A Resident’s Perspective – Our First Winter Walk

Written by Panorama resident, Sandy Bush   February 6th, 2014

Warming up on a winter walk

The year can be marked by seasons in the scheduled walks here at Panorama. We are or at least have been long-distance walkers in the UK and such. However, we are finding a lovely way to learn of this area new to us. From the Midwest to California for our working years, and now enjoying retirement in the NW, we have joined, when we can, the leader-led walks and hikes. We’ve taken advantage of the bus ride to and from the walks and it has given us a good “lay of the land” primer.

The first walk of the year was February third to Wapato Park in SW Tacoma. This wasn’t a long ride and we found a park we might never have found on our own. The two-mile or a bit more walk around the lake and up past a big dog and separate little dog park made a nice short walk to break in the legs. Two of the co-leaders walked with us. But, it was COLD, just above 32 degrees!! We were dressed in layers and layers and packed a “brown bag lunch” to enjoy with the other nine walkers. I have been on walks and hikes here with as many as 20 folks but my guess is that the cold actually accounted for the fewer numbers. Wonderful to get out and stretch the legs and down wind wasn’t as cold as into the wind, of course.

On returning to the picnic pavilion, Steve the hike leader many of you know, had a wonderful little scrap wood fire burning in a barbeque pit. Was that welcome, or what??? Plus, as we neared the lunch stop, a fine sifting of snow started to fall. We know we get snow here, not much, and it doesn’t stay, but it settled on spider webs on the trunk of the sequoia tree as we got into our lunches!!! Usually we have a camera along but I talked George out of taking his. Big mistake or I’d have a nice photo to accompany this telling. Really artfully lovely. Twenty minutes later it seemed colder and the snow had stopped. We got a bonus walk along the Sound near Wapato as an introduction to a longer walk coming up in March. Just a side note of a luxurious find. Steve knew of a WARM bathroom facility between the two area walks. Let me tell you how welcome that was!!!

Learning happens on all the walks and hikes here. Wapato is, in scientific terms, Sagittaria latifolia, but to a lay botanist like me, it is “duck potato or Indian potato” and grows in marshy areas. Local tribes used this root in the way back history as a source of starch.

When you have time in your busy schedules and good enough legs for a walk, do look into the walks offered in the Activity Outlines we get monthly. You will be glad you did and you meet new people while having a great day out. Happy Trails!!!

Sandy Bio

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