Monday, February 9, 2015

Seattle's Stairs - Walking Michael Yadrick's 80 mile Route - Day One

I returned from Los Angeles a few weeks ago, where I walked quite a few sets of public stairways. That experience trained my eyes to look for stairs, to spot the subtle differences between a set that would lead to a home and one that would lead to the street above. Back home in Seattle, I've been looking around and spotting stairways all around the city. I've been out on a few walks in various Seattle neighborhoods (Shilshole, South Park, Delridge) and found a few and walked them. Each time I walk a new stairway, I experience delight and excitement. While in Los Angeles walking stairs, I was alerted by Andrew Lichtman to the existence of a route through Seattle that incorporated many of the Seattle's stairs. I was excited at the prospect of walking the route. Well, this week I am undertaking Michael Yadrick's 80 mile loop route. This is an expansion of his 60+ mile loop that was attempted by a number of stair-runners last summer.

Today I began the route at the Fremont Troll, located underneath Aurora Avenue. The first set of stairs took me out of the troll's 'cave' and through the beautiful neighborhood of Wallingford.
The Fremont Troll underneath Highway 99

I started walking about noon today after being deposited by the bus just a few blocks from the Troll. There were three good options for getting close to the start, which confirmed my good fortune at living in an area with great public transport.

I had a great day out walking my city, a place I've spent more than 6 years. I've done quite a bit of running and urban hiking during those years, and even so, I saw many new places today while walking this route.

New to me stairs near U Village

Stairs & Gardens - one of Seattle's P-Patches

Acres of parking and Husky Stadium in the distance 
Crossing the Montlake Bridge

At the time, I wanted protein, but later in the day I wished that I had purchased some of these. I may be making a trip back to the Montlake Market.  
A difference kind of stairs - in one of many natural areas that the route traversed. 

View from the backside of Capitol Hill / Interlaken neighborhood

Fitness! on the Howe Street Stairs

Yes, these are 'stairs' near the Blaine Street Stairs

Spring has come to the Streissguth Gardens

The views from Capitol Hill were awesome

Winding down through Madrona to Lake Wahington Blvd. 

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