Thursday, August 8, 2019

Pacific Northwest Trip 2018 Day 16 Monday July 29: Seattle Including Torchlight Parade


This is the 16th and final of a series of posts dealing with my 2018 trip to Olympia, Seattle, and vicinity. I’ve made minor corrections to these reports (typos, bits I don’t feel like making public). Also, I’ve added additional thoughts with the hindsight of two years later or to add further clarification.  These are indicated by “NOW”. This final report was actually written the following day.

I was in a partly asleep state all day yesterday. Starting around 12:30 am my body kept waking me to check the time. I checked out of City Hostel Seattle and walked to the downtown McDonald's, looking forward to their breakfast meal which I hadn't had since day 2. However they weren't open and no one was managing their intercom orders. I finally grabbed a couple breakfast biscuits from a nearly 7-11. I briefly visited Rachel the Pig(gybank) at Pike Place Market before making my way to Seattle Ferry Terminal; I think it was during this part of the segment I started noticing damage to the bottom of my main suitcase, likely from all the free papers etc. I got.

I got there just in time to take the earlier of two ferries I could have taken to Bainbridge Island Ferry Terminal. From there I took a 90 bus (Kitsap Transit) to North Viking Park &n ride in Poulsbo. I was tempted to get off earlier and walk to downtown Poulsbo and back, as it has a nice Norwegian look to it, but I was too weighed down. The 7 bus (Jefferson Transit) arrived early enough that I could put my bags on board, walk to the Arco gas station across the street from the transit center for a soda and still make it back with plenty of time to spare.

Having purchased a day pass the first time I boarded, I took this 7 bus to Haines Park & Ride in Port Townsend and transferred to an 8 bus (also Jefferson Transit) to Sequim Transit Center in Sequim. I then took a 30 Commuter bus (Clallam Transit) to Port Angeles. During all three of these bus rides, sleep was catching up to me, so I found myself trying to take photos while trying to figure out what thoughts were real and not. I bought some movies from E-Z Pawn. Since they had previously let me store luggage there I asked again and they agreed. I walked to Port Angeles Plaza and go fliers from Rite Aid and Big Lots. I then noticed that earlier in the walk my memory card had filled up, so I lost a few photos.

I crossed the street to a KFC/Taco Bell combo. On the ride into town I had noticed they had the KFC deal I wanted for $5. I had to pay with cash because their card reader wasn't working and my backup credit card's stripe was long gone. It's amazing how many people still attempt to swipe with my card multiple times despite the stripe being mostly white space now. I briefly visited Port News and Books and, not having the time or desire to explore Port Angeles further in my tired state, walked to Black Ball Ferry Terminal. While in line to board the ferry, the rod that you extend to help use the wheels of my main suitcase partly tore off the suitcase, so I couldn't use that rod further or else I would have pulled it off the suitcase entirely. I cleared Customs in Victoria no problem and made it home. I think it was just before or after 7 that I fell asleep, ironically waking up this morning around the time I normally did during my trip.

Pacific Northwest Trip 2018 Day 15 Sunday July 28: Seattle Including Torchlight Parade


This is the 15th of a series of posts dealing with my 2018 trip to Olympia, Seattle, and vicinity. I’ve made minor corrections to these reports (typos, bits I don’t feel like making public). Also, I’ve added additional thoughts with the hindsight of two years later or to add further clarification.  These are indicated by “NOW”.

I walked along the former Torchlight Parade route then, after a quick stopover at the hostel, to Pike Place Market (saw Rachel again). I walked along the waterfront, getting photos of a Norwegian cruise ship at Pier 66. After breakfast at the hostel, I walked to Target, then Pike Place Market again, getting interior mall shots and visiting Lamplight books.

[NOW: The hostel is City Hostel Seattle. Rachel is the pig/gybank by Pike Place Fish.

