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Cheshiahud Loop

I think I've written here before (but probably last year) about the Cheshiahud Loop, which is loop around Lake Union that the city has pieced together from various existing paths, roads, and whatnot. I walk the north end of the loop to work everyday, because that's basically the Burke Gilman trail. A couple of weeks ago I walked the western reach of the loop, from Fremont to Lake Union Park. That part of the loop runs along Westlake. Those of you who are friends with me on Facebook may have seen the photos I posted from that walk.

Today I walked the full loop, all the way around the lake. According to the website linked above, the full loops is 6.2 miles -- and boy are my wings tired! I stopped at the Big Time in the U District for lunch and a couple of beers, so the whole trip took me something like four and half hours. The part of the loop that runs along Eastlake I found a lot less friendly than the Westlake or Northlake parts. First of all, very little of this section is an actual path. Mostly you're walking through parking lots or on the shoulder of a road or even through an alley at one point. (You're walking through a parking lot along Westlake, too, but it's on a path that's separated from the car traffic.) Also you're passing through residential areas, including lots of houseboat moorages with signs warning against trespassing or taking pictures or generally being invasive and not from around here. And the businesses along this stretch aren't really walk-in businesses and thus present a pretty cold face (or backside, for water-oriented businesses) to the casual passerby.

That said, it was pretty much all unexplored territory to me, and there was so much to see that I really couldn't absorb it all. Just the new views of familiar sights such as the Space Needle or Gas Works Park were fascinating to me, let alone the stuff I had truly never seen before. There are also a surprising number of pocket parks along the lakeside there.

I took way too many photos, and I hope to post some of the better ones to Facebook. I love urban hiking, and I think it's pretty cool that the city has put this loop together. The walk I did a couple weeks ago, I walked into the downtown core and down to the waterfront. You get a real feel for the city doing something like that. I'd like to do it more often. It doesn't hurt when the weather is just about perfect, like it was today.

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