Sunday, November 16, 2014

An Accidental Hike

After living in Tacoma for over five years, you would think that I'd know my neighborhood and its surrounding areas fairly well. Turns out there is a 300+ acre park a mere three miles from where I live, one that even has designated mountain bike trails. Having never ventured out to Swan Creek Park, I took advantage of a beautiful (but cold) Saturday afternoon to check it out.

One of the easier sections of the Swan Creek Trail.

Located in East Tacoma, I arrived at the park at its northern entrance along Pioneer Way. I was eager to get started and wasted no time to look at the signage. Consequently, I later found out that I was on one of the park's pedestrian-only hiking trails. Luckily, it was a late autumn afternoon and I only encountered a handful of people. After only a few minutes on the trail, I found many obstacles that would have challenged even the most advance mountain biker. Obviously, the path was only meant for foot traffic and I submitted to walking my bike the remainder of the way.

During one point on the trail, a passing hiker asked about my Sam Hillborne and wanted to know what kind of bike it was, as it didn't appear to her to be a mountain bike. Embarrassingly, I failed to articulate Rivendell's main selling point of the Sam's functional versatility: It's a country bike. It's right on the seat tube decal. Instead, I hastily replied, "It's an all-arounder." Oh, well. I'll get it right next time.

After hiking for about a mile and a half, I came out at one of the trail's access points and quickly found a wide hard surface road, meant only for non-motorized use. At one point, I noticed an owl flying above and rest on a high branch on a tree ahead of me. It had an impressive wingspan and I couldn't help to stop and admire it. By the time I found the mountain bike trails, the sun was setting and it was time to get home. Now that I know my way better, I'll have to return and ride the bike trails another day.

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