The other day we headed north from our home in West Seattle to Golden Gardens (Chapter 3), to check out the summer scene. Golden Gardens Beach is a Seattle hotspot this time of year, but for stairway walkers like us, the best scene is found on the bluff high above. Up here the trees transform the stairways into a series of deep green tunnels all the way down to the beach. Encapsulated in this thick leafy canopy, we can feel a drug-free combination of wonder and euphoria.
After people-watching at the beach for awhile, we decided to extend the walk that's described in the book. After strolling south for a bit along the beach boardwalk, we headed across the parking lot and street to find the very beginning of the Burke-Gilman Trail. After walking south along the Trail for a mile, we reached a point just opposite the Shilshole Bay Beach Club at around NW 64th Street (the Club isn't visible, hidden to the west behind a set of unused train tracks, shrubs and Seaview Ave NW).
There we turned left, crossing a gravel driveway to take the a path leading up to and beneath the main BNSF tracks. On the other side of the tracks is a newly-refurbished stairway that provides a connection back up to the residential streets. Once we were back in the neighborhood, we followed 34th Ave NW north for 1 1/2 miles. This took us back to our starting point at the top of the Upper Bluff stairs, with a pause midway to look out over the Sound from the excellent vantage point of Sunset Hills Park.