TWO BOYS PAUSE by the imposing water tower at Myrtle Reservoir Park, their eyes glued to their smartphones while they exchange a few words about the game they are playing. “You win!” I overhear one of them saying.
Elsewhere in the small West Seattle park, people chat in the circular viewpoint overlooking the city skyline. The concrete benches double as an interpretive display, identifying each of the city’s seven hills and their elevations above sea level. Such cool trivia deserves to be written down: Magnolia Hill 392 feet; Queen Anne Hill 470 feet; Denny Hill 143 feet (was 212 feet); Capitol Hill 464 feet; First Hill 367 feet; Beacon Hill 364 feet; and, last, West Seattle 520 feet.
Five-hundred-and-twenty feet. That means when you stand by this iconic water tank, you are literally on top of Seattle — 520 feet, coincidentally, is also the distance that separates the Space Needle’s observation deck from the ground.
I feel like sharing my knowledge with the boys, who are about to be included in my sketch: “Guys, do you know this is the highest point in all Seattle?!” But I barely have time to outline their figures in pencil before they move on to their next adventure.