Last day in Seattle




Yesterday (Thursday) was my last full day in Seattle. I am awaiting my rideshare, from a guy named Matt who is on his way to Pullman and kind enough to route into Spokane to deliver me to my next destination. I don’t have a contact in Spokane, save for Donnie, who is a visitor himself, and staying a good ways out of Spokane proper, in Spokane Valley. I have prepared a few sandwiches for the road and am drying out my sneakers – yesterday was a wet day.

I spent pretty much all of yesterday riding, checking out other parts of Seattle. The forecast predicted rain, so when I awoke to dry skies I wasted no time in getting out the door. I headed down from Capitol Hill (the area I am staying in) into downtown, where I caught the Elliott Bay bike path, a flat, windy meander beside the waterfront that leads out of downtown onto a park-like stretch and eventually skirts a trainyard and offers an outlet into Ballard, north of downtown. I was eager to ride but also taken by the scenery, especially the view of the snow-capped Cascades across the water–so when it started to sprinkle I paid it no mind, stopping to take pictures and generally gawk at my surroundings every few feet. I could tell by the darkening of the sky ahead if me that I was riding into a storm, and before I knew it the rain came on strong. Still, I was compelled to stop on the bridge that went across the train yard, where I could imagine friends and strangers; artists and travelers; vagabonds, painters, dreamers, and wanderers all passing through this space in one way or another…the notion of train hopping crosses my mind again; then I am returned to reality by the brisk woosh of passing cyclists at my back, and the drops of water that are beginning to slide down off my helmet. I take comfort in knowing I have my bike at my side-she is my trusted steed; my unfailing pony; together we are unstoppable. I hop back Kk and head down the bridge, onto a wet and empty path litter with heavy green leaves. I reach my turn to go into Ballard, but the street sign is absent. I am learning to trust my judgement, and push up the steep hill to meet a long grade downward. I continue on, periodically stealing glances at the scrap of paper I wrote my route on, while the rain gets heavier. I don’t mind a bit, save for the sketchiness I feel about hitting my rear brake on the slick downhill slopes. I proceed with caution downward and pedal eagerly on the uphill stretches. The ride to the locks is about 6 miles, but as the rain turns into a sheer downpour and my socks and leggings darken, heavy with water, I follow my “sense of direction” right past my destination and into a neighborhood characterized by steep hills and florid landscaping. At the crest of Commodore Street I meet a fork in the road; right to “Land’s End,” left to Discovery Park. I go right and about a quarter mile down the road I ask a pair of men who have emerged from a garage into the downpour: “Which way to Ballard Locks?” And they describe the scene I passed but 15 minutes ago, so back down the hill I head, on over to the Ballard Locks. To be continued…


2 thoughts on “Last day in Seattle

  1. I’m really enjoying your blog!! Very descriptive. So much so that I can see myself heading down the same paths and roads. I guess I should have seen this coming after this past New Year’s in SF and the impromptu rain ride we had.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s