Steve Pieniak enjoyed an eagle's eye view of the Eastside recently. The Kitsap County emergency-room physician soared from Issaquah to Bothell...
Steve Pieniak enjoyed an eagle’s eye view of the Eastside recently. The Kitsap County emergency-room physician soared from Issaquah to Bothell, about 21 miles. His two-hour cross-country paraglide adventure began at the paragliding launch site on Tiger Mountain.
Paragliders are those colorful parachutelike rigs seen around Tiger Mountain. Most paragliders do it on sunny days and stick around Issaquah. Hardcore flyers, like Pieniak, fly in the gunky weather we’ve had lately. Cross-country gliders travel longer distances and land wherever they can find an open field.
He glided above Lake Sammamish, Redmond and Woodinville, riding thermals that developed along sunny patches. It wasn’t all smooth sailing. He encountered snow flurries and cold for part of the way.
After landing in the North Creek area, he called a paragliding friend for a ride home. Pieniak downplayed the trip, saying that other cross-country paragliders have flown the route.
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“The most interesting thing is that I fly [paraglide] cross-country regularly and still maintain a job,” he said.
Indeed. His great flight was accomplished after working the night shift at Harrison Hospital, in the Bremerton area, taking a brief nap and then driving to Issaquah.
Strolling through history
Some people walk for exercise, some for sightseeing. Tomorrow the local Interlaken Trailblazers Volkssport club combines the two with a Centennial Volkswalk in Kirkland.
The map for the 5- and 10-kilometer routes describes historical sites including Heritage Hall, the Peter Kirk Building and the Kirkland Women’s Club.
Stan and Beth Wolf of Kirkland helped organize the event that starts at Marina Park. Walkers can start anytime between 8 a.m. and noon. It’s free to the public or $3 for Volkswalkers who want credit for the distance covered.
Spreading her talents
Joan Wallace of Bellevue has liberally donated her time and talents to local nonprofit groups. She served for a number of years on the boards of Overlake Hospital Medical Center, Seattle Pacific University, the Bellevue Chamber of Commerce and the Bellevue Downtown Association.
Wallace has been helping the KidsQuest Children’s Museum raise money, hopefully to open in Factoria Mall sometime this year.
But the commercial real-estate executive and grande dame knows no borders when it comes to good works.
She recently left for Uganda to tour aid camps with Northwest Medical Teams.
“I’ve learned that my saying, ‘That’s not a good idea,’ doesn’t carry much weight,” said Bob Wallace, her husband. “She tells me what she’s doing rather than asking my opinion.”
Despite his sigh, he’s proud of his activist wife. Wallace expects Joan to return April 14.
Cops on top
Look for Ted Rutt of the Tukwila Police Department on the rooftop of the Issaquah Krispy Kreme store today and tomorrow. He’s taking up residency there as part of the nationwide Law Enforcement Torch Run campaign for Special Olympics. Rutt claimed the Issaquah site a couple years ago because Eastside cops involved with Special Olympics don’t participate in the Krispy Kreme event.
Rutt refuses to give up his post. With good reason. Last year he and his fellow officers raised $54,000, a record in Washington.
You can hand off your donations to a couple of always-glamorous Seattle Seahawks’ Sea Gals from 9 a.m. to noon today.
Sherry Grindeland: 206-515-5633 or firstname.lastname@example.org