West 2021:
Day 11 - Seattle, WA


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West 2021: [Day 1 - OakdaleI] [Day 2 - Fargo] [Day 3 - Beaver Lake] [Day 4 - Bismarck] [Day 5 - Little Missouri] [Day 6 - Miles City] [Day 7 - Billings] [Day 8 - Missoula] [Day 9 - Steamboat Rock] [Day 10 - Bay View] [Day 11 - Seattle] [Day 12 - Seattle] [Day 13 - Seattle] [Day 14 - Millersvania] [Day 15 - Yakima River Canyon] [Day 16 - Farewell Bend] [Day 17 - Bruneau Dunes] [Day 18 - Craters of the Moon] [Day 19 - Grand Tetons] [Day 20 - Buffalo Bill] [Day 21 - Buffalo] [Day 22 - Badlands] [Day 23 - Jordan] [Day 24 - Trempealeau] [Day 25 - Heading Home]

Thursday, May 13, 2021: There was fog over the bay when we woke up.
We rolled out of the best campsite ever around 8:15 AM.
There were rabbits all over the campground as we went to drop off our trash and recyclables before heading out. We also saw a black squirrel but he ran off before we could get a picture of him.
We drove back north a bit on our way to ...
... Breadfarm, a bakery recommended to us the night before by our friend Jennie. We placed our order online at 7:00 AM when inventory was updated, and Tom stood in line to pick up our order.
We bought the most delicious loaf of potato bread ever, ...
... a box of shortbread cookies to give Jennie the next day, ...
... and a selection of pastries. From upper right, we had a kouign amann, a raspberry danish, an almond bostock, and pain au chocolate. We had seen kouign amann on the Great British Baking Show, so it was interesting to try. It was a slightly sweet, buttery, laminated pastry puck. The danish was amazing, and the other two were also great.
We spotted a few Maersk containers on our way to ...
... Mount Vernon, home of the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival.
We chose a route through town along the Skagit River that might take us to the tulip fields.
We saw some nurseries and farms, but it was past tulip season so we can't be sure if these were the tulip fields or not.
We drove briefly through the main part of town, where we saw the charming Lincoln Theatre with its cool brick architecture and "1926" at the top of its neon sign.
Another loop along the Skagit River didn't turn up any more tulips but we did pass some adorable alpacas.
Oh, my, this property had a lot of interesting items covering every square foot of it.
We were thrilled to see a bald eagle sitting in the middle of a field, so we pulled over to watch him for a minute.
It was time to give The Ocho a well-deserved wash, so we stopped at the Clean Spot in Stanwood.
Just down the street, we passed Viking Village. It looked like it was once a Scandinavian heaven, featuring the Viking Restaurant and Fjord Room (now closed).
It had a Scandinavian shop but it wasn't open yet, so we couldn't stop.
We crossed over Steamboat Slough and recognized it from our trip this way back from Vancouver in 2012.
Maersk!
We arrived in Ivar's in the northern part of Seattle just minutes before it opened at 11:00 AM.
Ten minutes later, we were seated outside in the sunshine eating delicious fish & chips (for Debbie) and scallops & chips plus clam chowder (for Tom). The crab cocktail went into the fridge for a later meal.
After lunch, we enjoyed perfect weather and a beautiful view of the Olympics across Puget Sound.
We drove past Lake Union, ...
... and downtown Seattle.
REI was still in the same location but has obviously upgraded its building a bit since it was first founded here in 1938. Much of Debbie's childhood trips were outfitted with camping equipment purchased here.
That's Lumen Field on the right (home of the Seattle Seahawks and Sounders) and T-Mobile Park on the left (home of the Seattle Mariners).
Mount Rainier was rising majestically south of Seattle.
We stopped at Oxbow Park, commonly known as Hat and Boots Park for obvious reasons.
In addition to giant cowboy accessories, there was a nice little playground and this cool community garden.
As we passed the industrial district near West Seattle, we saw lots and lots of Amazon delivery trucks. Once we saw this building, we figured out why - this was an Amazon distribution center. Empty vans went into the facility on the lower road, and came back out filled on the upper road.
We stopped at Seacrest Park to take in the views of downtown Seattle across Elliott Bay.
Pretty.
Artsy.
Here's the view to the south toward the industrial district.
Mt. Rainier was just visible in the distance.
We rounded Duwamish Head at the northern tip of West Seattle, ...