I took a D Rapidride bus (both buses today King County Metro Transit) to Ballard (all regions are in Seattle). I walked to the Hiram M. Chittenden locks again, mainly for the Fish Ladder. Not many fish, and one had a nasty gash on its back. I visited Sonic Boom Records and had lunch at McDonald's. My receipt seemed a little high so I checked the receipt: they actually added a small drink surcharge to the price of a small drink.

I walked more, crossing the Burke-Gilman trail where I crossed over to Fremont. I visited the plant dinosaurs, Outsider Comics, the Fremont Rocket, the Lenin statue (it cost $300,000 in 2008; owners refused offers to melt the bronze). I got some DVDs from the outside area of Jive Time Records; I later got an e-receipt from them; will have to figure out how they got my email address. At Ophelia Books, the usually sleeping Claudia the cat was meowing at me, I visited the Center of the Universe signpost,  the downstairs Fremont Vintage market, Rapunzel on the Fremont Bridge, the Waiting for the Interurban statue, the JP Patches & Gertrude: Late for the Interurban statue, and the Fremont Troll.

Crossing over to Wallingford, I walked down the Wallingford Steps to Gas Works Park. Lots of goose poop on the grass so it was hard to find a place to sit there. I walked up the Wallingford Steps and crossed back over to Fremont, where I caught a 62 bus south.

My map book was misleading and I thought there was a way across Aurora Ave (a highway) near where I got off; there wasn't. So reluctantly, because I wasn't up to a long detour on a hot day, I watched for traffic and dashed for to the middle, then after a good wait, to the other side. Not recommended unless you are very experienced with my kind of travelling and there aren't other viable options.

I got photos at Kerry Park Viewpoint, meeting a cat along the way, and then walked to the international Fountain in Seattle Center. I rested there nearly two hours, going in to cool off. Since I was my last day before my trip home early tomorrow, I got more money from a Bank of America machine and treated myself to Mod Pizza, sitting outside. Briefly a guy was smoking nearly. Not as briefly a woman was singing off key.  After a bit more time at the fountain, I left. I would have had to leave soon after anyway because the off key woman showed up nearby. I returned to the hostel and got rid of a bunch of duplicate free stuff and did the Customs calculations.

Pacific Northwest Trip 2018 Day 14 Saturday July 27: Seattle Including Torchlight Parade


This is the 14th of a series of posts dealing with my 2018 trip to Olympia, Seattle, and vicinity. I’ve made minor corrections to these reports (typos, bits I don’t feel like making public). Also, I’ve added additional thoughts with the hindsight of two years later or to add further clarification.  These are indicated by “NOW”.

I left City Hostel Seattle and walked along the Torchlight Parade route (or much of it) a couple of times, including that Grandstand seating area that blocks off 4th and Pine). I returned to the hostel for breakfast, then did a bit more walking along the parade route, leaving briefly for a visit to the not-yet-on International Fountain at Seattle center. I saw what I call the "fully furnished group" being set up (they bring sofas, bunk, fridge, etc) At one point as usual I saw floats being escorted by motorcycle police to their base at Seattle Center.

leaving the parade route, I got some soft drinks at Walgreen's  before visiting Pike Place Market, including First and Pike news, Rachel the Pig(gybank), Golden Age Collectables, BLMF A Literary Saloon, Rummage Around.  I wanted to visit Palace Jewelry and Loan but they weren't open despite being during their business hours.

I got on a C Rapidride bus (all buses today King County Metro Transit; got a 3.5 hour transfer) and got off at Alaska Junction, West Seattle. I visited Easy Street Records and Pegasus book Exchange. I took a 128 bus to Admiral Junction, grabbing lunch at a nearby Jack in the Box, where a fellow passenger from the C bus was on the phone telling someone the same bicycle flat tire story he kept telling the driver. I took a 50 bus to Alki beach, including the Birthplace of Seattle marker, an art show, the miniature Statue of Liberty, Alki Bathhouse (as far as i can tell, it was never used for bathing), and a seals sculpture. I relaxed on the sandy beach for a bit before wandering around the area some more.

