Saturday, 20 July 2013

Hot Lava Scooter Tour 2013 - Part 4 - Seattle to Home - July 8

I got up after a very restful sleep in the Red Lion Inn. In the morning, Iwent for a walk to Pike Street and a (homeless?) guy accosted me. His approach? i
" know you might be scared of black guys…"
 - and then he had me. Nobody tells me that I am racist or stereotyping or, well, you get it.  A few minutes later after being entertained by his beatboxing,, I was a couple dollars lighter and he assured me that the money would not be spent responsibly but, instead, on some of Washington's newly legal pot. You've got to admire honesty!

After, I had a fancy breakfast at a bagel place and then killed time wandering around until Beechers opened. I bought a Piroshki while I waited - I had need had one before and, later, when I had it for a snack, realized that this was an awesome snack food.  Finally, Beecher's opened and I entered cheese heaven. The store has a bunch of employees and they make the cheese right in the store while you watch. There aren't tons of varieties but certainly enough to make things interesting. I was able to try some different types and eventually settled on a Beecher's signature sandwich (for lunch) and a wedge of Jamaican spiced cheese.

Happy with my purchases, I strolled back to the hotel, packed my stuff, and went down to the lobby.

I had parked in the underground of the Red Lion and, upon checkout, had dutifully paid my $32 parking fee.  I was told to keep my room card and use that to trigger the exit gate when I left. When I got to the automated gate , however, the card refused to work- nor did it work the ensuing 40 times. I finally gave up and slipped out the gap between the gate and the wall.  Hmmm, I could have saved myself $32!!! :-) Luckily, no police chase or legal suit ensued as a result of my sneaky exit.

I eventually found my way back onto highway 99 and headed towards Mukilteo. It seemed to take forever to get to the turn off for the Mukilteo Speedway but  no time at all once I was headed towards the ferry. While waiting to get on the ferry I met a guy from Australia that was travelling up and down the West Coast on a big BMW bike that he bought from a CHIPS officer in San Diego. We had a very nice chat. I noticed he had an Aussie and a US flag sticker on his back and pointed out that he was missing the Canadian flag. Fortunately, he was headed for Victoria and could complete the set there!

The ferry ride was pleasant and quite short. I had my snack (piroshki)  and was basically looking for a garbage can when the ferry started to dock. I then sped north up Whidbey Island, past the air force base, all the way to Deception Pass, a very scenic venue. I stopped my scoot, wandered down to a scenic bench, and had my sandwich while I looked out to the scenery and the people wandering around the area. I had taken many photos last summer when I was there so did not feel the urge to take any more.

I was in familiar areas once I got back on the scooter, and worked my way over to Chuckanut Drive, a very pretty ride that goes to Bellingham. It has some twists and lots of variation in light so I quite enjoyed it. Once I got into Bellingham, I worked my way to Bellis Fair Mall, having to take the I-5 for part of it. Happily, the I-5 near Bellingham is only two lanes each way and much less intense than around Seattle. There, I purchased some vodka and cheese in Target and then headed for the border.

I had planned to take the Pacific Highway and then Portal Way but then thought, what the heck, I'll jus take the I-5. That worked out fairly well although for the first part  from Bellingham to past Ferndale, the right lane of the highway had regular little divots out of the concrete, two on the left side and two on the ride. It's like some sort of machine had come along and scraped indentations at a regular pace all along the highway but just on the right lane. I ended up riding in the middle, which I hate (grease and oil - yuck) but otherwise the scoot wobbled whenever I went over one.

I finally got to the border and was able to drive right up to the border guard! I love re-entering Canada because 9 times out of 10, the border guards are actually friendly! He was more interested in my scooter than if I had anything to declare!

Once I was back in Canada, I made the ride back home without issue. It was a great ride, but I was ready to get off the Vespa, at least for a couple of days.

Total mileage for the trip - 1176 km   (731 miles)
Gas used - 39.6 litres (10.47 US Gallons)
Mileage  -  3.36 L/100 km (70 MPG)


Scootard said...

Dave:So enjoyed your trip. Having covered many of the same miles ourselves on our Squampton to the Rose City Tour which you can find here.

Linked in from beSS.
Added you to my peeps!

Dave Dixon said...


Thanks for sharing your own version of some of those miles. Glad you enjoyed the read!