I went for a run this morning which, due to a missing mile marker, ended up with me running an extra mile (this is a good thing, as I was singing and having fun). The lake is gorgeous on a crisp morning like today, and the trail is full of joggers, runners (there’s a difference), walkers, dog-runners, dog-walkers, cyclists, etc.
For the Cyclist: I know what it’s like. Yes, I do. Not just in general — I’ve done some biking in my time — but specifically on the Lake Sammamish Trail, because I went biking on it with my friend Kevin when we decided that biking on the East Lake Sammamish road was a bit like playing frogger with two wheels. I know riding on gravel requires a little more concentration (just a little). This does not, however, excuse you from omitting “On Your Left”, “Left”, or a simple bell warning. I *am* rocking out to the Foo Fighters, but not so loudly that I couldn’t hear you if you said or did these things, so when you whipped up past me you scared the [deleted expletive] out of me.
[Editor’s note: rant aside, this particular cyclist pulled over to take a pic of the lake — which is gorgeous, by the way — and when he did, and I ran past, I said, “On Your Left”. When he eventually got back on his bike and passed me again, he did say “Left”. And so that lesson went well, I think.]
Lining the trail, sometimes on one side only, sometimes on both sides, are very large houses. Living on the lake is as much a status symbol as living in Medina or Clyde Hill or Mercer Island; the real estate prices reflect this status symbol (I do not live on the lake). And, as with any area you are likely to have a lot of people wanting in on the exclusivity, the houses are jammed together. You will actually see a 4- or 5-thousand square foot mansion with a four car garage about five feet from the neighboring mansion. To preserve individuality, however, these fine folks all differ wildly in their home construction and style. You thusly see the Craftsman, the Spanish-style, the Modern, and the Traditional all a-jumbled… and then maybe someone’s plot of land where they’re in fresh construction, and no discernible style is evident yet.
The original trail was actually a railroad, and when the railroad was decommissioned it became a trail, much to the angst of a lot of the homeowners. They didn’t WANT a bunch of strangers trolling through their front or back yards, so many put up fences. In many cases, they had to put up two: because of the lay of the land, you often see large mansion on the lake side, and then the garage for said mansion on the street side (across the trail), and fences “protecting” each. Ergo, you’ve just arrived home with a large grocery haul, you must park your car, open a fence, close it, cross the trail, open that fence, close it, all to get to your mansion.
And if a runner stops and asks you if you want help with said groceries, apparently the proper mode is to look at them in askance, reply with a puzzled “no”, and continue trudging along to your mansion. Clearly, the runner is part of the problem.
For any runners coming up my hill when I’m navigating from car to kitchen with loads of groceries — if you volunteer to help, I’ll totally take you up on it. Even though I don’t have a mansion.