Sketched July 9, 2019

As we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the moon landing, I looked for a special place to watch Earth’s inseparable satellite and the heavens above us.

Up a grassy hill and partially surrounded by trees, I found exactly that setting at Solstice Park in West Seattle. The park’s centerpiece is designed for astronomical contemplation. Three pathways carved into the ground and flanked by stones lead to a sundial that opens up to the sky and to great views of Puget Sound.

A few people were walking their dogs this evening, but the hidden viewpoint, which overlooks a community P-Patch and six public tennis courts, still felt quite remote. Vashon and Bainbridge islands silhouetted the skyline across Puget Sound as the last rays of sun glared over the water and the moon shone farther up toward the south.

The thought that a human set foot up there five decades ago — the year I was born! — never ceases to amaze me, especially when the presence of natural beauty can make a person feel so small.

Getting there: I parked at the intersection of Southwest Fontanelle Street and Vashon Place Southwest near Fauntleroy Way Southwest. The RapidRide C line has stops on Fauntleroy Way Southwest that are just a few minutes’ walk from the park.