Yesterday my sweetie and I went troll hunting. We had heard of a rather large troll who lived under the George Washington Bridge, so we put on our walking shoes and set forth on an adventure. We walked from our little pad in Capitol Hill to the Fremont district of Seattle. We walked something close to four miles. It felt good to get out and walk the city. Something we were never able (or willing) to do in “Holy Shit It’s Hot Here!” Austin. We walked through Downtown, through the Marina and alongside Lake Union. It was beautiful, hot, and peaceful.
We walked through Lake Union Park and saw the Museum of Industry (Currently having a CHOCOLATE EXHIBITION! I will have to go back for that) and we saw The Center for Wooden Boats. The park was big and surprisingly not crowded for such a beautiful day. I guess that is the bonus of having weekdays as my days off. No crowds at the park, movies, or anywhere else. You can rent small-scale wooden boats and sail them in a pool, or you can just chill out on the docks and watch as seaplanes take off and land. Across the marina we had great views of Gasworks Park, the Space Needle, and beautiful Mt. Rainer. We cruised past adorable houseboats and quickly decided we needed to live on one.
We walked alongside the water for a while and then began trekking uphill. Or shall I say, hills. Seattle is full of secret stairways and hills to climb. You don’t even need to leave the city. There are so many different stairs hidden around that you might need a book to find them all. And there is one! I’ve looked through the book at work, but it wasn’t until I actually saw all of the hidden stairways that I understood the need. Locals, check out the webpage. The climbs were a little tough but worth it. The views are incredible. From the top of the hill (where the Fremont Troll resides) you can see all the way to the water. As we descended the hill we walked under the bridge and caught Mt. Rainer looming behind the city. It was an awesome sight. We were also treated to a lift bridge right as it began to lift. As we waited for the bridge to come back, we looked out over the water as we listened to P Funk blasting from the dude on a bike next to us. Doesn’t get better than that.
The troll itself is an art installation that was funded by a city grant in 1989. It was the winning design in a contest for the use of the space. He is made from made from rebar, steel, wire and two tons of messy ferro-concrete. The Troll took about seven weeks to complete, and was made by four local artists. He guards the bridge from any straying goats or cars that happen along. He is clutching a red VW Beetle. Drivers beware. The Troll is an interactive sculpture. Visitors are encouraged to climb onto his bony fingers, pose picking his gigantic nose, or poke at his one good eye with a stick. He measures 18 feet, and weighs 13,000 pounds. He’s a big boy.
We also happened past another strange Seattle sculpture called Waiting for the Interurban. It’s a group of six figures waiting for the next bus. They are all cast aluminum (including the dog) and are subject to constant humiliation and costume changes. Which is great since this type of public art is so self-aware that it almost asks for it. Built in 1979, it has become part of the Fremont art scene, and a tourist destination. It is always decorated for a birthday or wedding, or in festive attire for any upcoming or just past holiday. When we saw it yesterday, they were all wearing creepy masks and holding a sign that said, “Happy Birthday, Baby”. I’m glad it isn’t my birthday. I’d have to lock the doors and keep a knife under my bed.
We had a hamburger and then a frozen custard from Old School (so yummy!) before going home. We walked up some more stairs and caught the bus back to our neck of the woods. It was a great day. It made me happy that I decided to move here. It’s easy to get stuck in routine or forget that there is adventure just outside your door. All you have to do is be brave enough to find it. By the time we got home we had a little sunburn and we had seen: One troll, three billy goats gruff, a gnome holding a sausage, a flock of geese bigger than I had ever seen, and Brazilians crying on the tele.
It was a good day.