The goal today was five miles, but I didn't think I'd make it. My feet started hurting well before I even got to the ninth milepost. However, things never seem to work out how I plan them...
Today's walk would be the opposite direction down the Sammamish River Trail that I usually go. I'd start at the nine and a half and walk to the seven milepost and back. That was the goal. If my legs hurt too much, I figured I would turn around at the eight and come back. Very quickly into the walk I realized I was probably not going to make the full distance. By the time I got to the ninth milepost, I was looking for a dry place to sit down and rest a bit.
Unfortunately, although the sun was peeking through the clouds, nothing was dry enough to sit on. I figured I would find a bench a bit further on, or a fence, or something, and have a rest. So I kept walking.
Just after the ninth milepost, the trail takes an odd jog down a residential street, then it meets the new Cascadia/UW Bothell trail. I figured there would be a bench or someplace to sit there, but there wasn't even a good place to stop and catch your breath. I walked on, slowly. I spotted an unfamiliar bird across the river, and snapped a shot of it:
As I attempted to get another shot, it vanished. I had the camera near my face, so I missed whether it went into the water or into the bushes behind it. If it went into the water, it didn't come back up in the short time I stuck around to wait for it. During the time I watched it, it kept bobbing up and down, and turning to look behind it.
After getting the image of the bird, I walked on and was surprised to see an unexpected milepost right before going under the freeway.
That's milepost eight and a half. Well, good, at least I was going to be sure to get two miles in today. But I decided to keep going. Maybe there was a bench or a good place to sit under the freeway.
Well, there were dry spots under the freeway, but no place to really sit and massage the pain out of my legs. I considered turning around, but I knew the eighth milepost couldn't be too much further on, so I kept walking. Surely there would be a bench or boulder near the eighth milepost?
Nada. No benches. No rocks. No logs. No place to sit down at all. I'd come a mile and a half, and it occurred to me that I might not be able to make it back without sitting for a bit. I started to get worried.
But then a happy thought popped into my head. I've been through this section of the trail MANY times on bicycle. I know there's a park in Woodinville, not much further down the trail. In fact, I was sure it couldn't be more than a half mile. I might not be able to make it the mile and a half back to the car without sitting, but I could surely reach the park. And so I continued to walk. I nearly stepped on a snail.
My knees started up a metaphysical discussion with me on where this mythical park actually was. It's not mythical I told them. Then where is it? They shot back. See that trestle up there? I asked. You mean the brown dot?!?? They said. Um, yeah, that trestle. The park is just on the other side. I said. Grumble grumble grumble They responded.
However, my knees did not give out. Nor did my feet. And I made it to Wilmot Gateway Park in Woodinville. Benches! Bathrooms! Water fountains! It was heaven! I sat down and five minutes later my legs felt fine. All they needed was that short rest. I sat down again to look at the park, as the sun had come out and I was remembering my time bicycling to work through here. I suddenly was stricken with the strangest thought. I was sure the seventh milepost was just on the other side of the park, down a little ways and over a bridge. While part of me thought I was nuts to still try for five miles after the pain of the first two miles, most of me wanted to go see if I was right.
So I walked on. And yes, the trail was familiar. I remembered the apartments next to the trail, and the picnic tables. And there was another little park, Woodin Creek Park, I remember passing that back in the day. And here's a bridge.
But I don't see the milepost. I was sure the milepost was here. My phone rings, I answer it, and while I'm talking to my sister, I cross the bridge and LO!
The milepost was hiding. I set my hand on the milepost, say good-bye to Lisa and put my phone away. I stretch a little, then reluctantly turn around. I think I could make it to the sixth milepost, but I really don't want to push it. The sun is out, the trail is getting more and more people, but I think I'd better just get home. I'm tired and hot, and my legs both hurt a little more than they should. I'm also taking at least twice as long as I should to walk each mile. I need to improve my pace.
And so I set back towards home. Knowing that there are no good places to sit between Wilmot and Bothell Landing, I take a short rest break in Wilmot before going the distance. Thanks to Lisa's call, I can tell you how long each leg of my journey took. I started out from Bothell Landing/Sammamish River Park just before 10 am. I made it to the seventh milepost at 11:30. I got back to my car at 12:30. I was much quicker, and much more comfortable walking, on the way back. But 2 and a half hours for only five miles is not good. I really need to improve. Still, at least I made it!
Energy Bar review: "Chocolate" PowerBar. Easy to open. Looks almost as bad as the Clif bar, but not quite. Tastes like a tired Tootsie Roll. Gave good energy boost, but still... yuck. I think I'll go with the Clif Bar.