Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Vashon Bicycle in a Tree

Having visited Vashon Island many times before, this last weekend was the first time that I managed to make time to "find" the bicycle in a tree (it's unmarked).  So here are the picture and some of the stories....

A rusted, dated bicycle is suspended inside the trunk of a tree, roughly 7 ft. off of the ground. It's as if the towering giant had tried to absorb or "eat" the two-wheeler and quit, defeated halfway through the process, leaving the bike carcass suspended within the living wood forever.
There are many stories and just as many questions about how the bike ended up in its awkward predicament. A boy tied it to a tree before going off to war, never to return. A child chained it there and got busy growing up, so the tree took it into an embrace. Artist, cartoonist and author Berkeley Breathed, who grew up on Vashon Island, wrote his version of what happened in a children's book called "Red Ranger Came Calling", weaving it into an elaborate Christmas story.
While many are enchanted with the tree and its strange captive, some think it's a hoax. Many have speculated that there is no way the tree could have "picked up" the bicycle if it had been left leaning against it on the ground, as trees do not, by nature, grow up from the trunk, but from the top. The less cynical have pointed out that since the bike seems to be from the 1910s, the tree could have easily been a sapling, and a forked branch may have been weaved between parts of the bike and lifted it up over the decades.
Either way, the bike remains, suspended inside the knotted wood, and is a popular stop for hikers and bike lovers alike. http://www.atlasobscura.com/places/vashon-island-bike-tree


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