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Creatures of the Deep LbNA #12164

Plant date:Nov 13, 2004
Planted by:Green Guillemot
Found by: SnowFire (3)
Last found:May 15, 2007
Last edited:Nov 13, 2004
Lake to Lake Letterbox Series

The Lake to Lake Trail is a 10-mile walking path connecting Lake Sammamish with Lake Washington. It travels through the city of Bellevue traversing forests, wetlands, parks, farms, a local high school and a botanical garden. For a grand adventure, you can walk the entire length in about 4 hours one-way with additional time to enjoy the boxes located along the way. Separate directions are provided so that each group of boxes can also be enjoyed individually.

Creatures of the Deep Letterboxes

All boxes alive and well as of July 5, 2005!

The three Creatures of the Deep Letterboxes are located in Weowna Park at the east end of the Lake to Lake Trail. This 80-acre park offers 2.5 miles of hiking trails through mature second growth forest with views of Lake Sammamish and the Cascade Mountains. Phantom Creek descends through the middle of the park creating a series of picturesque waterfalls and pools through a deep ravine.

To reach the park and the start of the Lake to Lake trail:

From SR 520: Take the 148th Ave NE Exit and head south for 1.2 miles. Take a left on NE 8th St. and head east for 1.6 miles until the road dead ends. Head right on 174th Place NE which will shortly dead end at West Lake Sammamish Parkway. Take a right on the Parkway and head south. The small gravel parking area will be on the right in about 0.6 miles (2023 West Lake Sammamish Parkway).

From I-90: Take Exit 13 and head north on West Lake Sammamish Parkway. In about 2.9 miles, there will be a small gravel parking are on the left (2023 West Lake Sammamish Parkway).

Boxing directions are from the kiosk at the gravel parking area on West Lake Sammamish Parkway at the north end of the park. They may be also followed in reverse order from the park entrance on 19th Street and 168th Ave SE. Total walking distance is about 2.4 miles round-trip with some moderate uphill stretches and stairs. The trail may be slightly muddy after heavy rains. Total boxing time is about 1.5 hrs. A pace is a single step. The park does not offer any facilities so plan ahead. Restrooms can be found at nearby Lake Hills Park. Common birds in the park include Chestnut-backed and Black-capped Chickadees, Varied Thrush, Winter Wren, Bewick’s Wren, Golden-crowned and Ruby-crowned Kinglets, Band-tailed Pigeons, Red-breasted Sapsuckers, and Hairy, Downy, and Pileated Woodpeckers.

Chinook Salmon Box
There are five species of salmon in the Pacific Northwest. The largest is the King or Chinook salmon. For the Native Americans who originally inhabited this area, salmon was one of their staple foods. The people honored the salmon run, the catch, and the feast. The people believed the salmon lived in great houses under the ocean where they lived like humans. However, because the salmon knew the humans on land needed food, they sacrificed themselves for those humans and their spirits went back to live again in the ocean.

This Chinook salmon immortalized himself in the form a letterbox for your enjoyment. To visit him from the kiosk, head up the trail. At the top of the hill, the trail bends left with a spur heading straight further up the slope. Follow the main trail to the left. Continue on the main trail up two flights of wooden stairs and then stop and take a rest on the wooden bench. At the top of the third flight, stop and get your bearings. Take another 43 paces along the path. On your left is a large Hemlock and on your right is a rotten stump. This salmon came to rest here after she jumped from the stream in the next ravine.

Orca Whale Box
The Northwest peoples drew their life from the sea. The Makah Indians on the Olympic coast were whalers. Using Cedar canoes, stone tipped harpoons and seal-skin floats, they were able to take their prey. An orca (also known as a killer whale) emblem was often carved or painted on the bow to invoke its "spirit" to guide the people in their hunts. Orca can always be recognized by his tail flukes, dorsal fin, teeth and of course the blow-hole.

To find this spirit to guide you on your hunts, continue on the path. You will climb a fourth flight of wooden stairs, pass under a power/cable line and continue to head up hill. Soon, the City of Bellevue welcomes you. The Spirits of the Water will guide you in your decision on which path to follow. The path winds down through a stand of Douglas Fir and straight towards a snag pointing your spirit to the sky. Continue on under the branches of a bush that arches over the trail, past an old climbing tree. Soon you will see a small cedar that forks into two. Beyond is a large boulder on the left. Just before the boulder is a many-trunked maple where the spirit of the whale makes his home.

Dahl’s Porpoise Box
Dolphins and porpoises are believed to brings us teachings from the water. Kindness and play are their hallmarks. Take these traits along with you to find the final box. Continue on the path into the open ravine and follow the dirt path right when you come to the split. Across the bridge, up the stairs, and along the logs you go. At the top, the City of Bellevue and the Spirits of the Water are again your guide. Past the houses on the left, a multi-trunk maple stands in a clearing on the right but further still the playful dolphin leads you. Go past the long arm of the Octopus cedar on your right, through a grove of small cedars where daylight seems to fade, past a pile of mossy logs and you are almost there. When you come to the creek, stand on the bridge and pause for a moment. Looking up the creek, you will see two upside down Vs. On the right hand side of the second V is the tree where the dolphin likes to hide.

To return to your car, retrace your steps. To continue on the Lake to Lake trail to the other boxes, cross the bridge and follow signs to 168th Ave NE. Once out on 168th, follow the paved trail right to continue west on the Lake to Lake trail.

Current boxes by other carvers also located on the Lake to Lake trail are Little Happiness and the Kelsey Creek Park Boxes as well as two Mystery Boxes. My Duck-Duck-Goose Series is also just a short jaunt from the Creatures of the Deep. I plan on adding more boxes along the Lake to Lake trail in the near future.

I hope you enjoy the walk, the birds, and my hand-carved stamps. Email me to tell me of your find, or if the boxes need attention:

The Green Guillemot