In my last post I mentioned that while I love this area of the world, I don’t love the part of it where I’m spending most of my time. I realize this may sound contradictory, so I thought I’d post some pictures I’ve taken recently to illustrate my point.

When I wax rhapsodical about the Pacific Northwest, these are the types of scenes I’m usually thinking of:

Edmonds-Kingston Ferry leaving Edmonds Terminal
Mt. Baker

Mt. Baker

Approaching the town of Kingston/Olympic Peninsula

Approaching the town of Kingston/Olympic Peninsula

…or this…

Mt. Rainier, Carbon River (July 2005)

Mt. Rainier, Carbon River (July 2005)

Mt. Rainier, Carbon Glacier Trail (July 2005)

Mt. Rainier, Carbon Glacier Trail (July 2005)

Unfortunately, the area where I’m staying looks more like this…

Rt. 99 in Lynnwood

Auto Parts

Checks cashed

Checks cashed

Waiting for the light....

Waiting for the light....

This is the type of scene I see, not directly upon leaving my front door, but at least upon turning the corner. This is where I buy my groceries and wait for my bus. This is what I mean by stripmall hell. I shouldn’t complain. At least there IS a bus. And sidewalks. But everything is a long haul, and this is not exactly the scenic route.

That said, not far from the suburban sprawl I’ve posted above, there are pockets of lovely quiet green. The street where I live and work is a lot more rural than suburban (hence the lack of sidewalks along huge sections of the road). I pass scenes like these walking every day:

Cross street

Cross street

And this is what I see, standing in my driveway, facing west (apologies for the poor quality – it was taken with my phone):

The view from my driveway.

The view from my driveway.

And just a few blocks walking from the Auto Parts store above, there’s a park that looks like this:

Scriber Lake Park

Scriber Lake Park

… where I recently saw this…

Female wood duck

Female wood duck

… and this…

Hummingbird

Hummingbird

… and most excitingly, this…

Beaver

Beaver

So, this is what I mean. There’s so much to love about this area of the world. I’m just not crazy about the little corner of it where I have to go about my daily business at the moment. Rt. 99 is my lifeline; I can’t avoid it. But given my druthers, I wouldn’t be living here. While I do, I guess I’ll just keep searching out those beautiful spaces in between.

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