Is there anything more satisfying than an expertly poured cup of coffee?
It begins with the whirring of fresh roasted coffee beans in the grinder. The finely ground coffee is tamped down and brewed into two dark, rich shots of espresso. The espresso is mixed with steamed soy milk then poured into a ceramic cup. The barista creatively adds his artful signature in the foam.
I sit by the window and sip this coffee masterpiece, close my eyes and sigh, “Ahhh.”
In urban, traffic-gridlocked Seattle many folks (me included) often opt to move around the city by bike.
The Fremont Bridge, a drawbridge spanning the Lake Washington Ship Canal, is a bicycle thoroughfare. It links Fremont and other North Seattle neighborhoods to Queen Anne, South Lake Union and downtown. It connects the Burke-Gilman Trail, which parallels the waterway’s north shoreline, to the South Ship Canal and South Lake Union Trails on the other side.
Yesterday there were 4,525 bike trips across the Fremont Bridge. Yes, you read that number correctly. In 2016, people on bikes crossed this bridge 981,908 times. That’s nearly a million bike trips across this bridge!
As a bicyclist, the desired road taken is often the road less traveled.
Not the case with Mount Rainier’s Sunrise Road. This classic national park road is narrow and twisty as it winds upward 3000 feet to Sunrise Park (elevation 6400 feet) and an in-your-face view of the mountain. In the summer, this road is also clogged with vehicles and looky-loo tourists–not so pleasant for a bike ride.
However, there’s a brief window of opportunity in May/June when the park service plows the snow off the road but keeps the gate closed to vehicular traffic. This in-between period before the upper elevation is opened for the summer season is a cyclist’s dream. It’s an opportunity to bike Sunrise Road car-free!
The Road Taken
Two days ago it was summer, sunny and 92 degrees. We went for an after work swim in the lake. Yesterday it was fall, breezy and 70 degrees. We harvested the onions from the garden.
The in-between season has arrived. Summer has given its notice to vacate and fall is preparing to move in. The signs are everywhere. Some are subtle hints while others are in-your-face obvious.
- Color shift. Nature is gently shifting from green to gold. Trees that were a Kodachrome green a month ago now have some golden tints.
- Fewer hummingbirds. My fuschia plants attract hummingbirds throughout the summer. Visits by these little birds have dropped in recent weeks.
- Less garden produce. Our garden is in transition as we tear out summer crops to make room for some winter ones. The winter garden will be smaller and we’ll rest some beds.
- Less daylight. The time between sunrise and sunset is shrinking.
- Parks and beaches are less crowded. The weather is till pleasant but fewer people are flocking to local parks, beaches and trails.
- Back to School. Families with kids are busy preparing for the start of the new school year. Retailers are holding Back to School sales.
What signs have you noticed of summer’s impending departure and fall’s arrival?
Dreams that you dare to dream.
Dreaming is a powerful state of mind. From Dorothy’s reverie about what lies over the rainbow to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’s vision of a world where people are judged for their character and not by the color of their skin, dreams inspire and move us.
I discovered this phone booth a few years ago in a trailhead parking lot. It spoke volumes to me:
abandoned – old technology – a curiosity – forgotten – historical artifact – weathered – disconnected – primitive – long distance – nostalgic – out of place – out of service – reclaimed by nature
Its most vivid message to me was TIME. The phone booth represented a distant time, the passage of time, succumbing to time, and how we change with time.