Monday, 3 August 2015

Cascade Loop Scooter Trip - Day 2 Part 2

"I was somewhere around Cashmere, on the edge of the desert, when the sugar began to take hold."

My apologies, Hunter. But I did enjoy the Aplets and Cotlets from Cashmere - and then I pressed on. By this time is was very hot - I think the temperature on my Beemer was around 36 or 37° C. 

Next stop was Leavenworth. This was a popular lumber town during the beginning of the 20th Century and was the railway headquarters but from the 1920s on to the 1960s,  the popularity took a definite dive as the railway headquarters moved to Wenatchee. Then, the citizens decided to do something crazy - they decided to make a Bavarian village out of the town. 

Today, everything from the gas station to Starbuck's has a Bavarian theme. It's a fair sized town and it's cool that everyone agreed to get on board. Apparently Winthrop got their idea to be a theme town cam from Leavenworth. 

I loved everything about the town - except the utile public toilet. Ugh - I thought I was back in Italy where some places don't have seats for the toilets. Luckily, I managed to hold off.

Anyway, as I wandered around this pretty town I thought, well, if you are in a German town, you must have a German lunch! I stopped in at a the Icicle Brewery pub that had a nice looking menu and, more importantly, shady tables outside - and even more important, served a nice variety of beers!

I ordered a flight of beer (although the waitress called it something else) which featured their specialty beers. They were all delicious and very pleasing! I resisted the temptation to order a pint of each.... 

To accompany the beers, my lunch was the charcuterie plate (Farm to Table Meat and Cheese) which had an excellent assortment and was perfect to nosh on while I sipped my beer. 

All too soon, my plate was empty and my 4 little glasses were dry. It was time to move on. 

First stop was this cool water feature in Monroe - I don't think it has any special use except decorative - although it might be some sort of water management. I just thought it looked really nice!

Then I stopped at the Iron Goat Trail. There was this nice caboose (something you don't see very often, especially in Canada) at the trailhead. 

There were a variety of walks so I took the one that seemed most novel (and, again, involved a manmade structure), the Big Long Wall. It is a snowshed that was built to project the railway that used to go through. The photo at the interpretive centre had a picture of water rushing over it in a giant waterfall but, unfortunately, there was no waterfall for me to see! Still, it was impressive, out there in the forest, and was over 600 metres long! That's 6 football fields (or 5 and a half Canadian football fields!). 

After I left the Iron Goat Trail, I headed towards Seattle. Traffic became gradually more crowded until it was stop and go. When I finally got into the city limits, I just happened to drive by the BMW Motorrad! I felt a pang of belonging!

I ended up in the city centre about two hours before my checkin time of 6pm at the B and B. Not enough time to go to the EMP, but too early to checkin. I basically drove around Seattle in rush hour for a couple hours until I finally made it to the B and B. Total distance for the day was about 390 kms. 

OK - this is my first experience with AirBnB. I have booked several places with VRBO - but always a whole apartment, etc. I have booked B and Bs when travelling around the UK and Ireland and had fond memories of these places. Well appointed rooms, friendly hosts and a great breakfast. I was kind of looking forward to this sort of thing in Seattle. Sadly, it was not to be.

I still haven't decided whether I will put an honest review into AirBnB because there are around 48 reviews of the place I stayed and all of them glow with how wonderful the room was, friendly the hosts, etc, etc. I don't want to be the only jerk that disagrees. But I will tell you about it here.

I arrived and parked my scooter on a hill, managing to figure out how to get it on the centre stand without pushing it onto the grass or letting it drop onto my legs. Not easy, though!

The BnB was part of a bigger house. I arrived and knocked on the door. I had booked through a women name Luyao but her husband answered the door. He was not exactly unfriendly but didn't exude warmth, despite my attempts to be chatty. He pointed me in the direction of the room and up the stairs I went. 

The room was clean, that's for sure, but rather spartan. There was a double closet full of shelving - if I wanted to stay for a couple of months, I would have had room for all of my clothes as well as a few other boxes of belongings. There was a desk with a chair and a small fan on the floor. The bed itself was ok but the pillows meant for sleeping (not the decorative ones) were pretty flat and small and there were only two. I was hoping for a TV but none was in evidence. There was wifi, thank goodness, so it was a good thing that I had brought my iPad. 

In the write up for the BnB, they had said that shampoo and soap would be supplied for people staying short term. I went into the bathroom and the only shampoo and soap were half empty containers in the shower and a used piece of soap. Oh well, I thought, I got to get clean and I went ahead and used what was there. 

As for the B and B part - well I was welcome to use the kitchen, according to the instruction sheet, but there was nothing about breakfast being provided or food, for that matter. I didn't want to buy a loaf of bread in the morning just so I could have 2 pieces of toast!

I went back down after the shower to go for something to eat at a local pub. I made a bit of noise at the door because I knew my hosts were there but I didn't get a response. I called out "Bye!" and left. Not sure if I will try AirBnB again.


The pub was called Mulleady's Irish Pub and had great beer! I had a flight, then a pint, and finally another pint! I also had their steamed mussels which was cooked in one of the best sauces I have ever had! They gave me a small loaf of bread to soak up the sauce but there was still some left and I was tempted to ask for another loaf or just slurp back the bowl like soup!

As I was getting ready to leave, another patron had heard me talking to the waiter about doing a scooter ride. Turns out this guy works for - wait for it - BMW Motorrad! Talk about small world. Mind you, he spent a fair bit of time telling my why the US wasn't going to carry the Sport version any more and just the GT but I said, "Hey, they weren't offering $5000 off of the GT!"

Afterwards, I went to the QFC grocery store and picked up a container of mixed fruit for the morning as well as a bottle of cherry Coke Zero! We don't have that in Canada! I returned back to the BnB, cracked open my Coke, and watched Netflix until it was time to sleep. 


30 Days In Europe said...

Be the only jerk that disagrees! Be the only jerk that disagrees!

SonjaM said...

I have also subscribed to Air BnB due to the fact that I myself as well as friends have made great experiences in Europe, I am going to try it when on my East Canada trip, too. You should at least write about your expectations weren't met, and give some feedback. I mean, it was clean, right? So you have something positive to report.