on the minor details (such as a Topps 1989 Ron Oester baseball card we found plastered to the sidewalk) of a thoroughly unremarkable but delightful long January walk on the outskirts of the city

Adam and I hopped on the 43 yesterday (soon to be cut down at the knees for peak service-only as a result of ministrations for the fancy new subway train up higher on the hill) and got off at Broadway where we hopped back onto the First Hill streetcar which meandered to the International District and we got off by Occidental Park in Pioneer Square and then we got back on another train which we rode south nearly all the way to the airport. I got Adam a cheeseburger and milkshake before we embarked on a long, extremely long walk north to South Park. He didn’t complain once about his feet or ask how much further and I let him blab my ear off for several hours about Minecraft.

It was a weird stroll to be on, at times the local low-riding riff raff eyed us with a mixture that was less menacement and more bemusement and suspicion that anyone would choose to actually walk with their own two feet. But while jet airliners were dipping below the treetops to the west, we enjoyed little surprises like muddy horse pastures and hot pink Cutlass Supremes. We discovered repeatedly this is closed-circuit, video surveillance country (smile because you’re on camera) and also the domain of backyard demons, as we discovered here just up the street from Hilltop Elementary School. This was a delightfully creepy, bizarro find (you bring the brats, he’ll grill’em) and yet it made me feel safer than if I was in my own neighborhood. The people who live here have all kinds of fascinating things in their yard and part of me hoped they would hear us and come outside, their property backed to a chain-link enclosed greenbelt of sorts.

Adam and I talked and talked (well, he did most of the talking) and before we realized, several hours had passed and we were relieved at the sight of Boeing Field from the other side of Highway 99. I had thought South Park would be a nice endpoint and my feet finally did fail us in this little oasis of a neighborhood. A curiosity burned inside me to climb the odd, seemingly misplaced local hill for a view of whatever but I was just too darn pooped so we stuck to the main drag. The little Mexican restaurants before the bridge were never more enticing in my life but Adam spotted the shrine of old gears to the former span and made us investigate and before I knew it I was floating over my own feet above the Duwamish to East Marginal Way and all the airplane factory buildings. We got to the other end of the bridge and studied the mysterious, cut-up and shrink-wrapped remnants of an Airbus A340 fuselage. I called Mission Control for a rescue and yet Adam still ran around like crazy with Oliver Fern under the Hat n’ Boots at Oxbow Park. And then he even stayed up too late playing scrabble with his mom and I, a little bleary-eyed he was this morning though Oliver Fern and I let him stay sleeping practically a half hour before the school bus was going to arrive.

One thought on “on the minor details (such as a Topps 1989 Ron Oester baseball card we found plastered to the sidewalk) of a thoroughly unremarkable but delightful long January walk on the outskirts of the city

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