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Hike Marks Mountains to Sound 20th Anniversary

By Feliks Banel
Seattle PI
In the summer of 1990, Kristi McClelland was six months pregnant when she decided to take a walk. It was no ordinary stroll in the neighborhood.
Hike Marks Mountains to Sound 20th Anniversary

Kristi and Jacob McClelland

In the summer of 1990, Kristi McClelland was six months pregnant when she decided to take a walk. She laced up her hiking boots and headed out, but it wasn't just for a spin around Green Lake or even for a day hike up Mount Si. Instead, McClelland joined with 100 other folks on a five-day march from Snoqualmie Pass to the Seattle waterfront.

That historic march drew attention to the changing landscape of the I-90 corridor, and led to the formation in 1991 of the non-profit Mountains to Sound Greenway Trust.

Now, McClelland is on the move again, this time for a cross-Cascades trek marking the 20th anniversary of the Greenway Trust and celebrating the organization's successes over the past few decades. The group left Ellensburg on Sunday, and are making their way west to Seattle.

McClelland, who lives in Preston and is a forester for King County, isn't walking too much this time around: she recently broke her leg and will be riding in a horse-drawn wagon and even hitching a ride in a car every now and then. But she will be joined by the son she was carrying on the first march back in 1990.

McClelland's son Doug (who went by "Jacob" as a child), is now 20 years old. He also went on the 10th anniversary trek back in 2000. "He's kind of the poster child, and he's no longer embarrassed by the whole thing. He's actually doing an internship with the Greenway Trust and is leading one of the youth groups on this 20th anniversary trek," McClelland says.

Greenway Trust deputy director Doug Schindler says that the trek will wrap up with a public celebration on the Seattle waterfront around 1:30 pm on Sunday, July 10. Other special events and public gatherings will also take place along the route nearly every day between now and then. A complete schedule, with square dances, concerts, lectures and guided hikes, is available at http://www.mtsgreenway.org.

According to Schindler, the celebration is warranted by what members of the Greenway Trust coalition have accomplished in 20 years, including such things as helping connect public lands on Cougar, Squawk, Tiger Mountains and Rattlesnake Ridge and fielding crews to perform trail maintenance. It's also a chance to look ahead, as the Greenway Trust puts together its plans for the next 20 years.

Schindler, who will take an extended break later this summer, also says that the trek is fabulous exercise. "I'm not in great shape right now," he says with a laugh. "This is my workout for my sabbatical."

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