Monday, May 30, 2005

Favorite one day hikes close to Seattle....

Here are my favorite one day hikes close to Seattle. I have them listed here in the order of easiest and shortest to longest/hardest. All are close enough to Seattle to be do-able in a day.

-Tiger Mountain (about 1800 ft elevation gain, 3 hours hiking time) A relatively easy hike, good if yor time is limited. Can be very crowded. Very close to Issaquah.
-Mt. Si (about 3400 ft elevation gain, 3-4 hours hiking time). An excellent workout and the view is great at the top although the route up is relatively uninteresting.
-Granite Mountain (about 3800 ft elevation gain, 4-6 hours hiking time) A wonderful hike. Great workout and stunning views most of the way up with excellent views of Rainier. This is a classic hike.
-Camp Muir (Mt. Rainier) (about 5500 ft elevation gain, 6-7 hours hiking time) Fantastic hike that gets you up close to the stunning beauty of Rainier w/o requiring any special mountaineering skills. This is a 2-3 hour drive from Seattle, so to do this in a day you need to arrive at Paradise by 8 AM or so in order to get home at a reasonable time.

All of these can be done by hardy kids age 10 and up but the times will be longer. The first three are in the I-90 corridor right off the freeway.

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Best bike ride in Seattle....

Here is my favorite ride in Seattle. Its a good length - about 45 miles, pretty flat and mostly on bike trails. It's a loop around the north end of Lake Washington. See map here.

From Downtown Bellevue, find your way onto 112th Ave NE going north.

Cross I-405 at NE 12th St.

After about a block, turn left on 116th Ave and head up to Northup Way about .75 miles.

Turn right on Northup and then immdediately left on NE 24th (near Lowes).

Go up the hill and find the entrance to the bike trail that parallels State Highway 520.

Take this bike trail all the way past Microsoft, and down the long hill into Redmond where it connects with the Sammamish River trail.

Take this flat, smooth trail about 20 miles around the north end of Lake Washington where it eventually ends at Husky Stadium.

Cross the Montlake Bridge and follow the street signs for the "Lake Washington Bike Trail" and work your way to the I-90 bridge.

Head east acoss the lake on the I-90 bridge, thru Mercer Island and back to Bellevue where you started.

Here are some good Seattle area bike links:

Cascade Bike Club

Seattle Bike Club

King County Bike Routes

Here is a map of the route, and also another route I like:

Lake Washington Route

Juanita Hill Route

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Vancouver, BC

..from our recent trip to Vancouver. This is from Stanley Park looking north across the Burrard Inlet. Vancouver is a wonderful city, I love visiting. We stayed up on the 22nd floor of the Coast Plaza Hotel on Denman in the West End with views of Downtown and English Bay. The Coast Plaza is a great hotel because the hotel rooms are suites. We had a two bedroom, 1-1/2 bath apartment with a full kitchen and expansive views. And the price is pretty reasonable.

This part of the city is great with many, many interesting attractions including Stanley Park nearby and a lot of great places to eat. Right near the hotel is a place selling cupcakes that we loved. Two restarants I would highly recommend are Gyoza King and Hon's, both on Robson. Hon's is this gleaming bright, huge, lively Chinese place. The food is good and cheap. Gyoza King is this small, kinda-funky no frills Japanese place where you can sit at the bar, or on the floor. Both are very authentic, unusual and fun places. Vancouver seems to be full of htese sorts of places. It has a very vibrant Asian community.

busy weekend...

The grass in the front yard is getting pretty long.... Friday night we attended Lip Sync at K's school. I have been really looking forward to this annual event. The kids lip sync various songs and they are really creative, energetic and fearless. K did the Money Song (?) with another girl. The highlight of the night was Mr. Roboto and another act that did The United States of Whatever by Liam Lynch. Saturday was the last lacross game of the year followed by an end of the year BBQ at one of the player's homes. That evening we went out to a gallery in Ballard for a show by a friend of one of our neighbors. Following the show, a bunch of us went out to dinner at Marcos SupperClub in Belltown. Sunday was the scene of R's Coffee Shop Jam guitar concert at the Phinnery Ridge Community Centre. He performed Boulevard of Broken Dreams by GreenDay and did a great job! A few pics are here.