Monday, August 23rd, 2010

Issaquah to Grand Ridge and Colonnade Park under I-5 in Seattle

Erik went into work in their Issaquah office so I had to entertain myself. It turned out not so hard. The guys at the Bicycle Center in town gave me detailed information on their local rides and even printed me a very nice map. So, my ride involved riding from the office to downtown Issaquah, and then to Grand Ridge and back to the car.

Just like at Capitol Forest, the riding here was almost in a deep forest. I enjoyed switchbacks and berms.  I ran into two riders who looked to be on their lunch break rides. It would be nice to be close to a nice riding area.

I did have my adventure on this ride though. Despite having detailed guidance from the bike shop, I managed to turn on the trail that, instead of leading me cross under that highway to Grand Ridge,  led me up to the high land to my right. And it seemed that I kept picking the wrong trail at every fork that led me down some eerie path that got more and more overgrown as we went further. More than one time, my face plowed into a spider web strewn across the trail and I would frantically try to wipe it off while trying to navigate through the dense leaves covering the trail. Finally, the path got to the end. I mistakenly thought the correct trail was right above me, so I started to climb the steep hill side with my bike. The effort turned out futile as no trail was found when I got higher. The mistake was corrected only by me retracing my track that dropped me basically back into town so I started all over again. As it turned out, the bike path going to Grand Ridge was just too obvious for me to notice. Ha!

After Erik got out of work, we drove back to Seattle. I had always heard about this bike park under I-5 called Colonnade Park and wanted to check it out. Oh, it was so much fun! We spent more than an hour (while waiting for Tom to get off work so we could go out to dinner together) playing there. Talk about a playground, this place is even more so than Post Canyon in Hood River. I almost want to move to Seattle just for that park!

For my GPS track from Issaquah to Grand Ridge, click on Trip Details below:

Based on Tom’s recommendation, we all went to Tamrind Tree for dinner. It’s a Vietnamese restaurant, tucked in the back of a little rundown and trashy market. It’s quite upscale inside though and we sat out on the patio. A little rat scared off a table of guests from New York next to us, but we just joked about rats and continued enjoying our food. We ordered Seven Courses of Beef off the menu besides some other dishes. Everything we ordered was very tasty. I’d recommend it.