The west end of 14th avenue bottoms out with a view of Spokane's past. Beyond the century-old Cannon's Addition homes we see a sight that pre-dates the city itself: a train roaring its way through pine-laden Latah Valley. The morning isn't crisp; things never fully cooled overnight. But as we kick into stride skirting south along the forested bluff trail, the hill itself provides shade. We meet friendly mountain bikers and friendlier yellow labs, but we never break stride. It's a guess which switchback will bring us up to 29th, but we're lucky enough today. After the trail climb, we welcome a downhill tour of historic parks. Beginning with a traverse of Comstock Park, we stride through Manito and complete the trifecta running beside a reflective pond and weeping willows in Cannon Hill Park.
Duncan Gardens (in Manito) provides stunning floral displays during mile 4 of this 5.25-mile loop. A cool-down walk is aided by an iced americano at the tiny Rocket Bakery on 14th and Adams. The mix of endorphins, caffeine, and conversation may be the optimal start to a toasty inland northwest day.