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Beautiful Sunday

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Wow, this has been a wonderful week and weekend for outdoor activities in the greater Seattle area. Saturday, Selene and I drove to Twin Falls state park near North Bend to take in a few hours worth of hiking. We walked through ferns and moss strewn trails, typical of the PNW, and then settled in for the long climb to the falls. It's an amazing thing to be standing atop a bridge spanning a deep gorge 150 feet above the roiling waterways etched through stone by falling water.

On Sunday I went for my usual round the lake ride, but this time I decided to go around the little lake, Sammamish. It's not as nice because the east side does not all the amenities of miniparks along the trails or public drinking fountains that one finds in Seattle. And the trails are more urban. The east Sammamish trail only recently was completed because of litigation delays, but it is a hard pack gravel not suitable for road bikes. Sometime next year the county will pave it and then the ride will be nicer. As it was, I headed down through Bellevue toward I-90 but this time I turned east toward Issaquah. The roads are moderately travelled but the bicycle lanes are thankfully wide. There was one exciting moment when the bike lane abruptly ended as the road wound under I-90 in a tunnel. It was me and very fast traffic in narrow lanes. Fortunately that segtment was downhill so I could kick up to 35 miles per hour. The rest of eastbound excursion was in protected bike trails but the northbound segment required I drive on sidewalks for about two miles. I dread sidewalks because they are rarely maintained to the same degree as roads, and I can never be sure if an unnoticed heave will upend the bike. Thankfully, that segment passed by without incident, and I ended up riding on the bike lane of E. Lake Sam. until I reached Redmond. There I rejoined the usual Lake Sammamish trail toward Bothell, then west onto the Burke Gilman trail toward Seattle. I turned off early heading south to Kirkland via Juanita road, which is probably one of the highest grade roads in the east side. I had to grind in 2nd gear for about two miles before finding relief and then only briefly as the grade returned for another two miles. Eventually I rode into Kirkland then back to my new haunts, though this time I returned home by way of the watershed park riding on soft dirt trails, stopping off at the view bench where I sat and took in a most splendid view of Mt. Rainier. I walked the bike through a steep dirt trail (this is not a mountain bike) and then popped back to the top of the complex of home, got onto the driveway and coasted home.

I am sore from this weekend, a good soreness that will prepare me for the STP this July.
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