[This post is part of a series detailing Cale and my plans for each leg of our 100 mile walk to Great Wolf. Our goal is to establish a safe route that follows sidewalks and trails as much as possible, and provides good places to stop, refuel, and refresh along the way. We actively solicit your suggestions if you know the area we will be walking through.]
I need to get moving on planning the details of Cale and my itinerary, since the walk is less than a month away now! Even after I finish today, I'll still have three more days to map out.
Start: Emerald Queen Hotel and Casino, 9:00am
End: Holiday Inn Express, 4:00pm
Total distance: 12.6 miles
I think the reason that I have taken so long to plan this leg of the journey is that I'm disappointed with how the day ends and haven't quite gotten over it. As a special treat, I originally booked Cale and myself a room at the Thornewood Castle for Monday night. He and I spent a long time looking at all of the different room options before deciding on the Blue Room. However, a few days after submitting the reservation request and deposit, I was informed that the Castle will not accommodate children under the age of 12. Boo! So much for Yelp's claim that it is "Family Friendly."
Instead, Cale and I will be spending Monday night at a Holiday Inn Express. I guess at least we'll have a pool. Maybe we'll have more fun there anyway. And the walk is a little shorter for the change, meaning we'll have a bit of a break after a couple of very long days.
Start: Emerald Queen Hotel and Casino
Distance: 5.1 miles
Time: 2 hours (9:00am to 11:00am)
Breakfast will be low-key. The plan is to grab a little something quick at the Casino or nearby Johnny's at Fife and hit the road. The first leg of the walk will be 5.1 miles. We'll start out by continuing East on the Pacific Highway. After several miles we cross the Puyallup River. There seem to be sidewalks, but a limited number of cross walks, so we will need to figure out how to cross safely. We'll walk another mile, with the Amtrak station on our right, and turn left onto E G Street. E G bends to the right and becomes E 26th Street. There seems to be a bit of a climb here, so we may get tired. But it will take us by the Tacoma Dome and the Car Museum. If we get off to an early start, it could be fun to take a quick break and explore a little here.
Right before Pacific Avenue, we'll turn left on A Street, walk a block, and turn right onto S 27th Street. It will quickly turn into S Delin Street and will wiggle a little. At a big church at Tacoma Ave it will feel like we turn left, but technically we'll stay on S Delin. Eventually we will hit S 38th Street where there is a cluster of international restaurants. We'll stop here for an early lunch. If you have a favorite restaurant in the area, please let me know. Options include:
Start: El Zocalo Tortas and Bakery
End: Wapato Park
Distance: 2.6 miles
Time: 1 hour (12:00pm to 1:00pm)
After lunch, we will grab something good for a snack at El Zocalo, and walk 2.4 miles to Wapato Park. To get there, we walk East a few blocks on S 38th to S Sheridan Avenue. The park will be on our right after an easy 2 mile walk. The park has a lake, playgrounds, and "an impressive, historic pergola."
Start: Wapato Park
End: Holiday Inn Express
Distance: 4.8 miles
Time: 2 hours (2:00pm to 4:00pm)
To get to our hotel from the park, we will head south, turning right onto S 72nd Street. Right before I-5, we will turn right onto S Homer Street. The name changes at some point, but after a few miles eventually we will hit S 96th, where we will turn right and cross under the freeway.
On the other side of the freeway we will take the first left onto 32nd Avenue S. There doesn't seem to be a crosswalk at the intersection, so we should try to cross the road earlier if possible. We will follow 32nd around until we hit S Tacoma Way. Tacoma Way becomes the Pacific Highway, and, after a mile, takes us straight to our hotel.
We will arrive at about 4pm. We can go for a swim, and then go to dinner at a nearby El Salvadorean restaurant that is supposed to be good called El Pulgarcito. I love papusas! It is a .4 mile walk further down the Pacific Highway, but that should be easy for us enough for us at that point. Or, if we are felling lazy, it looks like there is a Denny's right next door.
Edited to add: It seems the Lakewood Best Western might be better located. At the very least, it is further from the highway. It also has an outdoor pool instead of an indoor pool. If we were to change hotels, the distances we would have to walk would be exactly the same. If you know the Lakewood area, would you recommend the Best Western or the Holiday Inn?