I wanted to go to the ‘Emerald’ State – Washington State – for a while. Pretty much for the last 12 years or so. Yes, California is nice and warm. But it is just too warm and hot (at least where I’ve lived). I grew up in a colder climate with some rains and green summer forests. Right here, in Bay Area, everything pretty much turns yellow by May. Even Sierra Nevada mountains with their abundance of lakes and sometimes snow still feel like a desert. Thus Washington state should be a great place to go, especially in Summer – it is closer than Alaska, better developed, and sits roughly at the same latitude as Minsk. As a result I was quite excited when Viyasan posted the plan for this trip.
This was supposed to be a relatively simple trip to a gorgeous place. Just one week in the Olympic rain forest. Nothing much. Maybe a bit technical, but nothing I couldn’t handle. No bush planes or bush-waking, no cold river crossings, not even high altitude (the tallest point in the park is just about 7600ft). However, the more I learned about Mr V’s plan the more it was apparent that this trip won’t be so simple. There was a lot of technical stuff – ropes, harnesses, crampons, etc. I mean, this is quite simple in comparison to even climbing Mt Olympus itself. However, for this group as a whole it was a bit too much. Sure, it could be done. But to pull it off required very strong leadership. And I have to admit that neither the leader nor the assistant leader did it properly. Which kind of bit us. I suppose we didn’t think that this would happen on such an underestimated trip, but it did. Oh well, lesson learned. Good thing we didn’t run into some major troubles because of that.
On the other hand due to this screw up with the gear we got to camp on the beach, which was an interesting experience.
Friday, July 2, 2010
Regular start of a long trip far away – Friday after work people flying in to some common destination. This time, however, unlike for the Wrangell trip, people came to Seattle SEA-TAC airport mostly from different places at different times. I suppose that’s because there are a lot more flights to Seattle than to Anchorage. There was pretty much only one flight from SFO to Anchorage.
Anyway, by about 8PM we all (except Vencad, Rachel, and Dylan) gathered in the airport. It took some time to get the reserved rental cars from the claws of the friendly rental companies. One (Dollar) had the car lot conveniently located outside the airport, the other (Avis) – was just stupid. But there is no need to dwell on this – things like these are bound to happen with any company, you deal with them and move on. I have to admit that SEA-TAC is a strange airport. Usually airports are designed to optimize the flow – people fly in, then proceed from the plane to hopefully their waiting luggage, and then flow out either by taxi or their own cars. In SEA-TAC you flow out of your airplane and get on some sort of local train. This train will carry you to some airport-global luggage place where your stuff magically appears. The bag actually came out quite quickly. I thought we would be waiting for them forever, especially due to the fact that the luggage place seemed so far away from the plane. All the friendly rental companies are located there also, which is convenient.
This evening we were enjoying the hospitality of Suji’s relatives. Really enjoying. They were gracious enough to actually cook great authentic vegetarian Indian dinner for us.
The town they live in is close to Redmond. As a result pretty much everyone works for Microsoft. It looked like a relatively new development. However, it seemed much more livable than Fremont. There were sidewalks, lots of greenery. There were some number of condominiums next to the single family houses. It seems that one can get somewhere on a bike in this place. However, it was still a modern American suburb. They did have a lot of frogs there. At night you can just hear those male frogs going at it.
Despite the enormity of our hosts’ house we couldn’t be all set into nice places. Frankly, I don’t think anyone expected this anyways. Comparing to the conditions we would be in the next couple of days, even sleeping on the living room floor would be excellent. Well, that’s generally what we did – four people in parallel on the living room floor by the fire-place, three in the kitchen. I don’t know about the rest, but I had fun. I actually like these sorts of things. Makes like interesting. Sleeping in the same bed all the times gets so stale.
Saturday, July 3, 2010
Get up at 4:30AM (it was light already – love the Northern Summer). Eat some standard American breakfast and get going (it is strange to see how immigrant households change. I’ve noticed the same effect in our family also. Dinner is quire original the way it was in the home country. Breakfast, on the other hand, changes to the standard toast with jam or peanut butter, and coffee, or juice ). We have to pick up the rest of the group, catch the ferry; plus we need to get permits, get bear boxes, and find camp fuel.
