So, this is my 150th post. I suppose now would be a good time to go back through my previous entries and see where I was, where I am now, and how the hell I got here, but really I’d rather not right now. I’m a long-winded fucker, and that’s a hell of a lot of writing to read. Maybe later, when I’m feeling more nostalgic/philosophic.
I’m currently sitting in my living room, on the futon, with my legs up on the coffee table. The patio door is open with the screen in place, letting the air circulate through the house because it’s been exceptionally nice out. I can hear birds outside, and I’ve plugged my iPod into my stereo, playing through my uber-compilation (475 of my favorite songs, no duplicates, set to random). It has largely been a good day, so I’m not entirely sure why I’m feeling vaguely sour right now.
I woke up this morning, puttered about the house while Mickey got ready for work, puttered around on my computer after she left for work, and took a nap. It was sunny and beautiful, and I couldn’t think of anything I’d more rather do than curl up and sleep for another hour.
Finally woke up, showered, shaved, had lunch, and prepared to go out. When all said and done, I didn’t leave the house until 2pm. I really don’t feel too badly about that, either; I fixed a connection issue Mickey’s computer was having, and updated software on my laptop and the PC (still need to do Mickey’s computer, though, but I wanted to let her know first… probably tomorrow). This all took a fair amount of time, even on broadband. Shiny new iTunes, shiny new iPod support (to keep it up to date with iTunes mostly), shiny new version of Quicktime. Shiny shiny. For those who aren’t aware, iTunes is a damned sexy application available for Mac and PC, and is easily the best music player out there. The new version handles Windows Media Audio files now, and they also added the ability to view music videos in the iTunes Music Store (iTMS). They only have 72 videos so far (plus some movie trailers), but I think it’s a nice addition and look forward to seeing it grow.
(To elaborate, yes, you actually view the trailers and music videos IN iTunes. Precursor to an integrated media player in the future?)
I packed my sketchbook, camera, and in the process managed to find my sunglasses, which I’d been missing since last spring. (I knew I hadn’t lost them so much as put them in a pocket or box or SOMETHING that I still had but had for some reason not gone through… turned out to be in my raincoat/windbreaker.) Finally rolled out, and swung by the mall, because there was a patch of hanging flowers that Mickey liked and wanted a picture of.
After that… I just sort of kept going. After you crest the hill by the mall, 8th peters out at a T intersection (for good reason, there’s a lake in the way, Lake Sammamish). Mickey and I took a left on Sunday, and ended up in the foothills of the Cascades (good drive), so today I took a right, and meandered around the lake until I reached (and crossed) I-90. Crossing 90, the road immediately started to climb, and I soon found myself in Lakemont, which is a lovely town, but WAY too rich for words. I crested the hill that Lakemont is on, and went down a winding road at the bottom of which was a random gravel parking lot… pulled in and discovered that it was the entrance to Cougar Mountain Park, which is the largest of the parks in King County. I picked up a trail map but didn’t stick around — I hope to return with Mickey at some point in the near future and actually do some of the trails.
Instead, I continued on down the road, and ended up getting fed onto Coal Creek Parkway out near Brower Lake… noticing a series of docks leading into a small waterway, I pulled in and found Brower Lake Park… stopped and wandered through it… seems like it would be a nice place to picnic, and part of it had a really great view of Mt Rainier (it was very clear out today, 76 degrees).
I continued on my trip, doubling back and heading into town via Coal Creek Parkway, wandering through Factoria, Richards Rd, and into Lakewood. There is a road that wanders up through what appears to be a marsh that I’ve driven past before, and I finally decided to take it. I ended up in the historic district of Bellevue (Medford?), which was nice. It was a far more stable neighborhood than most I’d wandered through… no new building, just some basic repairs. No ‘For Sale’ signs (a pleasant change), just a community. Finally ended up in Kelsey Creek Park, which is a large former farm that was donated to the Parks association. It is pretty idyllic, with bridges crossing the creek at a number of places, the water looking refreshing and with plenty of shady places to sit by it.
I realized that I was in fact pretty close to home at this point, so I meandered on my way, finally coming out on one of the numerous vaguely generic side streets that feed onto 8th.
Why did I just ramble all that off? Yes, partially to share my day, but also because I have a point I want to make. I am not a conservationist in the modern sense, namely in that I do not wish to cordone off our “green space” in order to protect it from the evils of humanity. Rather, I am a conservationist in a more traditional sense, closer (in my view) to the sentiments of Frederick Law Olmsted (among others), who wished to find ways for man to live more in harmony with nature.
Urban sprawl does not scare me in the sense of it consuming our resources; I am scared shitless by the thought of getting absorbed into it. Perhaps some people like it — I, for one, am driven starkers by it. I need the wild spaces, I need the trees and the fields and hiking up a hill and looking out and seeing woods and streams and earth (tilled or not). I’ve driven out into the woods, into the wild spaces out here, and I realize just how much I miss it.
I miss you all, and I miss my Home. Here’s to another 150 posts.