This is the 2nd of a series of posts dealing with my 2015 trip to Portland, 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”.
A bit sleep deprived (see below) so pardon if some of this is hard to understand.
[NOW: typos hopefully all corrected before posting to blog].
Oh, note to friends in 20s/30s: remember I'm a 44 year old guy. So remember, anything I can do in a day you should all be able to too. Try it!
[NOW: 46 now].
Last night, one woman was debating whether to visit Victoria so I suggested using Google Maps street view to get a sense of the city. She seemed to like that idea. The deer came back but by the time I got my camera only got distance shots. Unfortunately didn't get to sleep before someone who snored really loud started up so that kept me awake most of the night.
[NOW: This was at ToadLilly House International Hostel.]
Just before 5 I started off and walked to Gateway Transit Center, doing just a slight detour to get a few shots I wanted to get yesterday. Most of the first four bus rides were trees, trees and more trees. The first bus I took was the 14 bus (Clallam Transit) and it took me past the huge (not Great Lakes huge but huge for this area) lake Crescent Lake. The bus passed Sappho and the Lake Pleasant stop that was apparently in Beaver (don't snicker; a beaver's a perfectly nice animal) before arriving in Forks (Forks Transit Center). I asked the driver about breakfast at that time of the day and another passenger suggested the nearby Shell Station. I nearly made it before deciding it was cutting things too close and returned to Forks Transit Center; saw a bit of Twilight stuff there so it hasn't entirely died off. The numberless Olympic Connection bus (Jefferson Transit) was one of the small "community" type busses. The driver had music on loud but understand when I mentioned needing to make a connection. If you ride this bus, wear the seatbelts because it's a bumpy ride. There was a brief stop at Koloch where people were allowed to get off (timing point) though ironically we then fell behind about the same amount because a wheelchair needed to get on and it's pretty involved with that kind of bus. Nevertheless, while late, the bus made the connection at Amanda Park.
[NOW: No disrespect intended for the person in the wheelchair; these things happen. Due to the bus to Forks leaving later, it no longer connects with the early bus to Amanda Park, with snowball effect. You can still get to Olympia in a day from Port Angeles using this method; it’s just a lot later.
There, I transferred to a 60 bus (Grays Harbor Transit, no apostrophe). The bus passed Quinault, etc. before arriving at Hoquiam (Hoquiam Transit Center). I could have connected directly with my next bus here or at the next transit center (see below) but there was a long layover, so I got out and headed east. A short bridge was temporarily close to bikes and pedestrians, so I had to detour a ways to a longer bridge but finally made it easily across the river. I continued east and ate a late breakfast at McDonald’s. Going east once more, I passed a Statue of Liberty and later visited a Rite Aid and then crossed the street from Hoquiam to Aberdeen (there were a couple of places I could have gotten a ride and I was weighed down but I was on the bus route anyway and wanted to do the walk). I visited a Visitor Info Center and grabbed some booklets. I made it to Aberdeen Transit Center, but walked around some more and grabbed a seltzer from the Rite Aid across the street. Rite Aid apparently changed their rewards system again, but I didn't want to update things this close to my bus.
[NOW: the preferred bridge crosses Hoquiam River at Simpson Ave; the detour bridge was at Riverside Ave.]
At Aberdeen Transit Center I took a 40 bus (also Grays Harbor Transit). Among the places it passed were the now-unfortunately named Montsano, Brady (I wonder what's its story), Satsop, Elma, and McCleary, finally arriving at Olympia, where it got stuck in traffic a bit before arriving at the Greyhound Depot. I wandered to the hostel (Ground inn) and dropped off most of my stuff.
I ate lunch at a McDonald's, passed the Star Wars Mural, visited the new location of Last Word Books (took a bit to find because it's by the 300 block but the address is 111 NE Cherry). I visited Browser's Books before heading to Olympia Transit Center. I got on a 47 bus (all remaining buses this day Intercity Transit) and got a daypass. I took the bus to the west end where i visited Half Place Books Outlet (got some DVDs) and Barnes & Noble before heading north to the Safeway by where the Blockbuster used to be. I got on the 37 bus, which passed by Capital Mall (apparently the renamed Westfield Capitol/Westfield Promenade). As it headed east I passed by a few places the 40 bus had passed, but I didn't want to stop there earlier with all my stuff. Back at Olympia Transit Center I switched to the 66 bus.
The 66 bus passed the cemetery near Phoenix Rd before arriving in Lacey. I visited Olympic Cards and Comics, noticing along the way that my next stop, Boomerang had moved nearly. Glad it moved to where I was already walking. Boomerang is now closed on Mondays.
I took the 64 bus back to downtown Olympia where I visited Orca Books (got a couple of shots of the cat that always sleeps except when it's napping). At Rainy Day Records I got the blu-ray of Psycho (50th anniversary).
I considered a couple of comic trades at Danger Room comics but the dollar now offsets most of the sale price and I wanted to minimize books when I have too highway buses to come with their space restrictions. I visited Heritage Fountain (jets from the ground) and cooled off there just before the jets stopped for 90 minutes. I accidentally left my fanny back behind in my sleep deprived state but managed to recover it.
[NOW: Addenda from day 3: Passing the waterfront someone had spray-painted "Everything is terrible." Oddly just before the trip I watched a South Park episode on goths and emos. Wonder which the spray painter self-identified as. One pub had a chalkboard sign in large letters "free beer" but when you got close enough to read the smaller print it was "Free Wi-Fi cold beer". The former addendum I’m not sure on the timeline, but I’m pretty sure the latter happened right after this paragraph].
Passing the Greyhound Depot and the later bus I had originally planned to get to Olympia, I walked to a Subway for dinner, the one where I normally have breakfast at during Olympia trips. I wandered the Capitol grounds a little and then took a winding path to Capitol Lake; from the top of the path you get a nice aerial view of the lake and vicinity. A fair was being set up near the lake and Heritage Fountain, where I rested again briefly.
[NOW: Addendum from day 3: The fair being set up by the lake is Capitol Lakefair.]
Around this time I noticed I had been taking more photos than I thought judging from the number left on the card. I wandered downtown and rested a Sylvester Park; the Greyhound Depot is at the north end. A dog introduced itself to me. I wandered back to the fountain and got a few more shots, waiting until it turned back on for a bit before leaving. I got a drink from Capitol Lake Grocery and then returned to the hostel. Need to turn in early I think.
[NOW: Addendum from day 3: Bus prices in 2015: Port Angeles to Forks: $1.50, Forks to Amanda Park: 50c, Amanda Park to Hoquiam: $1, Aberdeen to Olympia: $3, and Olympia/Lacey daypass: $2.50.]