Walk, don’t wait.

I took my car to the garage today.  It’s not close to home, and is on a semi-industrial stretch of Leary Way in Seattle.  It’s a rare sunny day though, and rather than sit in the waiting room, I challenged myself to explore the area a bit on foot.

Thanks to some Googlin’, I found a little park about 15 minutes away.  It’s tiny indeed – you can probably circle it in under two minutes.  (In a former life, three houses sat on the site before the community reclaimed the land).  But it offers a panoramic view of the Olympics.

Fremont Peak Park

As it’s embedded in a quiet, residential neighborhood, I get the feeling that mainly locals visit.  A woman walking out of the park gave me a friendly “good morning” – not something that people really bother to do in the more crowded parks around town.

 
Since I’m a pro at getting stuff all over my clothes on a regular basis, I managed to coat my purse in chalk with an added dollop of bird poo.   Much of the park was covered in chalk drawings, and some time later (of course) I realized my jeans still carried smeared remnants of helpful graffiti advice: “DON’T LOSE YOUR HEAD.” 
 
Did you know Google Maps, Mapquest and Ask.com all offer walking maps?  It works just like car directions do, only the routes and travel times are tailored for walkers.   Google’s offering is in Beta right now, meaning it comes with a warning about potential inaccuracies.  Mapquest’s service is new as of this February.  (“Walking directions will guide you down the most efficient paths and through parks, often avoiding vehicle traffic,” says Mapquest’s blogger).
 
I tried out all three sites for this walk, and was most impressed with Mapquest.  After the map is generated, you can click on pieces of the path to adjust the route more to your liking.  You can also text the finished map to your phone.  This is what it looked like on my iPhone:
 
Mapquest walking directions on the iPhoneThen you just tap the link to see the map. 
 
Or you can just walk out the door mapless, and see what you find. 
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