For the next two days, Inlander staff writer Nicholas Deshais will be walking, biking and paddling the 63-mile perimeter of the city of Spokane. Follow his progress here on Bloglander.
DAY TWO, HOUR TEN: 44th and Havana — for decades, the southeast end of Spokane. That is, until 1979, then 80, 84, 85. Now, this corner is an amorphous collage of development, lacking rhyme or reason when compared to the rational street grids north and west of here. I’m at Ben Burr park, watching suburban parents who in turn are watching their children play soccer and monkey around on the play things. Though the park is nice enough, it symbolizes something Peter Ice and Sally Reynolds are trying to prevent (again): urban sprawl into rural enclaves.
Reynolds has lived in a few miles east of here, in the Glenrose community, since 1972. In that time, she has watched the country life that attracted her slowly creep toward just another urban cluster. “When we moved here, there were three homes above us,” she says. “Now there are 30.”
Ice, a newcomer in his seventh year as an ex-urbanite Spokanite, just wants his bit of paradise preserved. “It’s about quality of life,” he says, “for everyone.”
I just came off the hills of the Glenrose community, and the sun is on its way out. I need to get out of the ‘burbs. To the bluffs, where I’ll try to find a camp to bed down in for the night.
Tomorrow: I’ll raft down a stretch of the Spokane River with Riverkeeper Bart Mihailovich.
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