Today my charge was to was drop my darling daughter off at SeaTac Airport. When we set off, I grabbed my book, “Seattle Stairway Walks”, by Jake and Cathy Jaramillo, because I recalled that there was a set of stairs in Burien close to the airport. Once my “Mom” duty was dispatched I GPS’d the walk and found I was only 10 minutes from the trailhead!! “Eagle Landing” hailed a 289 stairway, up and down, and by jimminy, I was down!! Or, I was “up” for it – well, no matter my generational lingo, it appeared to be and up and down venture…I was advised by the book that there were only three parking spots and they provided an alternative parking location. I was very happy when I arrived that all three were available! I was a little worried about leaving my vehicle so unattended, but it was a nice neighborhood I had meandered through to get there, so I thought I’d be okay. I took my garage door opener and other important “stuff” just in case and prayed for the protection of my wheels.It was overcast and so a bit dark in among the trees but the dappled sun contributed to my sensation of being in a fairy tale as I enjoyed lovely birdsong and marveled at the immensity of the ancient trees! I was all alone with my buddy, Nature, and loved walking the winding trail downward in the direction of Puget Sound.
I had been walking barely 10 minutes when I arrived at an observation area. The book indicated that I was about a quarter of the way to the stairs and suggested I pause and look for the Douglas fir the provides a nesting site for the local bald eagle pair. They were not at home. This trail was designed to maintain a 200 foot distance from the eagle tree at all times. A bench was provided and an interpretive sign highlighting the main events in an eagle’s year: nest building is January and February, egg-laying in March and April, fledging around July. Unfortunately, there was also a big chainlink barrier with signs noting that due to landslide, the trail was closed. No wonder all three parking spots were available… I considered disregarding the signs, but didn’t want to chance winning a Darwin Award. Disappointed, I made my short way back, though it did take me a little longer going that direction (that is, UP). It was still an enjoyable tiny forest foray as I relished my solitude passing through native plants of vine maple, hazelnut, horsetail, skunk cabbage, Oregon grape, trillium, varieties of ferns, English ivy and devil’s club.
Driving to the trailhead I saw a sign for Seahurst Park. I pulled it up on my GPS and determined that it was 2.4 miles away so I decided to leave my car parked, continue to pray for its safety and hoof it through the environs to this park I’d never been to. I love looking at the variety of home styles, creative and colorful landscaping, and towering trees still remaining in these older neighborhoods.
It was a an easy urban walk, yet as the road to the park wound down and down I couldn’t help but anticipate what the return was going to be like – not to mention that now the sun was starting to making an appearance and the temperature was rising.
Boy Howdy it was worth it and I am very happy I chose to check it out! A walk deep into the woods and now I felt as if I was on an Ocean Beach! It’s really not the “ocean”, rather just Puget Sound, yet it smells like the sea, as well the shells, beach rocks, seagulls, driftwood, and seaweed could just as surely have been at the ocean! A yoga class was just concluding and several families and couples enjoyed strolling and playing in the sand. Adjacent to the beach were more wooded trails and all in all, though there were several people around, there was no shortage of spots to choose for solitude.
A great find! I was disappointed not to be able to walk the Eagle Landing stairs, but discovering a new local park was a great consolation prize! And traipsing through an established community with my backpack on was an added bonus! Buen Camino!