Looking for a nice paddle to get your heart-rate up, burn some calories, test your mind? Here's one for you - a paddle in the heart of Seattle WA, from Madrona Park to Luther Burbank Park on the Northern tip of Mercer Island. This Lake Washington trip took us about 2 hours roundtrip, involved some more open water paddling, and gave us great water views of the Northwest.
It all starts with some free street parking and a little bit of a rogue put-in (map below for location).
You see, for some strange reason, Seattle city beaches (like the nearby Leschi) don't allow you to put in a kayak in the summer. Luckily they aren't there the other 10 months of the year so launching is easy, but in the summer they shoo you away. Hence our launch site for the Leschi area - at the intersection of Madrona Dr and Lake Washington Blvd, just north of Madrona Park (pictured above and below).
Our destination is a great little sandy beach, a diagonal straight-shot on the map above, to the northern tip of Luther Burbank Park on Mercer Island. See sandy beach below.
The paddle took us an hour each way, mainly because we went straight across the lake. The advantage to this is, and always is, if you paddle as the crow flies you'll get to your destination faster (unless it's crazy windy or there are tides, or sharks, or something else to slow you down). The disadvantage to this method on this paddle is that you will be far from land on most of the paddle - this can get boring (remember how I said it would test your mind in the intro?) and could be trouble if you flipped or had a boat malfunction...but, as always, prepare and be careful out there and you'll do fine.
~Paul & John ETC
Welcome back as Everyone's Travel Club shares pics from a recent paddle around Mercer Island Washington. We ended the last post at a small sailboat race just off of Leschi.
Now we turn towards Bellevue (the city in the pic below) to the East and eventually the South, making our way towards our lunch spot: Luther Burbank Park.
Luther Burbank park is great stop on this trip. They have lots of waterfront with several nice places to pull up and stretch the legs (or launch from at another time). I prefer to beach my kayak on rocky patches (the small, smooth, Northwest rocks) so I don't sink into mud or sand when I step out. It also helps when it's time to pack up, avoiding sand/mud keeps the kayak clean when you put it back in the backpack.
Lunch break at the park over...time to press on. From the park heading South started to feel like the long stretch of the trip...
Pretty nice if you're into giant, awesome, bigger than some houses, super yachts. I kinda prefer the boat below:)
Just park your planes on the dock...or...
...pull it into a hangar right next to your house (very 007).
Less 007 below, but still cool...Tug!
We're about to round our final turn of the Island and start heading North towards Seward Park!
The circumnavigation is complete. If I had to do it over again I would probably go in the opposite direction (I went North from Seward Park to start because of the sailboat race at Leschi). That way I could break at Luther Burbank Park 3/4 way through the trip rather than 1/4 the way around. Other than that, a great trip, I'd do it again in a heartbeat...
Greetings adventurers of the world! Yesterday I circumnavigated (went around) Mercer Island via kayak. The total trip took about 6 hours, the actual paddling took only about 4.5 hours. The total distance of my route was about 15 miles. This was my longest kayak trip yet, and even though we call this outfit Everyone's Travel Club, this trip might not be for everyone on account of the distance. I'll be posting this trip over a few posts, check back to the blog for more tomorrow and throughout the week!
I walked down to Andrews Bay, my usual launch spot, with everything I needed for the trip in my inflatable Innova kayak backpack. I spent about 10 minutes putting her together. I tend to attract attention during this part of the trip - I met Rico from La Push. We talked about the whale migration going on now around the coast and Sound and about his time living and surfing in Hawaii. I also met a German family spending time in Seattle for a couple of years. They were very interested in the possibility of kayaks that they could buy here, use here, and eventually take home when they return. Then I shoved off.
There she is - Mercer Island...
Seward Park behind me as I paddle North towards I-90.
Underneath the I-90 floating bridge...yep, the middle of the bridge floats...
Regatta at Leschi, not windy at all...
We're almost half-way around the island, check back for more posts this week! We'll explore a cool park on the Island, each lunch with the local wildlife, and find out how the islanders are livin'!
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