In 1907 when most realtors were focused on the prospects of lands in Seattle downtown areas, millionaire Henry Whitney Treat discovered the potential of the Ballard waterfront. He named this settlement and nearby railways after his youngest daughter. Near the end of his trolley line, he established the Golden Gardens Park to encourage people to step out of the town and discover the joy of a picnic on the beach. It wouldn’t hurt that on the way they would see all this beautiful landscape owned by Henry W Treat that was up for sale.

I cannot imagine why it took me years in Seattle to discover the existence of this place. Golden Gardens Park is in Ballard, mere 3 miles from Greenwood. The legacy of discovery lingers in Golden Gardens Park. It made me realise how easy it can be to miss out on the wonders close by. When guests come to stay with us (and it’s much more frequent than my preference..), we take them on day trips, often even when am not thrilled about the day long excursions. We never searched for something close.

The beach, its pier and surrounding trails are serene and beautiful. We were there on a chilly clear morning. Fall was bidding it’s final farewell . Winter had not fully settled in. The sun was out. On one side we could see the Olympic mountain peaks and on the other side were the sailboats on the shimmering rippling blue waters of the Puget sound.

Solitary joggers, families with noisy children, dogs of all sizes and their owners crossed us as we walked on the path along the shore. A man and woman were engaged in a heated argument. A lover’s tiff? I desperately wanted to capture their tale, but words might have spoiled that story. The lone inviting bench would have been a perfect spot to read if only the cool wind were warmer and the end of fall was replaced by the peak of summer. I prefer my days warm…

One broad-shouldered long blonde haired man parked his boat trailer near the pier and set off to sail. He was in a short sleeved t-shirt. I envied him his warmth.

There was no one to collect money at the docking area. You had to put in cash as per the instructions. No one to check, still the man, and probably others like him, followed the rule.

The ice cream parlour had a sign in front. Dogs Not Allowed. We had seen the popular off-leash dog park half a mile uphill. I wondered if I should have taken Spock there instead. Some other day perhaps… For now, we just idled our time in the car park while strong coffee brew inside the ice cream parlour. I have this thing for fries. Alas, I did not get to have any.

Spock barked at other dogs and some annoying kids. He refused to walk on his leash and made me realise the power of puppy eyes. I held him warm wrapped up in the folds of my sweater and listened to him bark some more at the dry leaves rustling in the gentle winds.

That’s when I noted the different colours around and realised artists don’t make it up when they paint landscapes with the fiery reds and dusky browns. Such trees do exist, closeby… Waiting patiently, or maybe impatiently, to be discovered.