... passing Luna Park, ...
... and Alki Beach.
As expected, there was no parking to be had in the Alki Beach area at the peak of lunch hour for a 21-foot van, so we didn't stop here.
We passed a replica of the Statue of Liberty, one of the many installed by Boy Scouts in the 1950s, ...
... and the Birthplace of Seattle monument.
We stopped at the Emma Schmitz Memorial Overlook to enjoy the views across Puget Sound.
We drove to Lincoln Park but opted not to walk the distance required to see the seawater pool Debbie vaguely remembered from her youth.
We circled Gatewood Elementary, where Debbie attended second and third grades.
It was largely unchanged except for the fully enclosed building standing where the partially enclosed girls' playground, called a court, used to be.
We took a terrifying drive up the hill from Gatewood, ...
... reaching nearly the highest point in West Seattle, ...
... before heading down 37th Avenue SW, ...
... to the house Debbie lived in when she was a girl.
Seattle used to have Winchell's Donut Houses, but they are now gone. However, the telltale triangular sign marks the spot where one used to be located.
We headed south on our way to Tacoma. Mt. Rainier just kept looking better and better.
We passed two interesting buildings: the Tacoma Dome ...
... and LeMay - America's Car Museum.
We had passed Tacoma numerous times but had never actually visited the city before.
This cool building is the Museum of Glass, ...
... and this is the Tacoma Art Museum. The current exhibition was Art of the American West. The sign for it featured a painting of a bison, which was definitely a recurring theme of this trip.
There was a cool lift bridge to the right.
Other sights on our right included SS Cape Island, ...
... the Tacoma Chinese Reconciliation Park, ...
... and a series of great over-water restaurants like this one, titled Harbor Lights.
We headed to Point Defiance Park where we saw the Slides & Stairs staircase that looked like lots of fun to try.
Next, we drove to Dune Peninsula ...
... and walked the Frank Herbert Trail. Herbert, the author of the "Dune" series of novels, was a Tacoma native.
The Dune Peninsula portion of the park is brand new, having just opened in 2019.
The views of Mount Rainier from here were stunning.
Next, we drove back north to Kent, passing the KOA where we'd be staying the next two evenings, ...
... on our way to see Blue Origin. First, we went to an office park listed on Google Maps as a Blue Origin address but found no proof of existence here.
But a couple of blocks away, we passed shipping docks labeled "Blue Origin," ...
... before passing the main Blue Origin buildings.
There were two of them, both covered in vivid shades of blue. Having seen the West Texas facilities just two months earlier, we were pretty happy to be adding to our collection.
We made a quick return to KOA to check in, ...
... then headed to the Kent location of Ivar's.
This time, we ordered the seafood combo and some delicious clam chowder.
It was 6:00 PM when we finally went back to the KOA to stay for the evening. There was a nice open field behind our campsite and we were on the end of a row, so we were happy with our site.
Having had good luck doing laundry at the KOA in Miles City, we decided to try it again. These laundry facilities were even better, ...
... and there was an even larger selection of books to borrow.
This one caught Debbie's eye - "Learn Swedish."
It was identical to the copy we had at home, but the cover colors were slightly different, and it was nine years older.
Someone had written up notes from their European trip, in which they visited London for two days in May before to flying to Sweden, which was very similar to Debbie's first trip to Europe in 1985.
The sun set in a perfectly clear sky over the Kent KOA.
We played a few rounds of cards before heading to bed.

Day 12 >


West 2021: [Day 1 - OakdaleI] [Day 2 - Fargo] [Day 3 - Beaver Lake] [Day 4 - Bismarck] [Day 5 - Little Missouri] [Day 6 - Miles City] [Day 7 - Billings] [Day 8 - Missoula] [Day 9 - Steamboat Rock] [Day 10 - Bay View] [Day 11 - Seattle] [Day 12 - Seattle] [Day 13 - Seattle] [Day 14 - Millersvania] [Day 15 - Yakima River Canyon] [Day 16 - Farewell Bend] [Day 17 - Bruneau Dunes] [Day 18 - Craters of the Moon] [Day 19 - Grand Tetons] [Day 20 - Buffalo Bill] [Day 21 - Buffalo] [Day 22 - Badlands] [Day 23 - Jordan] [Day 24 - Trempealeau] [Day 25 - Heading Home]

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