I have to admit that I’ve never taken a ferry here in the US. Washington State ferry ride was an interesting experience. You pay for the car and the number of passengers. After that everyone is waiting in this multi-lane parking lot for the ferry to come. At this time you can just leave your car unattended (not like it will be stolen; however, things from it could be) and walk around. People were discussing the today’s soccer match, visited the facilities, and went to the shoreline, in order not to waste time waiting. The cars, however, started moving suddenly and very fast. I had to run to our Subaru to get it started. There were even some feats of getting into the van while it was moving. The funniest thing is that you can’t just walk on the ferry. Since you have to pay for each passenger, not just per car, one has to prove that he/she paid before they let you on. Other than that the ferry people were quite efficient in getting everyone on and off the ferry. Once you are on it your vehicle is pretty much locked between other cars on some deck. So we could walk around the ship, watch the shoreline, and enjoy cold wind and light drizzle (while it lasted).
After a short drive around the gorgeous green countryside we arrived to Port Angeles to find the Olympic NP Visitor Center. Apparently, there are two of them. One fake and one real. The way to identify the fake one is by the fact that there is no US flag flying next to it. Anyway, eventually we have made it to the right place, obtained the previously reserved (thanks V) and in high demand camping permits, loaded up on souvenirs, got the needed bear boxes, and even gotten a senior discount thanks to Craig. In reality, most of the sites we visited had special wires to hang the food. But, as this trip showed, bears are not the only mammals who may be after your stuff.
We visited Hurricane Ridge place in the park. It is just a road ending at some type of visitor center with just the most magnificent view. The place is on top of the ridge (naturally). Then there is a deep valley below followed by rising snow-capped Olympic mountains. Touristy place – no need to hike a difficult trail with a heavy pack to get to nice views.
After that we went to SolDuc trailhead. Left the Subaru there. Packed up and piled into the van and drove to Hoh Rainforest. We had to do some gear checking and shuffling in Sol Duc. It was apparent that there is still some training needed to be done with this group about long distance backpacking.
The first part of the hike on this Saturday evening (It was about 6PM already. Good thing for the long days with Sunset at about 10PM) was simple 5 flat miles. I was leading. Rather V put me to lead. I’d rather lag behind and shoot photos – it was long dusk, a bit cloudy, nice lush green rainforest. Perfect conditions. But I had to lead instead. Anyway, we made it to Five Mile Island campground in about 2 hours. It was a quite large campground. It was a wilderness campground with some flat places for groups to congregate around an old fire-pit. The aforementioned places were sparsely distributed around the large flat area of the forest. Kind of in a way that different parties won’t have to see each other. It even had a pit toilet with flow through ventilation system (long vertical holes in the walls about an inch wide. The good thing about it was that you can see well if anyone is inside). At this time Mr V was very particular about getting the camp site for our group very far from anyone else (That was really caused by a screw up we did a couple of weeks earlier, so now he is cautious).
By this time it was apparent that we are not doing the originally planned route. Despite the fact that everyone had crampons (I think) not everyone had the right gaiters and right shoes. (Rita also managed to forget her sweater and we had to buy one at Hurricane ridge).
Sunday, July 4, 2010
Good Sunday morning in the mountains. The weather seemed cloudy, as expected. Rainforest after all. Get up, eat breakfast, try to fix Jacquie’s boots that became really hungry with duck tape, and keep walking.
We stopped by the Olympic Ranger Station briefly. Talked to the rangers about the current conditions of the pass we were planning to cross. The rangers were going up hill to the Blue Glacier, same place as us. One of the rangers was carrying a trail post on his back. I have to admit that this trail we were on was very well maintained. The whole forest grows like mad on all that water. There are blueberry bushes there that are normally small but in that conditions grow to human height (No blueberries – not the season yet). However, it seems that passing storms knock down trees a lot. Then they have to be cut to clear the path. There were many freshly cut trees on the trail.
After lunch that we had on the gravel bar of the Hoh river we started climbing. I had to lead again. However this time it was a bit easier (to lead that is). This was a climb with quite heavy packs. As a result people quickly separated by their physical abilities. Viyasan, as the real leader with the proper training, was bringing up the rear in case something happens. And something did happen, though not necessarily at the end, or during the climb. In fact, normal trail hiking was relatively uneventful. First Rita fell getting off a simple log across a small river. She said that the log was a bit wet and slippery. Then Craig wend down in the water while jumping across another river. It was quite a tough trail. All going up and up. But eventually we made it to Elk Lake campground. It had the same facilities as the previous one with the addition of the wires to hang your food on and what seems like an emergency storm shelter (I wonder what conditions would call for using this shelter). What it didn’t have was a good source of water. The water in the lake was a bit … smelly and had some dead fish present. There were streams, but they were a bit far away, it seemed. (It is all really from the laziness – there were at least two clean streams a bit up or down the trail).