[NOW: The art show is Alki Art Fair. The sculpture is Seal Sitters.]

I took another 50 bus out of West Seattle and into the Sodo district, where I revisited Seattle's SilverPlatters. Still on the same transfer as the C bus, I took a 21  bus downtown, walking along the parade route to Seattle Center, with a brief diversion to the hostel. I saw many of the floats at their base poition and aside from a brief look at Seattle Center Armory, relaxed at the International Fountain a couple hours.

I grabbed dinner at McDonald's (something that I couldn't have done right before the Torchlight Parade a few years earlier. I saw the now fully set up fully furnished group but the group with the pool table I didn't see. The mini-marathon was set up near Westlake Center. I got conflicting info as to whether they would run past the north end, where I planned to sit and which is closer to the hostel.

I took a chance and sat on the north end but they never made it there. I did get photos of the runners before the run though.

I found a place to sit in front of a tree which especially at the beginning was a nice place to relax. A Chinese family arrived and asked to sit in the area, which was fine. I didn't want to lose my tree so offered to shift, but they declined my offer.  The fire and brimstone Christians were back preaching the threat of damnation via a megaphone. I still think they'd do better getting a float in the parade and waving at people if they want converts.  The guy in the Chinese group offered me water likely for sharing my space. I accepted. The fire and brimstone people showed up one more time.

The parade started in earnest with the motorcycle police driving around. They are very skilled but they outstayed their welcome a bit; they need a lot of clearance so everyone else in the parade has to wait until they finish a section to move. An Idaho group of seniors called the Red Hot Mamas did a dance to the song Cum On Feel the Noise, some dancing with the help of their rockers.

Lots of horses in the parade, The Lake City Western Vigilantes from Wednesday were there. There were actually two Chinese dragons this time. A potato company had a giant mock potato in their float. Near the end of the parade came the Seattle Seafair clowns and the Seattle Seafair Pirates firing a cannon form their ship the Moby Duck. King County Metro Transit was in the parade but this time didn't give out bus passes. The Lincoln Loe Truck (truck shaped like a toe) was the last major exhibit. I wandered the parade route a little more to get some final photos of the fully furnished group and some final photos/videos of the Moby Duck cannon (overall I shot a lot more video this parade than usual). I then returned to the hostel.

[NOW: The potato float is Idaho Potato Tour.]

Pacific Northwest Trip 2018 Day 13 Friday July 26: Seattle, Woodinville, Kenmore, Lake Forest Park, Shoreline


This is the 13th of a series of posts dealing with my 2018 trip to Olympia, Seattle, and vicinity. I’ve made minor corrections to these reports (typos, bits I don’t feel like making public). Also, I’ve added additional thoughts with the hindsight of two years later or to add further clarification.  These are indicated by “NOW”.

All buses with the same number this report same transit system. I got up and revisited Olympic Sculpture Park, as well as its Pocket Beach and Myrtle Edwards Park in the same area. I walked along the waterfront to Seattle Ferry Terminal, then doubled back to Pike Place market and Rachel the Pig(gybank) before returning to City Hostel Seattle for breakfast. As I left I noticed my movie list wasn't in my bag (I use it to avoid paying for ones I already have) but no time to go back.

I took a 13 bus (King County Metro Transit) downtown and then took a 522 bus (Sound Transit) to Barnes & Noble in Woodinville. I walked from there to Woodinville Park & Ride. I wasn't wowed by Woodinville, but the bus ride over didn't grab me so on some level I didn't want any desire to return. So I may not have given it a fair chance.

I took another 522 bus to Kenmore, when I got a drink from Rite Aid and visited a Cash America Pawn. I took a 372 bus to the Market at Lake Forest park in the town of the latter name, where I visited Third Place Books. I took another 372 bus to Seattle.

