Stories from the Trek: Making Connections

The 25th Anniversary Greenway Trek was an adventure not soon to be forgotten. With backpacks loaded with enthusiasm and perseverance, we pedaled and hiked our way along 133 miles of the Mountains to Sound Greenway from Ellensburg to Seattle. Showing off biking and hiking skills ranging anywhere from avid to atrocious and ages ranging from kids to retirees, we trekked. Undaunted by blisters, bees, or badly graveled bike paths we journeyed along railroad grades, dense forest trails and urban walkways. Our westward path took us through old pioneer towns, working farmlands and bio-diverse forests trails.  Weaving our way in and out of many of our region’s life sustaining watersheds we continued on through suburbia, city parks, and into the dense urban neighborhoods of Seattle as we made our way to the western edge of the Greenway. For eight days we became the metaphorical connectors that the Mountains to Sound Greenway Trust has envisioned for this amazing landscape over the past twenty-five years. How can we not feel good about this accomplishment?

To our ‘margarita-shirted’ volunteer leaders (so named because of the neon green-colored shirts they wore), we owe our thanks. Your dedication and commitment, not only to the Mountains to Sound Greenway cause, but to our overall experience on this trek was amazing. You kept us well-fed, safe from harm, and continually supported with encouragement and enthusiasm every step of the way. From the cowboy coffee making ritual at 5:30 in the morning to the late night enthusiastic teaching of the ‘dive for the clam’, you kept us going. Like some sort of caffeinated elixir, the joke of the day became our kick-starter. (One or two of them were ‘decaffeinated’ but I’m still laughing about how to count to one hundred!)

As our bikes and boots connected the diversity of communities from Ellensburg to Seattle, we ourselves made connections and created a community that hopefully will remain memorable and sustained. Hailing from Auburn to Bellingham, Lynnwood to Thorp, Maple Leaf to West Seattle – we were, and are, as diverse and yet as symbiotic as the environment in which we roamed. The level of care for each other shown by this trekking community was admirable.

To YMCA’s BOLD and GOLD teens – what a joy it was to share the outdoors with you. In your youthful enthusiasm and willingness to challenge yourselves, we were able to see the hopes for the future. Thank you – may our Mountains to Sound Greenway connection live on.

See you all in 2020 for the 30th Anniversary Trek, if not sooner!