Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Green, Carbon, and Cedar Rivers (2016-12-28)

Finally connected my Foothills Loop with the Cedar River Trail.

More after the break…

Part 1: Outbound

As usual, I started at about 05:00. This time, I started heading south through downtown, taking 2nd Avenue.

I then followed the Elliot Bay Trail and East Marginal Way to continue past downtown, though I had to wait for a long time at the entrance to the Port of Seattle because trucks wouldn't let me through despite the signal giving me priority.

I started getting pretty chilled by the time I got to Kent on the Interurban Trail, so I stopped for coffee. I ended up getting something far too strong, which only did me disservice later on.

I took the C Street Trail to exit Auburn, then followed side streets to the Sumner Link Trail. There was a guy riding around the adjacent parking lot on a Hummer-badged folding bike who commented on how I was wearing shorts.

I took my alternate route through the eastern edge of Sumner to avoid the busy freeway interchange further west, then got onto the Foothills Trail, which I took all the way to Orting.

Worried about how I dropped the chain earlier, I was very careful when climbing up to Buckley, and was rewarded for my effort. Unfortunately, I ran into a worse problem after crossing the White River, and had to walk up the last bit of the hill in the dead leaves.

Since I still wasn't feeling well from the coffee earlier, I stopped at my usual coffee shop/bookstore in Enumclaw in hopes of getting a smoothie. Since they only offer those in the Summer months, I had to settle for an Italian soda instead.

Part 2: Inbound

I used my most easterly route option to exit Enumclaw, passing through Veazie and Cumberland, and later passing by Kanaskat-Palmer State Park. Out there, I started seeing snow both on the sides of the roads and on top of mountains.

Heading east eventually brought me to Maple Valley, where I stopped for coffee since it was dark and getting colder. I also took the chance indoors to add another sweater to my layers.

When I left the shop, it was quite dark, so I had to be careful going along the unpaved Lake Wilderness Trail, as there were folks walking their dogs and so on. I also had to be very careful approaching the Cedar River Trail, as there's a steep drop right before it.

The Cedar River Trail was largely empty, though, so I went at a faster yet sustainable speed.

When I got to Renton, I wasn't quite sure about how to get to the airport beyond needing to be on Shattuck Avenue. My map showed the road cutting straight through what was actually a schoolground, so I had to go out and back to get to the road.

Once at the airport, I just followed the Lake Washington Loop route all the way to Rainier Beach, then headed up the hill to the light rail station. What puzzled me upon my arrival was the helicopter and police cars, but apparently I'd just arrived after a car crash a block away that cut light rail service for a while.

I had to wait for 20-30 minutes for a northbound train to show up after two southbound trains went along the northbound tracks (the other side of the road was closed).

Part 3: Return Home

Once at the light rail station in the University District, I simply took the Burke–Gilman Trail all the way home.

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