2012-05-28 47 -122
Overgrown mini-cliff in the Rainier Valley, near Graham and MLK Way
I only just realized that Monday's coordinates have already been out for days, because of the holiday, and that they're really close. I'll come by at 4pm unless anyone wants to arrange a different time. Disclaimer: Not sure if anyone will be home there given the date and time.
I biked down across the University Bridge and through Capitol, First and Beacon Hills and got to the area a couple minutes after 4. Before leaving I'd realized that the point might actually be on the property of a big Viet Wah supermarket just behind the backyard in question, perhaps in or just off of their parking lot. I was expecting the end of their pavement to be fringed by a pleasant, flat tree-planted area with a wooden picket fence behind marking off the neighbors' yard.
However, as I crossed MLK on Orcas St, I saw a steep ridge looming directly ahead at roughly the longitude of the hashpoint and finally realized what was going on - the area of trees was there because there was probably a friggin' cliff, or at least a bluff of some sort, separating the neighbors' yard from the Viet Wah lot. (Topography in Seattle usually runs due north-south, from the orientation of the glacier that carved it during the last ice age.) This was not going to be a walk in the park. Why didn't I anticipate this?? Maybe because I'm from Illinois, and from the flat part of Illinois at that?
Anyhow, as I rolled down 37th Ave S and across the supermarket parking lot I held out hope, but rounding the corner of the building quickly justified my suspicion. There was a 3m wall of rocks in back of the place, and then a good ol' Northwest thorn and nettle overgrowth behind it rising another 3m or so at a 30 degree angle, and containing the hashpoint. This might have been a fun hash if I'd worn appropriate clothing for the thorns, but I really didn't want to do this in shorts and a tshirt. So I almost resigned myself to repeating my mistake of 2010-06-12 47 -122.
But then, I thought, what about the neighbors whose yard I originally thought this was in? Maybe I could ask them for passage around their house and into the woods, and maybe the thorns wouldn't be as bad on their side. So I rode around to 39th, locked up to a signpost, got out the gps, figured out whose house it was, and strolled over. Conveniently enough, they were all sitting on the front porch hanging out, and/or standing in the front yard hanging out. They looked like they were all an extended family of some sort, or at least most of them were.
They looked very confused as I strolled up. I introduced myself to the middle-aged woman who seemed to be in charge of things, and started to explain why I was talking to them, when she said, "Oh sorry, I don't own this place, this is my aunt's house" and gestured to the very old lady sitting next to her. Aunt pondered for a bit, and then said in a heavy accent, "No, no, you cannot go into my backyard. No, you cannot do this." I tried to plead that I wasn't taking anything and was just trying to reach the woods, but to no effect. So I thanked them, wished them a fine evening outside in the unexpectedly nice weather, they wished me the same, and I walked away feeling pretty good. Sure, it was an Ambassador failure, but it went way better than my other two.
I retreated by bike to a nearby McDonald's parking lot where I ate my late lunch, took some photos of the front of the Viet Wah, and then uneventfully cycled home.
| OtherJack earned the Blinded by Science Consolation Prize