Odyssey Day 2: Seattle Downtown plus

©2022 Michael Raven

I’m sore tonight — I put in almost 10 miles of walking when I’m lucky to see 4 most days. Hills and stairs and ramps and hills and stairs in addition to the “flat” surface trekking I’ve been doing today. Muscles are screaming and I’m sad that I’m not at the place I once was, when I was living in Seattle and doing that much walking on a light day. I was svelte and lean those days and I wish my home weather would cooperate so I could get back to that place I used to be. I reluctantly opted against bringing my laptop and went with just a jacket and and the power bank for my phone.

Downtown Seattle felt less off to me than yesterday’s trip up from Sea-Tac up I-5 to the Northgate area. Even though a lot had changed from my time living here, most of it was different in the same flavor as it had before, so the change was just in the facades and signage, not the overall feel.

The day started off a bit wetter than I had expected. Winter rains returned after a wonderful display yesterday. I ended up waiting for a lull in the downpour (which didn’t match my recollections living here; it was almost always a fine mist and not real rain 95% of the time). Because it is about a mile to walk to the light rail station to hop on a really quick trip (for the distance) to downtown Seattle.

After blinking with confusion over why I couldn’t use a credit card to recharge a borrowed Orca transit card, I just utilized the amount still on the card to get downtown. Signs letting you know which track you could catch a southbound ride on were non-existent so, as the train was ready to leave and changed it’s lights to read an acceptable destination, I hopped on while the doors were closing. But I manged to get on without losing any limbs.

At 9.30 in the morning, the cars were largely empty like the above picture. The ride was largely uneventful and it surprised me that almost all of of the ride was underground. In MN, our light rail runs parallel to several main roads and not many weeks go by without someone trying to beat the train as a result. We may have built our rail cheaper, but it does add to traffic delays for drivers and the regular bout of Darwinism in action.

Anyway, I eventually got off at Westlake, and pointed my nose outside to get my bearings. It took a second, but almost immediately knew where I was and was taken aback by where I had ended up. I can’t really explain the why for the sensation, it was just a “huh” kind of thing.

I ended up wandering the hallways of the shops and vendors at Pike Market. It has become more geared for the tourist, I’ve discovered and, as a result, many of the shops/stands don’t open until 11am. I took the opportunity to survey which places I actually wanted to go to.

When I was living here, it was all about the ghaj*&#!* seagulls and Seattle “slugs”, with the occasional geoduck, a giant clam which is ugly as hell. Now, the city seems to be interested in marketing Sasquatch merchandise.

There are all kinds of Sasquatch items for sale. I won’t list it all, just assume the typical items you can turn into some kind of memorabilia.

As I said, there was some reassurance in that some stores were still there these many years later, and new stores to fill in the empty places for the ones that went missing over the years.

I wandered through the market, reminded myself why I found the waterfront never as good as the memories I have of it, and then traipsed down to my old neighborhood where I worked and slept, drank coffee and plotted world domination through writing and performance poetry.

The waterfront is still a bit of a mess from the removal of the Alaska Way Viaduct, a nervous breakdown of engineering design in a city that does experience earthquakes. Someone had decided having an elevated and stacked road along the waterfront was an awesome idea. I white-knuckled the road the two times I rode it and always was quick to get out from under its shadow when walking under it. It’s nice how it cleans up the look of the waterfront, but the new construction via its removal was ugly as sin.

I know I said I’d write lengthy posts on my trip, but I think I’ll return to to describing much more tomorrow, as I am absolutely beat and plan to have some time to write in the morning. For now, that’s my boring teaser. I’ll write about the rest when I’ve refreshed my head a bit.

I hope all of you are doing well. I am trying to keep up with everyone’s updates, but I’ll admit that I occasionally realize I have scanned, more than read posts the past few days.

3 thoughts on “Odyssey Day 2: Seattle Downtown plus

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