Earlier this week, I mentioned my goal of riding daily during my time off for spring break. While I think this is a worthy goal, it is also problematic for me. I have a chronic health issue that can make daily rides impossible (for instance, I’m now sitting at home writing this rather than riding, as a medication switch has left me dizzy and exhausted). Still, even on days when I’m not at peak form, a short ride can be good medicine.
The Raleigh is usually my bike of choice when I’m not feeling my best. The upright positioning and slower-paced riding are well suited to days when I’m fussy with pain. Recently, recovering from a cold-turned-sinus, ear and eye-infection, I’ve been hard hit by both my illness and the antibiotics used to treat it. There’s nothing like feeling bloated up like a balloon to encourage one to get out and be active! When pondering where to take my ride on Tuesday, I knew it had to be somewhere gentle and undemanding. No new trails. No hills. The Boy and I recently rode the Interurban, so I had no desire to head there again. How about its sister trail, the Green River Trail? Despite being the subject of an early rideblog rant, my mind had made the trail into something slightly bucolic and interesting. So off we went to check it out in all its April splendor (thought you’d get away without a mention, April? Think again!).
When riding this trail, The Raleigh and I take advantage of the nearby Tukwila train station for parking. The station connects to the Interurban Trail about three blocks from where the Interurban meets the Green River Trail. On the way from our car to the trailhead, The Raleigh and I have to pass under the freeway in what we like to think of as the Tunnel of Doom. It’s very dark in there.
The Green River Trail winds between the river and acres of industrial/office parks. This means that the view can be quite briefly pretty. If I were to pan over just a few feet, the backdrop for this photo would be a blank warehouse wall.
The Raleigh and I can’t quite decide what we think of this trail. The river should be a place of natural beauty and inspiration. Instead, spots like this constantly remind me of what it means to create an urban river, with the smooth green water in direct contrast to the gravel pit and apartment complex behind it.
I want to enjoy this trail. I really do. But each time I ride it, I find it more depressing than inspiring.
That black thing behind The Raleigh in this photo is a large industrial culvert, dumping water into the river. Is that a diverted stream? Road and construction site run-off? I have no idea, but it isn’t charming.
The river should have much to offer. We spotted a muskrat, or a very small beaver, carrying a stick across the water to build up his home. At a pretty bend, we watched this fellow circle above the water, looking for fish.
His mate, or perhaps HER chick, perched on a purpose-built osprey tower nearby.
There were plenty of shady places to stop and take a nice self-portrait.
See, I do have hair! And yes, I’m aware that this shirt resembles the more depressed version of my Rainbow Windbreaker. I know, I’m attracted to all things in multi-plaid. It’s sad, but true.
For a brief while, the trail ends and bikes are funneled onto a path that is really an extension of an already-existing sidewalk. I think this street is a perfect example of the sort of stupid urban planning I’m really ranting about here.
This shot is of the very pretty local golf links and attached restaurant/club house. Behind it, you’ll note if you look closely, is that gravel pit. Scenic!
Here we are a block away, in front of the Riverside Casino. It attracts a certain high-end casino clientele: “Vegas, Baby! Vegas!”
No. Across the street is the local 7-11 and a “lingerie” shop (because we all know that’s what folks are in there to buy). I’ve never figured out why these places put the front door right there on a busy highway. If I were going to go to a sex toy shop, I wouldn’t want to have to walk in right on the main drag. “Hey, isn’t that Mrs. So-and-So, my English teacher?” That would be great.
Still, it was a quick, easy ride: just what the doctor ordered. The Raleigh and I like the pretty shadows cast by this old railroad bridge. We enjoyed seeing the wildlife, of all sorts, and got plenty of fresh air in the process. However, if I had to pick between Soos Creek, and the Green River Trail? No contest.