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Outdoor Addict: The Waterwalk at Point Ruston

I suggest you start at the "other" end of Ruston Way

Geese strut like they owned The Waterwalk at Point Ruston. Photo credit: Whitney Rhodes

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Oh dear reader. I swear that last weekend you all turned Ruston Way into material for the next Macklemore hit. You were poppin' tags and on the prowl. I enjoy watching y'all strut your stuff as much as anybody but if hoards and traffic aren't your thing there is a secret to enjoying Ruston Way. Start at the other end. You'll miss the Velcros though.

If you come through the town of Ruston, you'll find the traffic much calmer. Hit up Don's Ruston Market for an old-fashioned soda fountain drink and be sure to stop completely at the stop sign. Then roll on down the hill.

A former industrial site dominates this end of Ruston Way. The large development in progress is called Point Ruston, and while they only have one building constructed so far, my favorite part is open for business: The Waterwalk. Access to the nearly one mile boardwalk can be found on the Tacoma side of the project and you may have to park a ways away but boy is it worth it. Follow the old Ruston Way boardwalk and hang a right when you see the restored historic ferry.

First a gorgeous tile mosaic octopus will greet you and a few steps in is an arbor with benches positioned perfectly to frame Mount Rainier. But it seemed everyone had the urge to show off on such a beautiful day. We had just reached the ferry when out walked some geese like "what up? I got a big flock!" Not even a curious dog could put a dent in their strut. They were rollin' in hella deep in their big ass coats like they owned the place.

After being schooled by the big flock, we turned the corner to find almost a mile of mostly deserted, newly finished, absolutely spectacular waterfront. One man's trash, that's another man's come up. And boy oh boy does the Waterwalk make Point Ruston. The best part? No need to spend Gucci prices on the fancy apartments (although if you can afford it don't even hesitate) because this is all free and will be forever.

Along the way you'll find plenty of benches to pause at, more painted and tiled murals, and an awesome playground. There's an amphitheater space for future use, and some day the other end will connect to Point Defiance Park and a waterfront grassy park. For nearly a hundred years this place was a contaminated wasteland. Industrial waste actively discarded for years, and then fenced off for people's protection, now being brought back to life by people who live in and love Tacoma. I couldn't think of a better way to return this place to the public.

Swinging at the playground, staring at Puget Sound, Mount Baker, Vashon Island, etc. - basically the most beautiful panorama I can imagine. It makes me wonder how this area could have laid spoiled for so long. It makes me wonder how people could think Seattle is so much better than Tacoma. On the most beautiful day of the year that view was available for free with no crowd to impede my enjoyment. I guess haters gonna hate. No matter what Tacoma is a survivor. The ceiling can't hold us.

Raise those hands, this is our party

We came here to live life like nobody was watching

I got my city right behind me

If I fall, they got me. Learn from that failure gain humility and then we keep marching

*lyrics from Macklemore's song "Can't Hold Us." Special thanks to him for making awesome music that inspired me this week - even if he is from Seattle.

THE WATERMARK AT POINT RUSTON, North 49th and Ruston Way, Tacoma

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