Thursday, June 30, 2005

The Sly Pedestrian

Really, it's a remarkably short distance from our apartment in Ballard over to Discovery Park. There's no excuse for me not to walk over there more often. I've made the obvious trek a couple of times, crossing the canal at the Locks and walking up West Commodore Way to the north parking lot of Discovery Park. Usually from there I'd stroll up to the Daybreak Star Cultural Center overlook to gaze at Puget Sound.

Tonight, though, after I crossed the Locks and went through Commodore Park I noticed for the first time a little sign indicating a pedestrian / bike trail up a dead end road. Hiking up the road led me to a wooden bridge across the train tracks and along the "Kiwanis Ravine," a wildlife corridor intended especially to increase blue heron habitat. Did you know, great blue herons have built forty-four nests in the ravine this year? I've certainly seen a heron or two at the Locks, but I had no idea there was a protected habitat for them right in the neighborhood.

Charmed, I hung out on the bridge for awhile, hoping without luck to have a train rumble beneath my feet, before continuing on to the South entrance of Discovery Park where I sat down for a few minutes at a picnic table in the sun before retracing my steps.

I love these pedestrian surprises--the stairs up to 85th from Golden Gardens, this hidden ravine trail and habitat in Magnolia, the tiny beach below the train trestle just past the Locks. They make me feel like I've got a secret--granted, thousands of other people know about these places, but everybody knows about Discovery Park itself. I'll wager far fewer know about the Kiwanis Ravine.

I guess that means it's just an excuse for me to feel superior to people who never get out of their cars. Well...I'll try not to be too smug about it.