That was all for this day. Dylan actually went swimming to the lake, which had rather warm water (that’s why it was so smelly – running down water would be freezing cold). We met several groups on our way that were coming down from the Olympic mountain. Apparently it was quite an inclement weather for the past week or so and only this day it cleared up and they could make it to the summit. Some of the groups were actually sitting there on the mountain for several days waiting for the weather to clear. These people were actually carrying the real packs – all that gear, ropes, ice axes, etc. It seemed that they weighted a ton.
Monday, July 5, 2010
Standard morning – get up, stretch, eat, wash (maybe not, we were kind of short on water). No packing. The plan for the day was to leave the camp and go to the Blue Glacier. Then responsibly explore the glacier and take some pictures, come back. The sad part was that I picked up a cold the day before. It could have been from sharing Jenny’s flask with Suji, who knows. But it was progressing in its stupid way. Not much you can do about it. Suji got her backpack chewed up by some rodent. It was trying to get to the scented hand sanitizer in the side pocket and perfectly chewed through the zipper. Didn’t touch the sanitizer though. One more proof that everything remotely smelly should go into the bear box. Interesting fact is that those critters don’t go for old smelly socks though.
We made it to the glacier by about 2PM. The trail was very difficult with a lot of strange obstacles (i.e. it was awesome). The trail was on the edge of a really steep mountain. It was still covered by thick forest. At one part we had to go down some wooden ladder, which was fun, for some people. By lunch we reached the ranger station which for some reason looked like a yurt. Maybe it is more efficient than some log shelter in that mountain environment. And then, after some scrambling in the snow, we made it to the glacier.
This glacier had moraines a bit more difficult than the one we visited in Wrangell. The glacier was sitting in its regular bath tub (valleys made by glaciers have this characteristic bath tub shape). We came from the side on the lateral moraine. Then to get onto the glacier one has to go down pretty steep side of the moraine, which was a bit scary at times. Most of the group went on the glacier except Rita and Suji. Due to the recent snow the glassier was actually dangerous – the snow covers the crevasses. It might look fine from the distance, but once you step on this snow bridge, it can fall really quickly. But I still managed to get the best photo of the trip. For some reason Jenny’s battery went out. Strange. Mine was still full.
On the way back people were practicing glissading down the snow slope to get some snow mountaineering experience. Shoot, my crampons went unused again. After two trips they are still brand-new. Damn.
Tuesday, July 6, 2010
This day was simple – walking. The problem was the heat. For some reason the temperature went up way high – to the 90s. On top of it it was humid. And I was still sick. My cold progressed into the running nose stage. I had to stop every 10 min or so to clear my air flow. All we had to do this day is go down to the valley and then hike about 16 miles back to the trailhead. And that’s what we did.
We stopped on one small tributary to Hoh river to get water (and forget the rarely used digital camera. The camera owner had to run(!) 1.5 miles back to get it. It is a gift after all). The interesting thing was that this creek had tiny fish in it, just about the size of regular aquarium guppies. In reality these were salmon fry. The ranger said that salmon does come up Hoh river, but in winter. I’m not sure if I want to come there in winter. It is probably wet and cold all the time.
Anyway, instead of booking it and camping at the smelly crowded Hoh Rainforest campground we decided to stop at one of the sand banks of the river right next to Mount Tom campground. The campground itself is actually in the forest; however, the sandbars are available for people to camp, assuming you have wilderness permit. They were so much better. There were not many mosquitoes, plenty of relatively clean water (the water is snowmelt – cold and a bit silty). People were dipping in the freezing river. You can’t really swim in it per se due to high current. Plus it was so damn cold that you can’t stay in the water at all. Even I dipped in it. It was quite refreshing.
It was nice after a very long day just rest, sleep, then eat and sit around the fire talking about the past and future adventures. We were also trying to plan what to do in the next couple of days.
