This morning after the bone-chilling fog cleared just enough from our hill for us to realize we were the only neighborhood still socked in, Adam and I headed south to the sun for a walk in Seward Park. The 300 acre forested peninsula on Lake Washington is home to some of Seattle’s most majestic trees, including 120 acres of old growth firs and cedars. The park avoided the fate of the rest of Seattle in the 1800s by not being logged into oblivion.
Our choice for a walk on a cold, sunny morning was unintentionally odd, we were dark and cold in the woods. As the mid-morning sky grew brighter, we welcomed the occasional stray shafts of light and patches of sun on the damp trail. It was a lovely, lingering walk. We admired the mossy nurse logs tucked along the side of the trail and felt cozier the further we got into the forest. In the middle of the woods, Adam discovered and climbed up into a cradle formed by the split trunks of a giant big leaf maple.
Adam even realized his dream of having his own den. This is him doing an excellent impersonation of a chipmunk:
If you were a hobbit, you could really get along quite well in the woods here as long as you stayed away from the poison oak. We passed numerous side-trails with names like Woodpecker, Windfall, Erratic, Lost Lake and Huckleberry that gave clues to the sprawling woods’ character.
After a scant mile on the park’s main trail (the Sqebeqsed, which is what the Duwamish Tribe called Seward Park), we began a gradual descent down to the water. That last quarter mile is probably my favorite walk in the entire park, it feels like you’re in the Hall of Trees and the sliver-like views of the lake below are ever enticing. The very pebbly beach at the north end of Bailey Peninsula has enormous, distant views of downtown Seattle, Lake Washington and Mercer Island. I always want to take a good picture here but I never succeed. The water was gray, even the sky was a dull blue-gray because the sun had barely burned off the rest of the morning fog. What I need there is a storm, a bad one. Adam spent some time building a thatch hut out of twigs for the Swiss Family Robinson while snacking on left-over Halloween Skittles. The beach was mostly in the shade, we were cold. After a half hour we headed back into the woods.
On our way back up the Sqebeqsed Trail, we happened upon what has to be one of the most massive trees in the city, a giant Douglas Fir pockmarked by numerous woodpecker holes. Nearby, there’s a metal stand by the trail that used to hold an interpretive sign. A coincidence? But the stand is empty now. It was about this time I put Adam on my shoulders, he was tuckered out.