Cedar River Trail and the Big Birds Beside

Today was overcast but just right for a morning walk along the Cedar River Trail.

The river was flowing gently while reflecting the flowers and trees alongside its banks,

and the ducks were enjoying the flow.


It wasn’t long before the Big Birds came into view. The Trail meanders along the river and through Boeing’s Renton Plant, home to the best selling commercial airliner of all time, the 737.  (Did you know a Boeing 737 takes off or lands somewhere every two seconds?)

The Boeing Renton Factory opened during the 1940’s and produced the B29 Bombers used during World War II.

When I was growing up Seattle was known as the Jet City and everyone knew someone who worked at Boeing. Boeing is still the largest private employer in the state of Washington.

The 737, which went into production in 1967, is still manufactured at the Renton plant and can be seen lining both sides of the river.

We talk with a guard who points out the 737 MAX currently under construction, distinguishable by the unique ‘pincher’ on the end of its wings.

We follow the trail to the south end of Lake Washington and stop to enjoy the views.

On our return I see this tree in spring dress and am reminded it is just getting warmed up..

and will light up the trail in the fall.

We’ll be back for the show.

~ Susanne

Trek to Tacoma and Ruston Way

Okay, so full disclosure here:  I am a native Seattleite through and through and very loyal.  When I grew up here you only passed through Tacoma on the way to somewhere else (usually to grandma’s house) and you did it quickly while holding your nose due to the Tacoma aroma.  (A large pulp mill was the main feature of the city.)

But in the past few years, there have been some wonderful developments in this city to the south including a UW extension campus and some very nice museums.

Today was sunny and we were looking for something to do outside.  We considered the Tulip fields north of Seattle but shunned the terrible traffic we knew we would encounter. (We’ll save those beautiful tulips for a weekday because we can.)

Instead we head to Tacoma and explore Ruston Way, an area we had heard about but never been to. What a pleasant surprise!  It turns out that Tacoma has a very pedestrian friendly waterfront perfect for exploring. We find beautiful views, sculptures, docks and old pilings, under mostly blue skies and with half the number of people (at least) you would expect to find on Seattle’s waterfront.  (Not to mention free parking.)

We stop to get the time from this sundial and found out it was going on noon; it obviously did not spring ahead for daylight savings time.

We get a history lesson when we come across Chinese Reconciliation Park which commemorates the forced expulsion of the Chinese population of Tacoma in 1885.

We walk the winding path in the small park and learn about a very ugly period in our history.   One of the stone plaques reads:

Anti-Chinese sentiment was fueled by a widespread economic depression in the 1870’s that depleted the job market. Anxious to blame someone for their woes, unemployed and frustrated workers made Chinese immigrants scapegoats because of their race, culture, and willingness to work for lower wages. The Chinese became targets of violent rallies, riots and local laws that limited their rights.  National political pressure only encouraged the intolerance of the Chinese people as Congress passed the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882.  This was the first U.S. immigration law to single out a specific nationality for discriminatory treatment.”

I marvel at the similarities of today.  Is there nothing new under the sun?

When it’s time for lunch we head up the road and find an entirely different look at Ruston Way.  It is bustling with new development, businesses, lodging, theatres and restaurants.  Children are roller skating and families are riding in surreys.  Clearly it is up and coming.

On our walk we meet a young woman who recently moved from Seattle to Tacoma. Forever the Seattle snob (refer back to my first paragraph)  I inquire.  “Really??  Why?”

“We got priced out of Seattle,” was her reply.   “And I’m finding I love it here.”

Okay so she was not a native.  She was originally from Nebraska and had only lived in Seattle the previous eight  years.  To her, it was about the same.  Only affordable.  And less crowded.

I’m starting to get it.  I will always love Seattle but it is no longer the Seattle of my youth. But then, neither is Tacoma.

~  Susanne

Walking along the Cedar River

We finally have a reprieve from the rain and decide to walk the Cedar River Trail.  The air is clean and fresh, the pathway clear..


We come across this brilliant golden tree and pause to enjoy….



And pass this flock of big birds on the banks of the river..


Until we reach the southern shores of Lake Washington into which the river flows


We return refreshed.

Just a walk in the park….

The morning started out a bit overcast but held the promise of sun and so I ventured out to Gene Coulon Park to walk along the southern shores of Lake Washington.  A paved pedestrian trail where bikes and dogs are not allowed make it an easy walk for people of all ages, including me. No need to hurry as there is something wonderful to see around every bend and in every color, in shades of green and blue and purple and gray…DSC00051

The hydrangeas were in full, glorious dress….DSC00076and this silent stream was a study in green..

DSC00079There was the lone turtle soaking up the sun’s rays….

DSC00059 (1)and the blue heron standing tall against the skyscrapers of Seattle..

the lonerAnd if you could only see through the clouds you would find the Olympics to the west standing guard, as I did one crisp, clear day last winter…

Coulon_winter_boatAlong with this shy, local beauty

Coulon_Rainier (2)