Seattle & Vashon Island

From Trout Lake I traveled via Portland to Seattle. Laura from the Trout Lake Grocery took me to Portland and we had a great time shopping at Cosco for the store and other village people. I also got to be in a party store for the first time ever which is a crazy thing!

After saying goodbye to Laura (and keeping in mind that she likes surprise eggs) I made my way to Powell’s City of Books – a must see in Portland for every book fan. A few hours and about six bucks later I was the proud owner of “The good daughter” by Karin Slaughter one of my favorite authors.

I was all aimed for my three hour ride on the Bolt bus the next morning. Close to Seattle I had booked one of the cheapest AirBnbs I could find. I would be Karinas guest on Vashon Island – not really knowing how close or better far it was from Seattle. It turned out that Vashon Island is a pleasant 20 minutes ferry ride from downtown Seattle plus another ten minutes on the island bus. Arriving on the island I learned fast that the buses pick you up or drop you of wherever you want. Sweet island life!

I checked in at Karinas place and got familiar with my host. It didn’t take too long and the relaxed island vibe took over. Vashon Island is great! I took Karina’s bike for one day and cycled across the island. I even cycled across the sister island Maurey Island as well as both are connected by a land bridge.

The route I picked took me to small beaches and along ocean roads.

My goal was the small lighthouse at Park Robinson at the eastern end of Maurey. The lighthouse itself was small but pretty and next to a nice beach with georgeous views of Mt. Rainier in the distance. Definitely a place to spend some time!

Cycling back was a bit harder and I pushed the bike up a few hillside the hot midday sun before I could hop on again and enjoy the downhill in the other side.

Before heading towards my next hiking adventure I had some chorus to do and one task on my list was shopping at REI – a big outdoor store in Seattle. I took the bus, the bus went on the ferry and more than one hour later I stood in downtown Seattle.

I had heard of the famous underground tour and the price of 22$ seemed reasonable. I didn’t want to leave this town behind without learning a little bit about it. I also remembered an underground tour I had attended in Paris a few years ago and it was great! So I checked in at Bill Speidel’s underground tour and got to learn why some parts of Seattle are build on an underground town. It was basically the combination of some serious bathroom problems of a town build at sea level and a total burn down of the wooden city in the 18 hundreds. Seattle’s solution was to raise the streets to have a proper sewer system underneath. As it took a long time shops were rebuild earlier and once the streets were finished these shops became the underground.

I am not really good in telling the story. You should definitely book a tour! Then you get to walk around in some creepy places underneath today’s sidewalks!

After the tour it was about lunch time and I walked through downtown towards the famous Pike Markets. On the way I witnessed the deconstruction of a freeway and passed by Miners Landing – the touristy Harbor area.

Arriving at Pike Market I walked through the shops and heaps of tourists watching out for a good place for lunch. Finally I just picked a random place to get out off the mass for a while and to enjoy some Fish & Chips. I wasn’t brave enough to order a Dungeness crab!

So much for the sightseeing. It was time to get serious again and so I made my way to REI. On my shopping list were not only waterproof socks (I returned my previous REI order to stop the time-consuming battle with Vancouver’s most awkward post office in Daniels St) but also an Ursack as I would soon be hiking in Grizzly country. An Ursack is basically a food sack made of Kevlar and other very resistant materials. Used in the right way and in combination with my odor proof plastic bag the Ursack will protect my food against bears and critters.

Making sure that no bear ever gets my food is a high priority on my list as bears which are connecting humans with food mostly get shot or removed from their home area. There’s a saying that a fed bear is a dead bear and I do not want to contribute to that.

A couple of hundred bucks lighter I had all missing equipment together and went back towards the ferry dock. Town visits are expensive! Thank god I am staying on a small island!

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