Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Pacific Northwest Trip 2015 Day 8 Sunday July 19: Portland to Seattle

This is the 8th 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”.

I woke up just after 2 and couldn't get back to sleep. Someone was in the bathroom and when I went in after my socks became damp. Probably water but just in case I changed out of the socks and found a different bathroom.

[NOW: The hostel I stayed at in Portland was Northwest Portland Hostel.]

I checked out of the hostel a little after 4:30 and walked to McDonald's. The main entrance wasn't yet open (opened at 5) but there was a walkthrough entrance so I got breakfast to go that way. I walked downtown, getting away from more people who were threatening me due to my photography even though they were in a distance. I think it's good that I left Portland today. I think some damage to me or my camera or both would have happened had I stayed much longer and no I'm not joking. It was no longer safe for me to remain in Portland due to my habit of photographing my trip route.

I took final photos of Mill Ends Park before arriving at the Bolt bus stop an hour ahead of time. When the Boltbus arrived because there were no A ticket people (members; B is non-member prepaid and C is paid on the day) I managed to snag the front seat. An older woman sat beside me and we chatted during the trip to Seattle. I found I had no trouble holding a conversation while taking photos so that passed the time nicely. Unlike Greyhound, Boltbus, despite being owned by Greyhound typically arrives at its destination early so I got off 20 minutes ahead of time and took a 36 bus then a C bus (all non-Boltbus buses this day King County Metro Transit) to the hostel. I checked in and put the bags in storage and then visited the international Fountain.

[NOW: The Seattle hostel I stayed at was City Hostel Seattle.]

I was reconsidering my plan to go to Discovery Park but a Pakistani man, while nice, started talking to me so much I couldn't switch bus stops easily. Luckily he let me cut things off when a D bus (like C a Rapidride bus) showed up he let me cut things off so I could run after the bus. I couldn't make it but there was another right behind that I took to Ballard (Ballard and other areas this day are part of Seattle). Passing Ballard's Sunday Market, I worked my way to my favourite part of Hiram M. Chittenden Locks, the Fish Ladder, where through windows you can see salmon returning to Lake Union to spawn. Not long before I likely would have left anyway, a tour guide showed up and since it was already crowded with kids I left the Fish Ladder then the Locks at this point.

I walked north to the only branch of Rain City Video I hadn't been to before, and the only one left. I bought some DVDs. There were a few more that looked interesting but no price sticker. The woman wanted to send the receipt by text or email but I pressed for a physical one due to Customs. She seemed annoyed but also seemed to understand the situation and worked something out.

[NOW: Rain City Video has now closed.]

I walked to Sonic Boom Records then Arcane Comics. I wanted to have lunch at Ballard’s Burger King but it had closed down so I ate at McDonald's instead. I walked to Fremont and saw the plant dinosaurs.  Passing Fremont's Sunday Market i saw the Fremont Rocket which now needs repainting, as well as the way larger than life statue of VI Lenin. I visited Jive Time Records and then Ophelia's Books, looking for the cat there. I found a cardboard box in the downstairs level and knew that I had found the kitty. I visited the Center of the Universe signpost (arrows pointing to real and fictional places with distance) and then Waiting for the Interurban statue, which had been dressed up with a sign that said something like "Don't just wait there, dance!" I zoomed in on Rapunzel on the Fremont Bridge. At JP Patches Pl, the section of 34th Ave named after the character popularized by the late Chris Wedes, I saw the JP Patches & Gertrude: late for the Interurban statue.

[NOW: Arcane Comics has since moved to Shoreline.]

I visited the Fremont Troll statue on Troll Ave under Aurora Bridge before crossing over to Wallingford and visiting Gas Works Park, a converted industrial complex on the north end of Lake Union, now a popular park.

I then did something I've been wanted to brave for years; returning to Fremont, I crossed Aurora Bridge, which is very high up, to south of Fremont, getting some great Fremont photos in the process. I walked along Queen Anne Drive and then Queen Anne uphill and then walked down an increasingly steep downhill. I visited Video isle and Queen Anne Books. I went to a vending machine at Safeway and got what from the photo looked like a Gatorade drink but which proved to be bottled water and in fact tasted a lot like slightly cooled tap water.

[NOW: The above branch of Video Isle has now closed.]

I walked south to Kerry Park Viewpoint for a great aerial view of the Space Needle etc. I then spent some time back at the International Fountain at Seattle Center.

I returned to the hostel and finished checking in now that the room was ready. I found that the hostel had been renovated. No more computer terminals, so all these typos are the result of me continuing to use this piece of fecal matter mini-notebook with its piece of fecal matter tiny keys. At the Seattle Center Armory I had dinner at Mod Pizza and then returned to the International Fountain until 8, when the police told everyone that the park was now closed. There were a lot more people there today including lots of food stands due to Take a Bite Out of Seattle so maybe something got out of hand somewhere. I got some drinks at the QFC nearest Seattle Center before returning to the hostel.

[NOW: Typos all hopefully corrected for this blog post. The police shutdown was due to some evening event at Seattle Center being about to start.]

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