The most fun part of Wednesday’s walk was going over all the bridges between Marysville and Mt. Vernon. Traffic was fast (55 mph speed limit), but it wasn’t particularly heavy – and the shoulder was wide. The bridges all had good walkways, separated from traffic by a barrier. The walkways really got bouncy when large trucks passed by!
After my walk on Wednesday, I attempted the Mt. Baker scenic drive, but the weather had turned pretty sour so I didn’t get all the way there – it was still a pretty drive, and I loved this colorful fence in the parking lot of a ski/snowboard outfitter:
On Thursday it was more city – from Everett to Lynnwood. Here’s my favorite pic of the day – an old retro gas station.
Friday’s walk from Lynnwood to pretty Green Lake gave me my first glimpses of the Space Needle and the Seattle skyline. It still seemed so far away, but by the end of my day Saturday I’d be looking at it from the other side! I thought this mural was kinda cool – and I saw 2 of the landmarks pictured!
After walking, I took a drive east to Snoqualmie Falls – beautiful!
…and that brings me to today, my final day of walking until the day after Easter. As my host family told me last night, this was a ‘highlight’ day – walking through downtown Seattle! The lead-up was impressive as well – through the eclectic town of Fremont and over the Fremont bridge.
If you were tracking me today, I’m sure you saw some irregularities! I backtracked to take a look at the famous Fremont Troll, an ominous-looking ogre lurking under the Hwy 99 bridge:
And also a detour for about a half hour at Pike Place Market (including the first-ever Starbucks). Just before leaving downtown I found myself weaving through the staging area for the St. Patrick’s Day parade!
After leaving downtown, I had to go through an underpass near Safeco Field that I had been a little nervous about – a transient area with very little foot traffic. As I approached, a young, nicely-dressed couple turned the corner in front of me and they were going the same direction. I said, “Thank you, Jesus!” and stayed close behind them. But as we popped safely out on the other side, the couple popped in to the corner marijuana shop! Truly I say unto you – there are nearly as many pot shops here as there are coffee shacks…
In my final sightseeing trip, I had to make a pilgrimage to see where my favorite 80’s show was filmed – ‘Cicely, Alaska’ isn’t as far as you’d think! How many of you recognize The Brick, Ruth Ann’s store, the KBHR radio station, and the famous Roslyn sign?
As I exited Roslyn, I saw a herd of elk – which reminds me of all the critters I’ve seen: Cows, chickens, roosters, tom turkeys, horses, pigs, goats, dogs, cats, sheep, goats, ducks (mallard, muscovy, merganser), a spider monkey (in a gift shop), Canada geese, snow geese, trumpeter swans, bald eagles, sea lions, deer, elk, possum (dead), and more than a few scents of skunk – so I know they’re there!
Well, that’s enough for now – time to get some sleep before I hit the road tomorrow. Many thanks to all of my wonderful host families: Wendy/Jim; Denise/Steve; Lorri/Randy; Diana; Alida/Ron; Desiree/Sam; Dawn/Bob; Don/Sue; Cherie/Michael; Linda/Paul- and to my faithful vehicle support/walking team, Joann & Ken!
“The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make His face to shine upon you and be gracious unto you; the Lord lift up His countenance upon you and give you peace.” ~ Numbers 6:24-26