Monday, September 24, 2012

Pacific Northwest Trip Summer 2011 Day 5 Friday July 29

This is the fifth of a series of posts dealing my eighth trip to Seattle as an adult. I’ve made minor corrections to these reports. Also, I’ve added additional thoughts with the hindsight of two years later or to add further clarification. 
Haven't done a morning edition this trip but I think last night warrants one.

First though I forgot to mention yesterday at the fountain a couple were having a serious make-out session

Couldn't find my room card for a while, about an hour.  Luckily it turned up before I'd have to pay. Two women arrived in the dorm a bit late.  One was particularly not shy and with the door open enough to let the light in, stripped to a shirt and panties and wandered into the hallway.  I was a gentleman and stayed in bed but another guy in the room apparently happened to need to use the bathroom around the same time. 

[NOW: The above was written in the morning; the rest I wrote in the evening.]

I walked to Olympic Sculpture Park.  At the start of the park is a fountain/art piece called Father and Son, but I think that  name is intended with a wink, since the statues of the "father" and "son", who are facing each other, are naked/anatomically correct.  Elsewhere in the park there's a sign saying Cyclists Yield to Peds.  If that sign was closer to the Father and Son piece, Peds would have an unintended double meaning.

The giant ampersand ("&"), missing last year, is back at the park.  That art piece is called Love and Loss, because nothing conveys love and loss like a giant ampersand rotating on a pole.

I also briefly visited the Olympic Sculpture Park Mini-Beach (unlike the non-beach area there's no sculptures here) and Myrtle Edwards Park, both right by the Olympic Sculpture Park proper, before returning to the latter.  I also saw a concrete bench which turned out to be another art piece and the giant comb on a wheel.  I soon returned to the hostel for breakfast.

The next park of the trip was not placed on a specific day in my schedule because it was weather depending, but it was planned more generally for a weekday with the plan to bump a day if need be. I took the 478 (Sound Transit) bus to Federal Way Transit Center, then transferred to a 402 (Pierce Transit) before heading to my main destination of the day, Wild Waves Theme Park.  The first ride I tried was the Tonga River, basically a tubing trip under mild conditions, doing a circle.  I asked if taking pics was safe; i was told it was, but my camera got wet and did act a bit off sporadically after. No pics lost as a result.  Konga River Tube Sliders were more dramatic than your typical water slide.  I did this twice at this point.  Zooma falls is a more dramatic still water slide.  Would have liked to have done this more than once but couldn't fit it in.  From there I did another ride that was too crowded to do more than once, Riptide, where the slide eventually do a few spins around before dropping down the final shute (kind of like water going down a drain).

All the above rides involved tubs.  I then went on four more traditional but still fairly dramatic water slides sharing the same entrance: Python, Ravage, Banzai, and Bobsled.  There were a couple of other slides with these four, but they required you to be shirtless, so I passed on them.

I then left the water ride area for the time being and rode the Wild Thing (one of those roller coasters that does a 360 degree loop.  I was quite satisfied doing this once, but no, there was a round two (I *think* a slightly different route).  I was going to brave I-5, where they raise you up high on a contraption and then drop you, but there was an additional charge of $25 so I passed.  I then had a pizza meal at Village Cafe.

I then rode Klondike Gold Rusher, not unlike Mulholland Madness in Disney's California Adventure.  You're in a cart that jerks you around everything you hit a turn; expect mild pain. Timber Axe puts people in the "blade" of a giant axe, which does a few 360 degree loops in both directions; despite wearing an earband I kept one hand on my glasses the entire ride.  Lumberjack Falls is mild but cute.  You go up on a boat, then across, then straight down and get splashed; if you stand just outside the exit and watch the next group go down, you will also get splashed).  I then hiked a ways to Timberhawk: Bird of Prey: a lengthy wooden roller coaster.  Like most wooden roller coasters there's a bit of a psychological effect but it's reasonably tame by coaster standards.  I then rode Pirates, which was very mild; you swing up to the left and to the right for a bit.

I passed by Hook's lagoon, which has ducks and some sort of fish.  You can feed them for 25c but I just watched. I might have the order a bit off, but I believe it was Tube Sliders four more times (once per tube), Banzai and Ravage again (a kid went down on his stomach before the lifeguard could stop him), Konga Rivers tube (I got bored in line and was taking pics just to amuse myself, which led to a minor Q&A with the park police).  Then the Wave Pool (not very wavy), then the Ferris Wheel (not that big; unlike some, you can't take pics while riding), Gold Rusher again, Lumberjack Falls again (this time I stood to the side when watching a later group go down so I could get pics without further water risk to my camera), then Timberhawk.

By now it was a little after 4:30 (park opened at 10) and park was open until 8, but stomach my told me it was time to quit instead of waiting for the crowds to die down. On the way out or jump before some kid tried asking me for 50c.  I took the 402 back to the transit center, but there as a bit of a wait for the 578, so i took the 574 to Seatac's light rail and used that instead to return to downtown Seattle.  I visited Borders then headed towards Seattle Center.  Bits of the set-up for tomorrow's parade were already happening; some people had even put their seats in place despite the parade still being over 24 hours away.  I ate at the McDonald's across from Seattle Center, then relaxed at the International Fountain.  There for the first time in many years (over a decade maybe) I splurged and got cotton candy.  After a while at the fountain I returned to the hostel.

[NOW: The 402 again is Pierce Transit, the 578 and 574 were both Sound Transit. The light rail, called Central Link, is also Sound Transit.  Borders is now defunct.]

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