Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Hot Lava Scooter Tour 2013 - Part 3 - Mt. St. Helen's to Seattle - July 7

I pointed the scoot north and headed towards Seattle. I wasn't really interested in the I-5 today so I took minor highways, some I had taken the day before, as I worked my way north.  I stopped at a very decrepit Shell station in Ethel and noticed a disturbing trend. This was the second gas station I had come across that had no building facilities for a bathroom - there were only port-a-potties. I found that rather disturbing.

On my way down from Mt. St. Helen's, I had noticed a nice roadhouse restaurant but it looked really busy so I decided to go to the next place. Well, the next place and the place after that (and so on) were all pretty grungy looking and did not tempt me. I finally got to Mossyrock and there were a couple of restaurants there so I thought I'd try my luck.

The first restaurant looked a bit scary but the second, called the Pantry, was clean and had customers in it. I ordered a pantry special sandwich with soup and a coffee. The coffee was Ok at first but really grew on me. The sandwich, however, was amazing! Thick pieces of bacon, fresh tomatoes, good bread - and good soup, too! One of my favourite meals of the trip.

I continued on, stopping at Eatonville, and then got a bit lost trying to take the 99 through Seattle. I first ended up in Tacoma - downtown Tacoma, which I discovered was separated by a bunch of water from the rest of the metro area. Then, I ended up going through Dash Point, a very nice area of Seattle, but it was a meandering, slow road which seemed to take forever! I finally hooked up to highway 99 and scooted towards the downtown.

Of course, I missed my exit so I was too far north of the downtown. Then I got lost trying to find 5th Avenue as it disappeared. On it once again, I practically jumped out of my seat when the monorail noisily made its way above my head! Finally, I pulled into the Red Lion 5th Avenue. Arrived in Seattle just after 6. - well probably 30 or 40 minutes before that but I had a heckuva time finding the hotel.. I REALLY would like my cell phone plan to include data in the Us!!

For only $10 more than the mediocre hotel in Longview, I had booked, through Priceline, a very nice room located centrally in Seattle. I was very pleased! I quickly went up to my room, showered, and headed out to the Pike Street Market. At the market most things were closed or closing when I got there but I managed to grab a bite at Lowell's Restaurant - I believe that's where I stopped last time I was in Seattle - I had fish tacos that were awesome as well as two pints of Manny's Pale Ale.

After, I walked back to the hotel, getting lost, of course, in the meantime. The streets had definitely changed from lots of tourists and some residents to lots of homeless people and/or panhandlers as well as lots of people just hanging around. Guess that's normal for big cities.

I had some popcorn and this cool "just add ice" Mango martini while I watched a show on my iPad. I slept very well that night, in a very comfy bed. Spoiled!

Total distance - 425 km for the day, 920 km since the start of the trip.

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