Seattle tour begins
Day 1 - Arrive in Seattle June 24, 2009
SEATTLE - Back in November 2008 while paging through Runners World magazine I found an ad for the Rock 'n' Roll marathon in Seattle. I signed up online and bought my plane ticket.
Arrived in Seattle Wednesday afternoon and the run is Saturday. I'm traveling with my bicycle and at the end of the 26.1 mile run, I'll start pedaling back.
It's vacation. What follows is this year's travel journal.
Day one in Seattle and drama already. I left my camera at the SeaTac Airport.
Took one picture of a very helpful man, Everett, at the airport information booth.
I first became aware of the missing Olympus 1000 after I checked into the Green Tortoise Hostel in downtown Seattle.
Weary and frustrated with the airports 1-800 maze of voicemails, I decided to deal with the issue on Day two.
Day 2; June 25 - Well rested and certain my camera is at the airport I pull together my resources at the Green Tortoise and get ready to make the 18 mile trek back to the airport.
I needed something to do today anyway.
Gabriel, the helpful twenty-something at the front desk of the hostel, downloads side street maps for me.
Armed with directions and some distracted recollections from Tom, a biker who picked me up as I plugged along Wednesday, I felt I had rather superior planning and coordination.
Eight miles out of town I had everything screwed up.
I was making my way from the downtown and instead of hitting the southern Duwamish and Green River Trails I ended up on the far western Alki Trial.
I told everyone I was going to the SeaTac Airport yet ended up miles away.
It was very Governor Sanford of me without the scandalous Argentinean flare.
After several redirects, I was back on track and soon pulling into the airport.
My friend Everett was back at the info desk; the minute he saw me he yelled "that's what I'm talkin' about baby!"
"Come here and give me a hug... I got something you want!"
If only every large black man would greet me this way.
Everett could have held his own as a lineman for the Seattle Seahawks; he was about as happy to see me as I him.
He talked at length about the efforts they went through to track me down. "Within five minutes we realized you had left your camera and Steve jumped in his car and looked for you for an hour. Either you're really fast or you don't follow directions well," he said.
Look at how well he already knew me.
While following Everett's directions, I was distracted by the public library sign and the adopted by Tom who was returning home on his bike from his job as a machinist with Boeing.
Tom, 56, said he was going in my same direction and I could tag and he'd get me downtown to the Green Tortoise Hostel.
It's amazing how many people from Wisconsin I've already run into. The manager at the hostel, Colleen Becker, is from Trempealeau. A police officer in downtown Seattle, Mary Ann, is from Plymouth and the entertainment coordinator at the hostel, Elysha Misc', lived in West Bend for a couple years and actually dated a man I interviewed two years ago.
The hostel has a lot of inexpensive entertainment venues on tap. Seattle's Dead Guy tour where you can visit graves of Jimi Hendrix, Brandon and Bruce Lee and see the house of Kurt Cobain.
There's also the Sleepless in Seattle tour where you can see various spots where the movie with Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan was filmed.
Last night was the Comedy Underground. Kyle Cease was the headliner. He had been in movies like '10 Things I hate about you.'
Because I was with the hostel group, our tix went from $25 down to $5.
Quite a few homeless in Seattle. Lots of people with tin cans and cardboard signs, looking for a handout.
The best sign yet from an old man, wiry, gray hair, protruding jaw and dirty, square wire rim glasses. His sign read; “Saving for a hooker.”