Wednesday, July 7, 2010
This day was easy, in backpacking sense. It took us about and hour and a half to get back to the trailhead. Then everyone piled up int the van and we headed towards the town of Forks, WA. After getting more information on the next leg of our journey (and getting the thank you present for our hospitable hosts), Jenny and V went to get the Subaru from Sol Duc. The rest of us were just bumming around Forks, or should I say The Twilight Town.
Seriously, this place has Twilight everywhere. Even that so-called Chinese restaurant (one of two locally available) has the full figure cut-out of the main characters. There were several stores selling everything Twilight. There were also tours. You can see the gangs of teenage girls floating from one store to the next (while their dads are sitting in some coffee places). It seems that Twilight thing was the real boom to Forks. This town was probably started on logging. Now they pretty much logged what they could so the jobs dried out. However, the inflow of tourists brings a lot of money to the local economy.
After lunch we headed towards the coastal part of our trip. This one was actually tricky. Even though the beach trail is usually easy to follow and flat (it’s a beach after all), aside from occasional excursions to the shoreline mountains involving some rope climbing, it isn’t continuous. At certain points you have to wait for low tide to move forward (or return back). As a result, planning a trip there is rather difficult. What you can accomplish largely depends on the tide table. We decided not to push it and just set the first camp a bit off the place called “Third Beach“. It was pretty much the same stretch of beach as at the end of the trail. I personally never camped on a beach, so for me it was an experience. The weather was really nice – sunny and warm, clear. Though the ocean was still cold, of course. It was a nice campground. We had a small campfire burning fist sized pieces driftwood. Just the fresh water was a bit off. This place was very popular. There a couple of groups camping there. Some large group of Russians set up camp right at the end of the trail. They set those huge industrial size tents and brought up what seems like a ton of food. The next morning I saw their coolers hanging from the tree. I guess squirrels got to them.
Since we passed through some civilization and the packs for this leg of the trip were really light (no crampons were definitely needed on this beach trail), I was kind of sad that I didn’t buy some potatoes. We could have baked them in the fire. By this time Suji’s nice chocolate that she brought from her recent trip to Europe was gone. Only our Hershey’s left. Since this was a gourmet crowd Hershey’s didn’t really fly that well. However, after 5 days in the woods even Hershey’s was eaten.
Thursday, July 8, 2010
Camping on a beach is fine. However, it gets rather humid, especially in the morning. Thus everything gets wet. I suppose it is the feature of that particular shoreline in Washington state. But I suppose other places are no different. You are next to a large body of water, after all. In fact it was very foggy in the morning on both days we were there. Perhaps it has something to do with some balance between cold water coming in and unusually hot air, but I didn’t figure out yet how exactly. Another problem is that the beach is generally not flat – it has a slope going down to the water. Someone from our group actually dug a sort of flat spot for their tent. Some – just slept outside.
People (girls) were having fun in the morning. There was an improvised yoga session and some sort of dancing thing. Since the morning time was low tide, there were a lot of tide pools around. Katharina said that they looked kind of poor. There were just some anemones and sea stars. She said that usually tide pools have more stuff.
A bit later in the day we visited larger tide pools further South. Those had hermit crabs in them. They were so interesting. They pick up shells that lay around depending on the crab’s size. As a result there are all sorts of crabs from really-really tiny to modestly food looking. It is not like they are in their shells really tight, they have plenty of room. I picked one up from water. It promptly hid inside the shell. But it went so deep inside that you can barely see it. Initially I was wondering if it just got scared and abandoned ship. But it didn’t. You can put the shell on the palm of your hand and wait. Eventually the crab will come out of the shell and start walking, sideways. Just need to be patient.
The weather was really strange. There was this weird fog all around. However, the sun was sort of baking it from above and you can still see it peering through, sometimes. But the fog was still there. It felt sort of like an open air steam bath. The trail wasn’t usual either. There were several places where it went into the woods a bit to go around rocks that went right into the water. In a couple of places we had to climb up or down using ropes. We met several groups going to the same route as we did as well as a couple of camps along the way. I have to admit that the beach was dirty. There were the natural seaweed and driftwood. But there was also some fishing gear, lots of plastic stuff brought in by the ocean. And on top of it lots of garbage people just left there. I found toilet pater, wipes, a whole bottle of dish washing fluid, and a can of plastic Kraft easy cheese (and I won’t even comment about the quality of that so-called cheese). Ok, maybe you don’t have to pick up every piece of trash that the ocean brings (but you still should). But don’t add to it. For the love of … don’t trash this beautiful place – it belongs to you too.You brought some stupid stuff that you ended up not using because you never camped before – take it back. Well, park service could have done something about it. At least get some volunteers to do cleanup.
