I’ve started to try to walk regularly. I have several routes that I do in my neighborhood - typically going west from my house. A couple of weeks ago, I wanted a change so I went east. This leads to the busy state route and the houses are a little more run down but I wanted to explore a park that we are always driving by.
It was an elementary school when we first moved in the neighborhood about 25 years ago. It was closed sometime after that because they had found asbestos in the building. It was one of the low single storied schools built in the 60’s when the dangers of asbestos was not known. It stood abandoned for many years until they got the funding to tear it down and clean the site. A couple of years ago, they dug up the field to build an underground storm drainage system. Let’s just say the park hasn’t appealed to me.
But I got curious lately. It is a huge park, over a block. There are two play fields; one a baseball field and the other had been used for soccer. Off in one corner is a large acre or more stand of forest.
I set off to explore it and ended up loving it. I walk around the perimeter of the fields and through the woods. It is not heavily used but there usually is someone in the park. Many neighbors use it as a dog park. I love to watch the dogs chase balls and get their exercise. Other times, the a little league baseball team is practicing batting and fielding. Young high school lovers are smooching in the forest. I also enjoy standing in the middle and having a view over the neighborhood. It isn’t very scenic – the roof tops of a storage company or a church but I love to see the open sky and horizon.
I also discovered that if I add a couple more blocks on, I can do a little bit of hill climbing. We live towards the high point in the area and our water district has a large water tower at the top. I can actually do about 100ft elevation gain in the short mile and half. Combine that with a weekend walk from the waterfront up to get about 300ft gain and it can start to get me in shape.
By the way – I love the site Mapmywalk. It is perfect for charting my distance, showing me the elevation gain and keeping a calendar of my walks.
Here are a few pictures of the park.
Fallen blossoms of Kwanzan variety of cherries