Tossing and Tortured 'Till Dawn

I come back to you now, at the turn of the tide.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

In my neighborhood:

I only got photos of about half of this ride before the batteries on my camera gave up the ghost, but you'll get the idea.

Milton, Washinton is town halfway between: with a ZIP code from the 1890's and incorporated 1905, Milton is as old as most anything in the Pacific Northwest. Though it has dipped its toes into the modern world that has built up around it, but hasn't quite given in to strip malls and row houses; at least, not just yet. As of the 2000 census, the population was 5,795, though I rather suspect it's grown since then.

Milton is caught in the middle, and so am I. In one sense I can say I live in a town of six thousand souls, with farms, horses, and white picket fences. In another, I can say I live in Seattle, or at least, near enough: Seattle itself is a quick bike ride or bus trip away. This isn't suburbia, really. I hate suburbia. But, there are so many cities in the Sound area, I can't really keep track of where I am. If I go five miles in one direction, I'm in real-deal farmland, with fertilizer and tractors and some serious produce. Five miles in another, and I'm in just about the worst version of strip mall crap I can imagine.

I don't go that way very often.

Here's the way I went today: Out my door, go left on 5th, which will dogleg into Porter road. Take a left on Kent st, and the road begins to climb.

This is the old Milton Light and Water building. I think it's the oldest substantial construction in town, and so now it's become the police / fire station. The funny part is the neon "Milton" sign -- I think it was more visible in years past, but now it kind of sneaks up on you when you come around the sharp, uphill corner. You're going pretty slowly on a bike...
From Milton Way and Main street, here's the view. Anytown, USA.

If you were training for the Ardennes classics, you'd be right at home here. There aren't any real mountains in my neighborhood, but there are two ridges that make up either side of "the" valley. Carved by a glacial flow, so I'm told, it's about five hundred feet deep, and there's more ways to go up it than I've counted. Some of them are less than mile from bottom to top, so you can get some seriously steep switchbacks.

Monta Vista drive has been here for a long time, and most of the houses are older and modest. The camera flattens it all out, but this section is about 11%:

This is the top switchback. See how much higher than the road the house on the right is? Well, once you round the corner, that house has a level driveway. Ouch.

At the top is an example of the old / modern juxtaposition I'm talking about, although at this point we're technically in Edgewood. There's a water tower, and this blue house here:

Of course, some developers have learned that you can make a lot of money building big houses on the tops of hills. It's one thing, I think, for someone to have their dream house built on a dream plot, but this is kind of the cart leading the horse. There are TWO houses just like this at the top of Monta Vista. They finished them about two weeks ago. I wonder how much they sold for?

They haven't gotten much farther than that, though.

Running along the ridge atop the valley, I quickly forget just how close to very big cities I am.

If you don't know where you are, you can quickly get confused. At the small grocery store I work at, every day or two a completely befuddled commuter comes in and asks something like "Where IS this?" If it's dark and raining, I'm really tempted to make a horror movie joke...

Just take the next left...

I wonder if they have rooms for rent here?

This guy is a beekeeper. In the spring, I really try to avoid going this way, since I ALWAYS seem to end up getting stung.

I'll bet he isn't happy that, about six months ago, they built an office park across the street...

That's all I've got for batteries! I'll try to grab the Col d'Algona, et al, the next sunny day I have up here.


  • At 1:00 AM , Blogger Quenton said...

    Congo-rats on the upgrade!

    Someday if I ever find time to really race in between school-work-and daughter time I'll upgrade too... maybe.

    Anyways, I ran across your blog, thanks to the K-mans. Realized I met you at POC with Eduardo from PSU, so I figured I'd say HI! and wish you the ebst with that shiney new upgrade.


  • At 1:05 AM , Blogger Argentius said...

    Thanks Q!

    PS, I am pretty new at this photoposting thing, I don't know what's up with the white squares. I tried to pare down the pics a bit, and that happened...
    I'll see if I can't fix it manana.

  • At 1:31 PM , Blogger stokediam said...

    No 1-2 racing with the stacked field at Vance Creek? Saving your debut for the state championship RR next Sunday? You would've loved the climbing at DRVTT!

  • At 1:52 PM , Blogger K-Man said...

    Dude- that's some gnarly photochopping dude! ;)

  • At 1:53 PM , Blogger K-Man said...


  • At 6:28 PM , Blogger K-Man said...

    Dude. Dude. You alive?


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