Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Seattle Stairway 100K - stage 3

Today I walked another stretch of the Seattle Stairway 100K ... and realized that I never wrote up the LAST leg of the trip! So, belatedly, here's a recap of the stage Wil and I walked on July 31 (!!!!), from the Delridge Playfield to the corner of Delridge and Holden ... AKA, the bottom of the Holden Street Stairs.

We drove to the point we left off in stage 2 ... near the Delridge Playfield. We then walked and walked and walked and walked along Delridge until we reached SW Juneau Street. (Amusing, slightly, because we had just been in Juneau a week before...)

the bottom of the Juneau Street Stairs

The first set of stairs was long and pretty neglected -- lots of fallen leaves and overgrown edges...

Juneau Street Stairway, 172 stairs
... overhanging bushes ...

when was the last time someone walked up these stairs?
... and a fallen tree!

But we came out at the top just fine, and hit 21st Ave SW. We'd be back on this road later on.

We walked along 21st for a block, then turned down the Graham East Stairs... in a bit better condition!

Graham East Stairway, 134 stairs
This, of course, took us back to Delridge, which we dashed across and headed toward the Graham West Stairs. We saw a trail marker here, and I noticed that we would be heading in the direction of Camp Long ... a semi-mythical place in my memory where our Camp Fire group camped a few times. And I have never known exactly where it was! Funny to almost stumble across it on this walk.

Camp Long ... is real?
The Graham West Stairs had a almost an "onramp" at the bottom, and a snazzy red handrail.

And then they went up up up...

... and up and up and up...

Graham West Stairway, 140 stairs
The stairs popped out, unexpectedly, in a little fitness circuit greenspace called Bataan Park.  We amused ourselves playing on the equipment for a bit, conscious that people were watching us from the townhouses around the green.

Bataan Park
Our route meandered through housing developments, all soothingly new, but with a nice feel of "mixed income" about them -- there were big freestanding houses, lots of townhouses, and smaller condos. There were also a lot of parklets, all completely empty. And no real "center" apparent in the complex.

We crossed a busy road (aaaaaaaaaaaaah!) and turned up a short flight of stairs to a handsome, if not well maintained, bike/pedestrian path.

a short stairway with no name...

It was a little sad to see -- there was clearly a desire to build a nice path, light it well (see the big streetlight in the above photo), and link the different communities in the neighborhood with stairs ... but the path was garbage strewn and overrun by blackberry canes.

We eventually found the Myrtle Street Stairs and headed down into another housing development, passing one of the few pedestrians we saw all day. (He asked if we needed to buy a watch battery... umm, no.)

Myrtle Street Stairway, 100 stairs
We had a tiny adventure getting lost in the housing development ... I mean, exploring the housing development ... but eventually found our way back on route at Orchard Street to go down the long winding hill back to Delridge. (And running into my colleague Seamus en route!)

The route took what seemed to be an odd loop... until we saw the stairs. We headed north on Delridge to the Holly Street Stairs, a long and lovely set which we shared with a runner doing a stair workout. (Good on you girl!)

Holly Stairway, 100 stairs
At the top we found this funky shelter... but what is it for???

We then turned south along our old friend 21st until we arrived at the Myrtle East Stairs -- another well maintained, well used beauty.

Myrtle East Stairway, 170 stairs
Like I said earlier, I thought the loop was surprising ... but these two stairways were worth it. By the way, I am coming to terms with the fact that I have feelings for stairways. Don't judge.

Back up Delridge to Orchard, where we hit the bottom of the 19th Avenue SW Stairs, a nice winding set through the woods that dropped us in a very residential 'hood.

19th Avenue SW Stairway, 150 stairs
This stairway actually had a nice, parklike feel to it.

We made our way through the neighborhood, eventually winding down to our old friend Delridge, again.

We decided to call it a day then, and just walk back along Delridge to the car -- noting a lot of stairways we had been up and down. Only 4.33 miles, but a lot of stairs!

Read the Stairway 100K stage 1 report or the Stairway 100K stage 2 report to learn more!

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