[NOW: 372 bus is King County Metro Transit.]

The next part is a bit tricky, but think of an intersection in terms of north south east west. I got off the bus in the southwest part of the intersection and crossed the street to a Walgreen's, which is on the southeast and still Seattle. After visited there, I crossed to the northeast, which is in Lake Forest Park, and then crossed to the northwest part of the section for lunch at McDonald's, which is in Shoreline. The Walgreen's visit was partly to push my McDonald's visit closer to 11.

Crossing back l to the bus stop I got off at in Seattle,  I took a 522 bus south and then transferred to a 65 when I should have transferred to a 75 bus (both King County Metro Transit). I managed to doubleback a stop and catch the 75 bus, so no harm done.

I got off the 75 bus at Warren G. Magnuson Park, the second largest Park in Seattle after Discovery Park and considerably easier to navigate. I walked into the off-leash area on the north end, which is helpful for avoiding getting lost, though I left briefly to climb a hill and then back into the off-leash area. Near Lake Washington I could see the art piece A Sound Garden in an adjacent government facility. You can get special clearance to revisit and I did twice in the past, but generally it's easier to just get photos through the wired fence.

I wandered south along the Lake Washington area, swimming at Magnuson beach, which has a life guard. The rocks hurt my feet as i entered the water to swim. I did more wandering and eventually swam again in the north end. Technically you're only supposed to swim near the lifeguard area, but swimming elsewhere is common and my feet hurt less going in there. As I started heading out of the part, there was enough wind that A Sound Garden was making a sound. I visited a community garden and then let the park, just missing a 75 bus.

I crossed the street and walked parallel to the south end, where I used to get off the bus years ago. I was surprised to find that three hours had passed since I entered the park. I took a 75 bus to the University of Washington. The stop I got off at was near Drumheller fountain so I revisited that before taking a Link train (Sound Transit) from University of Washington station to Capitol Hill Station.

i walked to Twice Sold Tales and got photos of a couple cats there. I passed the Jimi Hendrix statue and then visited Elliot bay Book Company and then Everyday Music across the street. This branch requires photos ID for credit card purchases and mine was in the hostel, so I got some more money from a nearby Bank of America and made my purchases. I saw a couple of Mystery Science Theater 3000 sets but wasn't sure which ones I had.

it was a bit of a detour, but I took the First Hill streetcar (King Country Metro Transit) to International District/Chinatown Station and then in the tunnel took a 125(?) bus to Westlake Station.

[NOW: Thus bus, King Country Metro Transit, was actually a 225 bus.]

I had hoped to ride the South Lake Union Streetcar (because it was originally to be called the South Lake Union Trolley, it's often referred to by a rude acronym) but there was no streetcar at the stop and it's a bit of a detour. I'll try to at least get photos of it before leaving town but liking won't have a chance to ride the... you know before the trip. At the hostel I couldn't find the list but turned on my computer for an electronic version.

[NOW: I didn’t get any subsequent photos of this streetcar but it turns out I did on the 25th.]

I walked to the McDonald’s across from Seattle center and from there walked past two people seen earlier this trip and in other trips, dressed as Darth Vader and a Stormtrooper, to the international Fountain.

I walked to the 8 bus stop; it's supposed to run every 15 minutes but waited a quarter hour so must have just missed one. I finally took the 8 bus (King County Metro Transit) back to Capitol Hill, where I crossed through Cal Anderson Park, which I had never really explored before; it has a water 'volcano"; police cars in south end). At Everyday Music I got two of the Mystery Science Theater 3000 sets I had eyed earlier and an Atom Egoyan set. I crossed back through the park and hoped to take a Link train, but 16 minutes to the next one. Instead I just barely caught an 8 bus and took it back to Seattle Center, and then walked straight back to the hostel from there.

