In Summer 1970, when we still considered my brother to be missing, I visited my sister-in-law, Donna, in the Seattle area to spend time with her and meet my first nephew. Donna, too, was an adventurous soul. Together we hiked to an archaeological dig where an old Native American site had been exposed by a mudslide and artifacts were being carefully gathered. We arrived at the site late in the afternoon carrying our food and things in our arms. We had to cross narrow boardwalks to get to the site. Signs told us of bears in the area. As it got dark, I heard a crackle nearby in the forest. Later we actually saw bears. I am here to tell the tale.
I also became intrigued with the mountain that dominated the view, Mount Rainier. We learned that one could hike up it. Sure, I’d like to do that. I was completely unprepared. I joined a group and went partway up. I wasn’t acclimated and had to stay at the partway place, then I joined a second group for the final summit. I took photos but my film tore in my old camera. This adventure long preceded cell phones. I think I asked someone who was going back down to notify Donna that I would stay an extra day. In any case, she was unperturbed when she came to get me after the descent. I was happy to see my old friend, the site of one of my earliest adventures, as we cycled from Seattle to Tacoma on our fourth day.
It was hard to find out way out of Seattle. Here’s the Relive video of that effort: https://www.relive.cc/view/vYvr4wK77L6
Then we lingered along beautiful Lake Washington in uncustomary summery weather. However, we had a mission in Tacoma. On a recent previous visit to Tacoma, the tour guide on our bus had pointed out a Chinese Reconciliation Park. I had a hunch it would fit in with my theme of peace. On their website, I found the story of the expulsion of the Chinese from Tacoma in 1885, a virtual tour, and contact information. I reached out and Larry Hosley replied immediately. Teresa, his wife, is Chinese, and she is the gentle powerhouse behind the park.
It was a dreamy ride from Lake Washington to Tacoma. Here’s the Relive video of the ride.
We arrived in Tacoma hours after we expected to, but Larry and Teresa patiently waited for us at the park. They walked us through the park explaining the story as we went. A path takes one chronologically through the history into the future. It plainly acknowledges the expulsion of the Chinese population of Tacoma in 1885, then provides a path forward into the light. The Chinese sister city to Tacoma sent a ting for the park. A bridge was built over an inlet. The landscaping was carefully planned to be meaningful, including the handkerchief tree. A placard acknowledged a few individuals who protested the expulsion.
A few local people protested the expulsion. Reverend W. D. McFarland was vocal from his pulpit and his congregation walked out on his sermon.
We concluded this long amazing day with a superb authentic Chinese dinner at Ming Palace.
Exactly fifty years before the day we visited this peaceful and peace-promoting site, the Beatles released “Imagine.” Here’s a link to John Lennon singing it. I got goose bumps seeing his young face when he was alive. On my bike, I carry a Give Peace a Chance mint coin given to me by Andy Scrivens and his wife, Julia, when Brenda and I completed the north spoke of the peace sign in Brandon, Manitoba. The lyrics perfectly fit the visit to the Chinese Reconciliation Park. “Imagine all the people living life in peace.”
Start: Seattle WA
End: Tacoma WA
Distance: 42.75 miles
Elevation gain: 1230 feet
Cumulative distance: 211.25 miles
Leaving Seattle: https://www.strava.com/activities/5932850378
Lake Washington to Tacoma: https://www.strava.com/activities/5934508667
Leaving Seattle: https://www.relive.cc/view/vYvr4wK77L6
Lake Washington to Tacoma: https://www.relive.cc/view/vXOd5mRoJ46
© 2021 Lynnea C Salvo