Fremont Troll (32) and Gas Works Park (97)

No class on Wednesday? Why not get a jump on my bucket list!

At around 1 o’clock I decided to head over to the Fremont troll. For any non-Seattle readers, Fremont is a neighborhood in Seattle close to the U-district. Underneath the aurora bridge lives a giant slab of concrete art, better known as, the troll.

So I took my bike, my camera, and advice from Google maps and headed on my way. I am new to biking this city, so I trusted Google maps to take me to the troll. Well, I took 40th street pretty much as far as I could until I hit a steep hill. Instead of straying from my pre-calculated path, I continued up this monster. Let it be known, my bike is a mountain bike, not some light, big wheeled, road bike, so this climb was a lot more strenuous than you’d imagine. After I struggled to reach the top, I needed a break for my newly gelatinous legs.

After a short break I was ready to cruise down hill. That didn’t last long; I was soon met again by more hills. This time, with the bridge insight, I decided to walk the few blocks up to the troll as others biked right on by. I guess the bucket list item “get in shape” should be one of my priorities.

Upon arriving to the troll I was surprised I was not the only one. It was Wednesday around 1:30 in the afternoon and there were about 9 people taking pictures and climbing on the troll. Prior to seeing the troll, I really did not know what to expect. I hadn’t looked at pictures so I went in with no expectations. Well, the troll has got to be over 20 feet tall and is even holding a Volkswagen beetle. Needless to say, I was impressed and inspired. The troll was built in effort to strengthen the Fremont community through art (the community voted on the design and troll was selected). Still being new to Seattle, I can really appreciate this sort of movement. Back east, you don’t get much love for the arts, at least not where I resided in suburban north jersey or New Brunswick. It is interesting to see how, even in a major city like Seattle, community can still exist, and in fact, collectively make something that is noticed, respected, and frankly, cool.

Troll description

The Troll!

The Beetle!

For scale

Clearly embraced.

After spending enough time to snap a bunch of pictures and see several groups of people come and go, I got back on my bike. This time, I decided to ride along the water. I quickly learned I made the wrong decision on the path to the troll, because the ride back was enjoyable and flat. I took my time cruising around trying to take in the scenery. I stopped to get a vitamin water (hydration is key) and was rewarded with a great view of Seattle. At this point I was ust biking around in the general direction back towards my apartment. In less than a half mile, I reached another part of my bucket list, completely unplanned. Gas Works Park.

I had heard a little bit about the park on reddit, but part of the reason I even reached the park was because I watched another biker turn right into the area. With nothing to lose, I followed, and was rewarded with a great view of Seattle on the water juxtaposed next to old gas machinery. I parked my bike and walked around the park for forty-five minutes taking in my location. Just two weeks ago I was in New Jersey. Now, I am overlooking a lake staring at the Seattle skyline in a beautiful park. I know I will be back, especially with it being so close to the school. Ideally I will be able to catch a nice sunset photo from the waterfront, but with Seattle’s reputation, I don’t know how many more beautiful sunsets there will be this season.

Seattle Skyline

The park brought out all sorts of different people, something I have yet to experience while in Seattle. So far, everyone has been pretty typical, either a student or just a “normal” dressed individual. Here, I saw a bike rider stopping for a joint, a goth reading under a lace umbrella, a group of punks chatting (probably about me), an art class not painting the skyline but focusing on the giant rusted gas machinery, and some parents playing with their kids. Unfortunately I did not get to talk to anyone, but the beauty made being alone an introspective experience. Everything seemed okay. Not that I am stressed now, but the serenity instantly relaxed me.

Painters

A cool part of the park is all of the old machinery painted into really bright, vibrant colors that make for some cool artwork.

I would certainly say that if you have the time, are in Seattle, and are looking for a nice park with a great view of Seattle, Gas Works Park is something to put on your bucket list. The troll is a great unique and shows the character of Seattle, but unless you are close or have a car I wouldn’t make a multiple mile trek just to see the troll. But if you are in the Fremont area, you might as well see it.

My journey

Date achieved: Sept 26th,2012

More Info:

Fremont Troll

Gas Works Park

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