Sound of the Beach

After the first week of glorious weather, Seattle is back to rain and chill. Sunny days seem to be so rare that work and school attendance significantly drop when the sun is out, or so I heard.

On one such rare day, I took my host’s suggestion to go to the nearby beach at the Golden Gardens Park. The beach reminded me a bit of Singapore’s East Coast Park where Indonesia’s Batam Island can be seen across the strait.

Of course, the scale of everything in the States is different. The beach is wider and longer. Water definitely colder but people are out swimming.

Across the water in the distant is a huge land mass with low clouds resting on the tops of what I think are mountains. Can’t really tell from where I was standing. The white clouds and snow-capped peaks looked the same from afar.

Walked around for a bit. A toddler ran past me, followed by his mother shouting in Bahasa. What a coincidence just as I was thinking about Indonesia. Yes she was from Jakarta and been in Seattle for over six years. Love the place she said, as she waved goodbye and started chasing her boy who was heading straight for the water.

I heard a train horn. In a few seconds, an old dirty train chugged noisily along an elevated track that I did not noticed earlier. Is this part of the Great Northern Railway built in the 19th century? Apparently not. But it was part of a protest about a month ago right here in the park.

The residents are unhappy that the track will be used to transport coal through Seattle to a port north of the city for shipment to China. People are worried of toxic spill, noise pollution, risks to marine life and upsetting the tranquillity of Puget Sound.

The first time I heard the name Puget Sound, I wondered why a place is called a ‘sound’ and found out that it has nothing to do with anything acoustic. Let’s just blame my ignorance in geography to the way it was taught as one-of-many-subjects in lower secondary school.

Thank goodness there’s Wikipedia with this explanation…
In geography, a sound or seaway is a long, relatively wide body of water, larger than a strait or channel, forming an inlet or connecting two larger bodies of water, such as two seas, or a sea and a lake.

More information … Puget Sound links out to the Pacific Ocean and is part of a complex coastal waterways stretching from south-western tip of Canada to north-western tip of USA. The Puget Sound region covers the inland urban areas including Seattle.

Now things are making sense and the map looks more meaningful. As I was going back to the car, I met a jogger who thought I was lost. Vicki lived somewhere up the hill overlooking the beach. Told me it’s a great view of the mountains from there. I should go.

By this time, the clouds have lifted, the sky bluer, and just as Vicki said, the view is fantastic – the beach, the sound and the mountain range.

As I admired the scenery, I hoped the protesters get their way. It would be a shame if this place turned into an industrial corridor that can only ruin the beautiful landscape that exists today.

JY

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3 thoughts on “Sound of the Beach

  1. You see America in different ways that most of us here in Singapore have not. I like your thoughts and reflections. Do keep these posts coming ….

  2. Great scenery , I noticed that you are being so creative since you moved to Seattle , very regular updates of your blog , it must be the new environment or the natural scenery that give you so much inspiration , you can even compile all these writings in a short story form 🙂

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