Tuesday, April 22, 2014

#30DaysofScootering: Little Free Libraries

I'm all caught up on repairs and bike builds at the shop, so I got off work a few hours early today. Naturally, I went scootering. My first stop was the Issaquah Visitor's Center.

I've been showing off a bunch of Issaquah trails on the blog this month, so I figured I'd pick up a couple of the local maps. These pictures give you an overview of some of the good places in town to hike, bike or scoot.

I'm rolling up toward Lake Sammamish State Park and then heading west to south Bellevue today.

The day is a mix of sun and clouds, but it's edging more towards sun at the moment.

This is more of the old Pickering farm site.

All the rain we get sure makes things green.

One of the board bridges in Sammamish State Park.

More of our excellent trail system.

The ridge in the background is Cougar Mountain.

As I leave the State Park, I lose the really nice bike and walking lane. The shoulder could be better, but I'm glad that there is at least some shoulder.

When drivers see somebody with a camera, they tend to remember the speed limit.

It's another pretty day in the Pacific Northwest.

One of the little creeks that flows into Lake Sammamish.

This little park is a hidden gem. Christine & I like to picnic here.

I've pretty much come around the southern edge of the lake now. I'll be heading north from here.

Heading north, toward Vasa Park.

This wide sidewalk/trail is still quite new. It's a terrific surface for scootering.

Looking north along Lake Sammamish.

I turn away from the lake here.

And cross yet another little creek.

This is on of my destinations, A Little Free Library. I'd heard about the Little Free Libraries and found out there were two here in South Bellevue, about six miles from my home. This one is kind of disappointing. It looks like it is on a lot that has been sold and the library is in a bit of disrepair. The window in the door has come loose and none of the books are my kind of thing.

It's also hard to get to, there is kind of a swamp in front of it. I brought some books in my backpack and I leave a Sci-Fi novel but I don't take anything.

It looks like there is going to be some new construction here. I bet the original Free Librarian has moved away. I scooter off to visit the next Free Library which is only a few blocks away.

I have to go (walk!) up a STEEP hill to get to this Free Library, but it's worth it. This picture gives you an idea of the grade.

This Free Library is very neat and tidy.

And it has great books. You can click the picture to embiggen it.

Here's the second shelf.

I brought three books to donate.

And I wound up taking two home.

I made sure I left everything neat.

The Little Free Libraries are really cool. Christine and I don't have any space at our apartment to set one up, but I'm happy to do my bit by visiting the libraries in my area. The Little Free Library website has a map of all the libraries and information about how to set up your own. It's a really cool way to keep books in circulation.

This is the view from this Little Free Library.

I scooter back towards home.

It's nice to have a wide lane.

The lane is narrower here. To my right is the zooming traffic of I-90. Tiger Mountain is shrouded in the clouds up ahead.

And now I'm back at the Pickering Farm site.

And deep in the wilds of Issaquah, the land that is my home.

13.75 miles of scootering today, bringing my April total to 176.55 miles.

Monday, April 21, 2014

#30Daysofscootering: An Evening Scoot

I did my usual scootering back and forth to work and lunch today but that didn't seem like enough to be especially blog-worthy so a bit after 7:00 PM I scootered back out into the fading light. It's kind of hard to tell in these pictures because my camera does a darn good job in low light but all these shots were taken in early evening. By the way, I can't say enough good things about my camera, an Olympus TG-2. It's tough, water-proof and I basically just point it and it takes good pictures. Pretty much every picture on this blog for the past 9 months has come out of this little camera.

In low light conditions, I turn on my scooter lights. My tail light is a Bontrager Ember USB.

The headlight is a Planet Bike Blaze 2 Watt Micro which has been plenty reliable over the past year. I run rechargeable batteries in the Blaze but I may eventually replace it with a USB rechargeable light like the Cygolite Metro 360. LED lights are following the same development curve as computer processors, something better and/or cheaper comes out every 18 months or so.

The tail light is strapped to a chunk of cork in the "tailpipe" of my scooter.

I occasionally hang a little bag from those loops of nylon cord on my handlebars.

The scooter tail light is bright, but low to the ground. I also have a Planet Bike Blinky on the back of my helmet. While all my lights can run in blink mode, I usually run them in constant light mode.

Even though a very light rain was falling, it was a really nice evening for scootering.

Yet another bit of Issaquah's public art. This is in front of the Senior Center. This picture does show off the beams from my scooter lights.

Another in my continuing series of pictures of my scooter leaning against art!

1.08 miles of scooter commuting today plus a 2,69 mile evening scoot. So my day total is 3.77 miles and my April total is now 162.8 miles.