Monday, December 16, 2013

Seattle cycling - In search of color

Martha over at Wisconsinland put out the challenge to find some winter color. I think I first read about it on Trobairitz' Tablet so I figured I'd add a link to both. And while finding color wasn't the main purpose of my ride, it was a good excuse to keep my eyes peeled for a little bit of brightness in the day. I have to say that while fall is my favorite season (and technically it's still fall) the landscape now looks more like winter. But I like it. In it's own soft, subtle way it's beautiful. Serene. The land at rest.

Overlooking Lake Union. and I-5. Even the cars aren't colorful.
My ride took me up the big ramp behind SCCA. I don't have a photo of it, but it looks like a long steep climb to the top. It starts at Eastlake Avenue and heads up up up and over the freeway to the hillside neighborhood above. I've seen a lot of commuters go this way but hadn't rode it myself. Surprisingly It wasn't as hard as it looked. Nice view from above the freeway. I didn't have a route planned so I just followed the sharrows and headed toward Montlake bridge.

Lake Union from Burke-Gilman Trail
Once across Montlake bridge I joined up with the Burke-Gilman trail and looped back toward Eastlake.
Under the freeway. Kissing couple down by the water. 
Instead of staying on busy Eastlake I dropped down to the waterfront for a pleasant ride along a quiet residential street. Very pleasant with the condos, houseboats and docks full of sailboats. I spotted one guy up on the mast of his boat. I think he may have been putting up christmas lights.
Decorating for the holidays
Fairview Avenue
St Marks Cathedral? 
Tiny float plane. My boss has a float plane, larger than this, that is his pride and joy.
I threaded my way through the Fred Hutch campus up past the big sculpture and back to Eastlake Avenue.
Brick roundabout and cool grill-work along the edge
Basket of Light sculpture
Sculpture at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
There is a little bit of rainbow color on the sculpture. Alas 'tis as muted as everything else. The only real bright standout color was on this little houseboat. In the scheme of things, it hardly counts, but I was getting desperate.
A little bit of color along Lake Union
So I cheated. I waited until nighttime when the Radio towers and Christmas cranes could strut their stuff


Martha said...

The houseboat is perfect! And the city lights, too! I spotted subtle warm colors here and there as well.The PNW is one of the most important locations for need of winter color...hence Chihuly!

Trobairitz said...

I think you did just fine finding color, and you got exercise too!!

All that green grass is welcome after our snow and the houseboat was a great find too.

redlegsrides said...

I love the sight of float planes sitting in the water, ready to take one away for adventures where wheeled vehicles can't go.....

SonjaM said...

I admire you for cycling in Seattle where everything seems to go uphills… Great effort in finding some colour in the bleak season. I wouldn't say you were cheating, when you waited for the night to take the beautiful last pictures. That's the time when the lights come out to shine ;-)

RichardM said...

I really like the sky color in the first couple of photos. I also enjoyed the "cheat" in the last photo. The crane really looks good though I wouldn't want to have been the person stringing the lights!

Unknown said...


Your lack of colour is similar to our lack of colour. It is so drab looking but you were smart to wait for the Lights to come ON.

I still admire you for riding up and down all those hills. You seem to be riding very late in the day

Riding the Wet Coast

Bluekat said...

I love Chihuly's work! We saw his Bridge of glass in Tacoma on a sunny day last summer - Gorgeous! We need to visit his museum. It's just down the hill from us...where the worst traffic is.

Bluekat said...

Hi Brandy,
Not that much exercise. Everyone forgets where there is an uphill there is a downhill too. Coasting is good!

I love the houseboats. I think it would be fun to live in one. Though they probably have maintenance that I don't want to think about.

Bluekat said...

Hi Dom
Yeah, the float planes are cool and there are some nice ones up here. Rachel's clinic overlooks Lake Union, so we see a lot of them taking off, or coming in for a landing. Fun to watch and very picturesque.

Bluekat said...

Hi Sonja,
Funny I never thought of winter as colorless. Just muted and misty. It seems right for the season. I guess it's fine as long as the other season return in their time.

Bluekat said...

Hi Richard
I like being up high. I think it might be fun to be up on a crane. But maybe not dangling out over the city trying to attach a strand of lights. :)

Bluekat said...

Hi Bob,
Yes, cities really come alive with light at night. Something I don't get in my small town.

I finished my ride about 3:40. Light was fading but still not dark. I have a rear flashing light, but no headlight, so I wanted to be done before it got too dark. I was actually planning a longer ride, but turned around for that reason.

Keith - Circle Blue said...

I find myself taking more night photos this time of the year. Yes, part of it is because it is mostly dark when I ride home, but there is more to it. It is the lights and the colors.

I like the sky in the photo of the fellow up the mast. Nice.

I loved your comment in response to Sonja, "Funny I never thought of winter as colorless. Just muted and misty." Yes. Wonderfully true.

Unknown said...

I love this blog, what a great post!! loved reading about your journey. cycling can be so much fun

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