18 March 2016
Sammamish River Trail via Marymoor Connector Trail, Marymoor Park, King County Parks
With a sunny reprieve from days of intermittent rain and clouds, Little Hiking Buddy and I decided to bask in today’s early spring warmth with a bike ride along our favorite multi-use trail. It’s been at least five months since our last ride together, and we were anxious to get back to Marymoor Park to explore Sammamish River and its surroundings. Although LHB has since graduated to a two-wheeler, the Novara Afterburner 2.0 Trailer Bike has been her preferred mode of transportation for longer rides these past few years. I don’t blame her for choosing not to work so hard for the mileage I desire to put on my odometer.
Following a quick tune-up of both “bicycles,” I managed to attach the tag along bike to mine with ease. We quickly got onto the Marymoor Connector Trail to begin our Adventure Friday on three wheels. As we headed north on the Sammamish River Trail, LHB enjoyed pointing out the various colors of spring along the River, from brilliant golden wildflowers and blushing pink blossoms to budding green tips and babbling blue water. She was even more excited to count the multitude of waterfowl throughout our almost 11 mile journey along the wide, paved trail. We saw flocks of geese, varieties of ducks, numerous herons and a sole egret thriving in and alongside the River. Spring had arrived early and aplenty.
We reached our mid-point destination on the trail just before noon. After passing soccer fields, lavender farms and horse corrals, LHB and I found the perfect picnic spot just off the trail. Our vantage point overlooked the expansive estate of Chateau St. Michelle Winery, as it sat immediately opposite us on the western banks of the Sammmish River. Through the bald alders and maples that lined the path, we had a clear view of the irrigation system in the fields as well as the namesake Chateau itself. LHB cheered on cyclists riding past while leisurely munching on her usual array of goodies. In contrast to this bright spring afternoon, I enjoyed witnessing the closing of winter as flocks of crows slowly gathered on bare branches to scavenge any crumbs left behind by LHB.
With our time drawing to a close, we set off on our bikes and returned south on the trail. The afternoon skies were streaked with white against a backdrop of brilliant blue, offering us glimpses of Tiger Mountain to the near east and Mount Rainier to the distant south. This wonderful highlight to our lovely afternoon made up for the fact that LHB had grown in size and that my cycling muscles had mildly atrophied from lack of use since our last ride on three wheels. It didn’t matter that I ended 2015 having cycled over 1200 miles in regular stretches of 30-60 miles per ride. Today I was towing more than 60 lbs. of weight behind me, particularly on the return trip as LHB had more interest in cruising than pedaling. I couldn’t believe how quickly my legs felt the intensity of this short ride – boy, was I ever happy to see the end of the trail!
Perhaps due to my powerful speed (ahem, wishful thinking keeps me young), but we actually had enough time for LHB to enjoy the playground before Big Hiking Buddy’s school day came to a close. If today was a window into the coming season, then I can’t wait for more days on the trail, whether it be on two feet, two wheels or even three! Happy Spring!