Saturday, November 30, 2013

Pacific Northwest Trip June 2013 Day 2 Monday June 17

This is the second of a series of posts dealing with my tenth and most recent trip to Seattle as adult, this time also covering Portland. I’ve made minor corrections to these reports.  What few updates there are indicated by NOW in brackets. 

Minor editing to remove a personal detail plus to fix the usual typos, as well as correcting a few names.

Not sure if I got any sleep last night. Very muggy, plus the stress of needing to not sleep in for my 6:30 bus plus the Border nerves.

When I arrived at the hostel yesterday, the only other person in the room was an Asian guy doing homework. He was still doing homework when I got back from my friend Sheila. He was still doing homework when I got back from my friend Luca. He eventually went outside the room to continue doing homework so he could turn off the light, but rather than getting his key and closing the door entirely, he left it slightly ajar so there was a little light coming in. Not much though. When I got up at 5 am he was still outside the room sitting at the table doing homework.

I wandered to the bus/train station (Central Station) I noticed the McDonald’s was closed down. There was another one nearby but I didn’t have the energy to wander over there. So I just had a tea at the station, hoping to grab breakfast along the way.

I got on the BoltBus (express service). After Customs the bus continued to Cordata Station in Bellingham, near the large Belfair Mall. I crossed the street to a coffee
shop called Cruisin Coffee and grabbed breakfast to go there.

At Burlington we detoured due to that recent I-5 accident, getting back on the I-5 after passing through downtown Mt. Vernon. We stopped breakfast in Seattle by the entrance to International District/Chinatown Station. Money fell out of my pocket but the driver was honest enough to return it.

We main good time getting to Portland, though upon arrival it took a bit to get my bearings and I got help at a nearby 7-11. I bought a TriMet daypass just before that, a mistake because my TriMet use of the day could probably have worked on a single fair. I took a Blue MAX train to near my hostel. Ironically, it needed to stop for maintenance where I’d intended to get off at anyway. I headed north to the Northwest Portland Hostel, grabbing lunch at a McDonald’s along the way.

[NOW: The stop in question was JELD-WEN Field MAX Station.]

After checking in at the hostel, I went to a nearby 77 bus stop but didn’t know how often it ran, and walked along my route, finally grabbing an 8 to the same destination, a transfer spot to a C-TRAN bus. At first no one seemed to know which side I needed to get on and I got the sense that TriMet drivers didn’t even know that C-TRAN buses stopped there. I finally found people who could answer. As it turns out, either side was okay, but because it loops around, the side I got off the 8 was best for getting a decent seat.

[NOW: The 77 bus was TriMet.]

I got on the 157 C-TRAN bus (all remaining buses taken this day were C-TRAN) and got a daypass, taking the bus to 99th Avenue Transfer Center in Hazel Dell North, part of Vancouver WA. I liked the symmetry of visiting Vancouver BC and WA on the same day. I transferred to a 32 bus and visited Science Fiction Books and after a bit of a wall, Video Connections, where I bought some DVDs. I changed my mind about a third Hazel Dell store because it looked harder to get to than at first glance. I bought some Gatorade near Video Connection then took a 37 south to Vancouver WA proper. There was a large art piece made of recycled goods. I visited Esther Short Park (more lawn then trees; also has fountain and clock tower). I took a 105 bus back to Portland.

[NOW: Science Fiction Books is in Hazel Dell South, right across the street from the south end of Hazel Dell North].

The driver was early so the driver decided to have a four minute layover away from any stop. A woman asked to get off and when he agreed, I got off too. I just wanted to take photos at that point so any stop was fine for that.  I wandered to Salmon Street Springs, where I started to drink what I thought was a lemon variant of Gatorade but proved to be lime cucumber flavour. Yes, tastes as horrible as it sounds.

I walked to the nearby Mill Ends Park, the world’s smallest park, located inside a crosswalk. This time there was a pretty green small tree inside the park. I walked to Pioneer Place and had dinner at an Italian place in the Food Court (Sbarro).  I walked to Powell’s Books and bought and old Daredevil index from the 1970s or 1980s, the bought some DVDs at Everyday Music before heading back to the hostel. Hope to get some sleep tonight; I’m pretty sure I will.

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