Pacific Northwest Trip 2018 Day 12 Thursday July 26: Seattle, Tukwila, Kent, Renton


This is the 12th of a series of posts dealing with my 2018 trip to Olympia, Seattle, and vicinity. I’ve made minor corrections to these reports (typos, bits I don’t feel like making public). Also, I’ve added additional thoughts with the hindsight of two years later or to add further clarification.  These are indicated by “NOW”.

Still managing to get up before 6 each day of the trip except maybe day 1, but that day my trip didn't even start until mid-day.  I walked to Seattle Center and got some more money from a Bank of America machine. I walked to Washington State Convention Center and Freeway Park, then Rachel the Pig(gy bank) at Pike Place Market. I crossed over to the waterfront and walked to the observation area at Pier 66 (same place I visited on laundry day), then returned to City Hostel Seattle for breakfast.

I took a D Rapidride bus (all buses today King County Metro Transit unless noted) downtown and entered Westlake Station, Downtown Transit Tunnel. I seem to have just missed a bus I wanted, so took tunnel photos until the 150 bus arrived. I took it to Westfield Southcenter in Tukwila.

I walked to the nearby Barnes & Noble and Target, then visited Tukwila Pond Park, a nice nature area. Someone had disposed of a number of shopping carts at the end of the pond. I walked to Half Price Books and got a DVD set I think, Returning to Southcenter, I got a DVD set at f.y.e. (for your entertainment) and then took a 150 bus to near Kmart. I got some DVD sets at Kmart and then got a drink at Rite Aid.

[NOW: The Kmart, now closed, was in Kent.]

I was expecting to get on a 183 bus but a 914 bus came first and when I mentioned going to Renton, the driver suggested getting on and transferring to a 169 bus. I think my original plan would have been slightly faster but not by much. After doing said transfer I got off the bus at a combo A&W/KFC, getting a KFC meal again. I visited comic Hut and Liberty Park, then Renton Transit Center. I could have taken an earlier bus but decided to wait for one half an hour later to explore Renton a bit more. I visited the Visitor's info. A guy there offered me water but I was afraid it would lead to a conversation and wasn't feeling chatty so I declined.

Returning to the Transit Center, I took a 560 bus (Sound Transit) to Bellevue Transit Center in Bellevue; I struggled to stay awake on the bus and to remember to keep taking pictures. At Bellevue Transit Center I thought the bus I wanted was a 217, but I saw a 271 up ahead so checked and confirmed that that was the bus I wanted, so I got on just as he was pulling out.

Making it to Seattle's University District, aside from a couple of places checked for pop, I visited Magus bookstore, Bulldog News, University Bookstore, Neptune Music (got a DVD set), Al's Music Games Videos (got a DVD set), and Scarecrow Video (got more DVDs; Scarecrow is one of the best remaining video stores in the Pacific Northwest). After a visit to The Dreaming (comic shop) I walked to the University Village, just outside of the U District. The sidewalk ended on the road and didn't want to cross where I was so I tried a detour that took longer than expected.

Finally making it there I saw various statues, some also fountains (a Stonehenge fountain and Water Frolic; frogs spitting) and visited Amazon Books, though I would never buy anything at their brick and mortar store. I took a more roundabout way than expected to University of Washington Station but there I took a Link train (Sound Transit) to Capitol Hill.

I was pretty weighed down and have Capitol Hill on my itinerary for tomorrow, but I wanted to get to the pop machine with the mystery buttons at least. I visited Phoenix Comics along the way. Much to my dismay the pop machine, one of Seattle's great landmarks was gone. I visited Rite Aid and then took an 8 bus to near Seattle Center. I got dinner at McDonald's and then crossed the street to Seattle Center and relaxed  for a couple hours at the International Fountain. A number of dogs were there including a white German shepherd puppy. I went in the fountain to cool off, knowing that I was really sweaty, and then returned to the hostel.

[NOW: it appears that the owner of the pop machine has been taking it on tour of Seattle. It’s still around but hard to predict where it will turn up next.]