At about 2PM we made it to the place called Strawberry Point, which was the farthest point of this day. Nothing special about it, just a bunch of rocks protruding into the ocean. One beach ends, another begins. The question came up to find a good camp site. Personally I didn’t care much – it is all looked the same to me, as long as there was a source of fresh water. There were, actually, quite a number of old campgrounds. Some better than the others, some totally trashed. Eventually V found a great campground in the woods next to the beach. It had several flat places for the tents, old fire pit on the beach (useful for sitting around the fire and watching sunset), and even a pit toilet (so the park service does some work here after all). We had some neighbors. To the North there was a group of what seems like junior high school girls. There were all women, even their instructor. To the South there was a small family camping – husband, wife, and two kids. From their looks and the set of the camp it seemed that they were living on that beach for quite a while already. Well, not a bad way to spend summer.
By sunset it seemed that the Sun finally overcome the fog for today. At least we could see the sun going down. We could also see so-called Giants Graveyard. Just a bunch of picturesque rocks protruding from the sea floor. They would look much more interesting in the morning. At this time the food was pretty much gone. Craig lost his nuts (no joke) and had to resort to eating tortillas. We didn’t have any food left for the next day in our bear box. For some reason I didn’t plan for the extra lunch and breakfast. Oh well, the hope is that we will get something the next day.
Friday, July 9, 2010
Get up early – around 5AM. No breakfast (we didn’t have any food left anyway), just pack and go. We had to catch low tide to pass some tricky points. Once we pass one spot I forgot the name of, we could do some cooking and eating. I finally let loose my cleaning itch. I took one of the trash bags and started collecting all that garbage around the camp site. With all bottles and plastic I found Graig’s nuts. It seems that some squirrel got hold of them. The zip-lock bag had a hole chewed trough it and some of the nuts were missing. Strangely it didn’t take all of them. But Crag was happy. He didn’t have to resort to eating cooked food any more.
The place looked weird. It was a very low tide. As a result all that rocks that the day before were sitting under water were now exposed. The same fog came back in all its power. The wet sand on the empty beach had lots of traces of different animals. We could definitely identify raccoons, deer or elk, and some soft of felidae individuals, perhaps coyotes. The opinions diverged on which exact cat it was. There was also one lonely bald eagle. You can probably see him on the photo on the left (if zoomed well enough). Vencad noticed him. Initially I thought there is something strange sitting there. He had his white head down, maybe sleeping. But then the head popped up and we would see this magnificent bird. He looked really strange at us humans down below. Probably wondering what we were doing exactly.
That was all. We made it to the van by around 11AM. Loaded up and went back to the Twilight Town (Forks, WA) for lunch. This time Rita picked the other Chinese restaurant in Forks. I mean, sure, I didn’t really expect authentic Chinese food in Forks, WA. It isn’t the place for that. However, the second place had their stuff way too Americanized. The cook was Chinese though. So I suppose he cooked what the customers wanted or he thought they wanted. Perhaps I should have asked Rita to talk to him beforehand. Maybe we would have gotten better food.
So now, since we were out of the boonies, the largest problem was the organization of the dinner. This was very important. Group dinner after the trip is sort of a highlight of the whole event. On top of it we had to pick up Jenny’s husband from Seattle, return Subaru, find some place for the unprepared part of the team to stay for the next couple of days, and take shower (but that was optional). And since it was Friday evening traffic could be a bit sketchy. Mr Viyasan wanted a steak (as usual). I thought that seafood should be good in Seattle, so I found some nice local place around Pike Place Market (good use of iPhone). However, the problem was time. Any reasonable restaurant in the US closes at around 10PM, but we still had a lot to do before we could go anywhere.
We got stuck in some traffic on the way to downtown Seattle. Thankfully Seattle is not LA. Otherwise we would still be sitting there on the freeway. Then barely found the hotel we were staying in – Hotel Seattle. There were a lot of really upscale places nearby, with valley parking. So I went into one called The W. Fancy place and we all there smelly and dusty. I was kind of suspicions that that place looked way to upscale for that money. It turned out that our place was a block down the street and there was no assigned parking there. That was fine – we wouldn’t have the car anyways. It turned out that downtown Seattle is very walkable place and you can get to most places by walking (well, the weather was nice. I don’t know how it will be when it rains). For really lazy there is free bus underground. Actually the is a train there, sort of like subway. But they made the tunnels large enough to fit buses. As a result, many regular buses pass through the same tunnels when they go through downtown. They are not free, of course. But that small section or four stops is. Very convenient.
