Parking at Parks

So we had a great little boat trip this weekend, even though we were fighting the weather the whole way. Aside from the general annoyances of owning a boat (maintenance, gas, etc) one of the things you really notice when you are traveling by water are the Landings. In a car you don’t really notice, since parking is so common, but with a boat, when you want to stop, you need to have somewhere to do it, you can’t just pull, over, since empty areas may be too deep to drop anchor, or empty because they are filled with sharp, hull-eating rocks.

Two of the places that we stopped were Gene Coulon park in Renton, and Luther Burbank park in Mercer island. You couldn’t find a bigger difference. Renton has a massive parks budget, and Gene Coulon is well maintained, has two restaurants, a boat launch, and was full of people, even on a cloudy day. The park is kept up well, and a great stop, but it is at the very end of the lake, and out of the way, unless you launched your boat from there.

Luther Burbank is on the North end of Mercer Island, on a busy channel, and when I was young, was the hot city park. The moorage there could hold around 40 boats, and was truly the place to stop. Now the wooden sections of the docks are rotted and removed, only leaving about 10 spots left. The park itself looks good, but much of the old areas have things removed, tables and such, and the old powerhouse on the water looks pretty bad, when it used to sport a snack bar and restrooms.

To think that Renton is doing a better job than Mercer Island at parks maintenance, is a bit surprising.