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Ross: What happens on an urban hike through Seattle

Sunday is my family’s urban hike day. The plan last weekend was to walk Madison Street. And so after church that’s what we did. We left St. James, walked over to Madison and set a course for Lake Washington.

The shocking thing — I have absolutely no bad news to report.

It was 3.1 miles, with a couple of hills, amid 81 degrees in Seattle. We obeyed all traffic signals, and the drivers were uniformly polite. In one case a couple of men on Capitol Hill, whose car was protruding into the crosswalk, slowly backed out of our way! I didn’t have to give the stink face, or say anything, they just slowly edged back.

At one intersection where a car was already stopped in the crosswalk, we just walked behind them. Another couple on Pike Street were trying to decide whether to cross the intersection so we waited, and they decided to wave us across. I gave them a little wave back and we crossed the street.

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A couple of times the distinct smell of cannabis tapped us on the shoulder and we scanned the street looking for the source, but they’re always hiding.

We couldn’t let it affect us because there were sections of sidewalks in pretty rough shape. Usually, the cause was some trees nearby, allowed to grow and to be all that they could be. We were glad for the shade, so we just watched where we were going and no one stumbled.

I carry large bandages just in case, but didn’t need them.

In about an hour and a half we arrived at Madison Beach Park – place was packed. But bathrooms were clean, so we stayed a while and watched people dive from the swimming float. We read the warnings, including the sign that said no bare buns, which reminded me of pastry so we walked a block to the Madison Park Bakery established in 1929. After picking up some cherry turnovers and braided donuts, we started our return trip and stopped for brunch at Luc for a mushroom omelet and bacon.

Then we planned to walk two more miles for dessert at the Kurt Farm Shop, but it was blocked by the Huge Capitol Hill Block Party.  We went to Molly Moons instead, for the Pink Lemonade Sorbet topped with coconut cream.

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All the drivers were polite along the way. There were three requests from people asking for money. One person was fast asleep on the sidewalk, but the cops nearby didn’t look worried so I assume the guy was just tired.

Our urban hike was about six and a half miles, and it was a great day. We were all in a very good mood even though we’d just walked six miles up and downhill. If I had to guess why all the drivers seemed so polite, and no one tried to run us down, or even honked, I guess it was because it was a Sunday and no one was in a rush to get anywhere.

So my latest driving recommendation, is to always pretend it’s Sunday.

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