Even though we did shower in 5 min flat, with all that driving around we were late to the original dinner place. Thus it became all the usual cat herding on what place to eat at. Likely Seattle, at least around Pike Place Market, doesn’t become a ghost town after 10PM. It is quite busy with activity and a lot of people. So eventually we found a decent place.
Saturday, July 10, 2010
Seeing a new city by foot is a great way to kind of get the feel for the city, in my opinion. Assuming, of course, that the city is actually walkable (well, even LA has this downtown self walking tour). Nice weather adds the charm to it. However, it isn’t required. In some places, groups of forward-looking citizens sometimes provide free walking tours. San Francisco has one. With this idea in mind I was trying to find a good walking tour operator in Seattle. I didn’t want to take the regular touristy stuff – they drive you around for 3 hours then try to sell you some stuff and ask for tips. So I found this See Seattle Walking tour company on the web. It seemed to be a one-man operation. I wasn’t even sure that the tour will actually take place – you don’t really have to register in advance, but the tour will happen if there are 7 or more participants. The owner of the company, who is also the guide, told me that due to current economy he isn’t getting much interest. As a result I was heavily advertising this tour in our group. I think this tour is a bargain. For $20 we walked all over the downtown area from 10AM till 4:40PM. He showed us all sorts of places we would probably never visit ourselves.
It would be difficult to describe all what we saw in Seattle. I’m sure we didn’t see everything. We didn’t see the salmon run ladder or the glassblowers making glass stuff (for some reason they were off at the time we were in the store). And we didn’t visit the Boeing factory museum either. Well, maybe next time. We did visit the futuristic looking Seattle library. Went up old Smith Tower. It was actually much nicer than standing in line for that Space Needle. Seattle actually has a tiny National Historical Park right in the city – Klondike Gold Rush. It is more like a little museum. Talks about the Gold Rush, of course. Interesting fact is that all that insanity about gold didn’t really came up out of the blue. I mean, why would people from all over just dropped everything and ran first to Seattle and then to Yukon? Well, it turned out that were was a depression at that time in US. So people were moved not by greed but by simple need to feed their families. Naturally not many made any money there and as Levi’s in San Francisco, Nordstrom made more out of the madness than other people. Not everyone made it back either. However, people who went thought Gold Rush in their memoirs said that it was one of the most influential experiences of their lives.
We visited the location of the first UPS office. Well, technically the office was in some basement below the street level. However, right now UPS maintains this little urban garden with a waterfall. Perhaps the idea was so that it would look like some place in the mountains.
And, of course, we visited the famous Pike Place market. Nothing much there really. It looks more like pier 39 in San Francisco or any other touristy place related to food. Just with some slight local shade. There was this flying fish stall there. Everyone was waiting for the flying fish. But it seemed that no one wanted to buy that expensive salmon. There was this heavily advertised Piroshki place with a long line. Rita even tried to talk some Russian to the workers there. However, it seemed that the only Russian there is the name of the place. Eventually we finished the day with expensive dinner at Etta’s. There was some salmon dish with local white vine. Pretty good vine. I just didn’t write down the name.
Sunday, July 1, 2010
Last day. Actually half a day. Rita found some company that provides sailing tours in the bay. The schedule of the tours fit right before our flight. And the location was very close. The weather was, I suppose, typical – gray clouds. But it was still fun to spend 1.5 hours on the boat. Besides, I couldn’t figure out what else to do in this time.
We wondered a bit around the Asian area (it isn’t really called Chinatown because there are not only Chinese there), had lunch in the food court of this enormous Asian supermarket (which looked a bit like a store in Japan or Korea, not like Ranch 99). Then headed back to the airport on the convenient Seattle’s light rail.
Well, that was a good trip. It was, as Rita said, more like 3 trips in one – mountains, beach, and city. Sadly we didn’t do the route that was planned. However, this would be another reason to go there one more time. Perhaps next time we should come later in the season, when the blueberries are ripe.