Eric Nelson

SPORTS NUGGETS: Washington state is an outdoor playground

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By Eric Nelson
August 9, 2017
GAMEDAY GOLD
@Ericinminny44

 

SEATTLE – Sports Nuggets from the Evergreen State...

•Washington wonders: When it comes to outside options Washington state is a hot spot. I found that out recently on a trip to the Pacific Northwest where I was able to see and do some very cool stuff. The combination of mountains, ocean and a cosmo setting make the Seattle metro area an outdoor playground…

•Bainbridge biking: After arriving at SeaTac International Airport, I took the Link (light rail) to downtown Seattle. From there I hopped on a ferry and floated across Puget Sound to Bainbridge Island where I rented a bike and began exploring…

Pike Place Market - Seattle, Washington

Seattle Great Wheel

•Pedal power: Bainbridge is just a 30 minute ferry ride from Seattle – but is light years away from the hassle factor of the Emerald City. I biked Bainbridge for almost 4 1/2 hours and it was not easy. The combination of elevation gains, scorching 90 degree heat and smoky skies from British Columbia wildfires made for a strenuous ride. Fortunately I found a couple of remote beaches and cooled off in the Sound…

•Postcard-like: From the ferry, there are spectacular views of the Emerald City as the skyline, Space Needle and Seattle Wheel are visible…

•Remarkable Ranier: Another trip highlight was going to Mt. Ranier National Park. Located 73 miles southeast of Tacoma, MRNP is a spectacular site. Rising 14,410 feet above sea level, the mountain is the highest peak in the Cascade Range and is an active volcano…

•Photogenic: Mt. Ranier is a photographers fantasy. There are Kodak moments every where you look. My friend Dave Treloar and I hiked a small part of the Wonderland Trail – a 93 mile loop that circles the mountain through forests and subalpine meadows. After a grueling 45 minute up-hill incline through a picturesque forest, we finally reached a ridge where the breeze was cooling and the sight of snow-capped Mt. Ranier was stunning…

Mt. Ranier's snow-capped peak

Scenic Mt. Ranier – Washington, USA

•Icy peak: Despite the heat, Mt. Ranier still has plenty of snow. There are also 25 glaciers on the mountain which is a true Washington jewel…

•Mountain climb: According to the park newspaper, approximately 10,000 people try to climb Mt. Ranier every year – but only half get to the summit…

•Twins connection I: Because Mt. Ranier is close to the Seattle-Tacoma metro area, we were able to see the Memphis Redbirds play the Tacoma Raniers in Triple-A action a couple hours after we got off the mountain. At the game I discovered that Tom Kelly – who managed the Minnesota Twins to World Series titles in 1987 and 1991 – is in the Tacoma baseball Hall of Fame thanks to minor league success he had in that city…

•Twins connection II: Former Twins IF Denny Hocking is Tacoma’s third base coach…

•Love affair: Another takeaway from the visit is that the Seattle Seahawks continue to be incredibly popular in the Pacific Northwest. The Seahawks logo is visible all over the region and Seattle’s fan base – known as the 12’s – even have their own banners and flags…

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