WA: Mount Baker-Renton-Maple Valley

Thursday, August 1, 2013

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For today, we’re heading out to the Mount Baker neighborhood of Seattle to meet up with Patty Lyman. We met Patty on a ferry ride from Bremerton to Seattle, she’s a ride leader for the Cascade Bicycle Club; a club with over 15,000 members strong! After some chit-chat aboard the ferry, she offered to lead us on a ride starting from southeast Seattle out through Renton and into Maple Valley-so here we are!

We park across the street from the Bradner Gardens Park on Bradner Pl S for the meet up with Patty on 29th Ave S.

She leads us out of the neighborhood onto Lake Washington Blvd S; this road hugs the western shoreline of Lake Washington to Seward Park.

The climb on Seward Park Ave S takes us through the Seward Park neighborhoods out to Rainier Ave S. This road runs behind all the waterfront homes situated along the lake. The turn on W Perimeter Rd is a nice detour off busy Rainer Ave S; it’s a quiet road that goes through the Renton Municipal Airport.

We cross Cedar River on Logan Ave N to the multi-user path that runs parallel to the river’s edge.

From Mill Ave S, we hop onto the Cedar River Trail for the next 3.4 flat miles; this trail follows a historic railroad route with a trestle crossing along the Cedar River from the city of Renton upriver to Maple Valley. We make a brief stop at the Ron Regis Park in Renton for water and restrooms.

We exit the trail on 154th Pl SE to SE Jones St; this is a quiet country back road with minimal traffic. It roughly follows the Cedar River through some small residential neighborhoods and continues out past huge horse ranches, stables with wide open green paddocks. The latter part of the road cuts through the dense woods to the intersection at WA-169.

We cross WA-169 for the climb up 196th Ave SE, it’s one mile long with gradient ranges of 8-11%. There is one section of the shoulder area with long nails embedded into the asphalt with the pointed side sticking up!

Sweeney Rd takes us on rolling terrain through scattered acreage houses, horse ranches and farms. We cross WA-18 on SE 231st St to Witte Rd SE and arrive in Maple Valley for our snack stop at Starbuck’s.

We exit the shopping center and return on Witte Rd SE; this back road somewhat parallels WA-169 and reconnects at the other end onto WA-169. We continue on Maxwell Rd SE for 2.4 miles; this road takes us north through a secluded area with wide open fields and meadows, ranch and farm houses with a dense lining of forests sitting in the background.

The flat to gentle rollers on Cedar Grove Rd and SE May Valley Rd provides gorgeous views of the surrounding green valley, country farms and ranches.

We take Coal Creek Pkwy to SE 84th Way for a quick out and back stop at Lake Boren Park. We head west on SE 89th Pl and SE 88th Pl for the short rolling climbs north up through the residential neighborhoods of Newport Hills, Hazelwood and Newport.

At Newport, we cross over I-405 to Lake Washington Blvd and continue into Bellevue on the I-90 Trail through Mercer Slough Nature Park

From Bellevue, we cross the E Channel Bridge on the Mountains to Sound Greenway Trail over to Mercer Island. N Mercer Way takes us west along the northern edge of the island to the bridge crossing over I-90 into Seattle.

The Mount Baker Tunnel takes us to the other end at Sam Smith Park to the path out to S Atlantic St. The short steep climb on 29th Ave S drops us back to Bradner Gardens Park.

A BIG “THANKS” to Patty for taking the time to lead us on this fabulous ride out to Maple Valley! Our post ride snack included lots of popcorn and drinks at Patty’s-another “thanks” for welcoming us into your home and for your generosity and warm hospitality! After much conversation, we found out that Patty has friends from the Bay Area-Gert and Sue from Berkeley and I know them too! We live in a very small world.

We had dinner at Geraldine’s Counter in Columbia City.

Garmin Stats:
55.28 Miles with 2927′ of elevation gain
Max elevation: 652′
Max grade: 11%
Terrain: Flat to rolling hills with one long climb

Weather: Wonderful! Overcast cloudy skies with temps ranging from the low 50’s to the mid 60’s. SSE winds with 88% humidity

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What you put out comes back to you. If you want more good in your life, do more good.
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