Seattle Day One: “Wait… Seattle is a city?? Who knew!”

After 34 hours on the train, Dustin and I arrived in Seattle around 9pm on Tuesday night (5/27). After collecting our bikes (everything arrived in one piece; yay!), putting the peddles and handlebars back together, reepacking our panniers, and ditching our giant hilarious suitcases in a place where they were least likely to be mistaken for explosive devices, we walked our bikes with my long-lost Michigan friend turned Seattleite, Tony, from King Street Station to his house in Capital Hill.

Walking to Tony’s house it struck me suddenly that Seattle is kind of the Chicago of the Pacific Northwest; it’s a big-ass city. Why did I not realize this before? No shit Seattle is a city! Duh… Somehow, I did not realize this before. I think I imagined it more like Humboldt/Eureka and less like Chicago/New York.

I’m so glad we’re here. It’s giving us some time to really feel out the city and envision ourselves living/working here.

Now — writing from what is technically Seattle full-day number two — here are some thoughts and first impressions of the place:

1) If everyone thinks you’r’e “weird” in Georgia, move to Seattle. Everyone is “weird” here. It’s like a giant liberal melting pot. I’ve seen so much dyed hair and nose rings I can’t help but have Ben Fold’s “Underground” in my head all the time. It’s truly a liberal goulash (“melting pot” seemed too narrow here).

2) Cycle communting, smoking and fashion tights seems to be a rampant part of the cultlure here. At any one time you can look around and see someone smoking a cigarette (with or without coffee), a girl in zaney fashion tights, or an Ortileb pannier. The former I could take or leave; the latter I am really excited about.

3) Kickball, Dodge ball, bike polo… oh my! If you’re into non-traditional sports Capital Hill is the place to be. I saw some guys practicing their dodge ball moves yesterday and Tony says they have giant pick-up games with 40+ people sometimes. (I also saw a giant kickball game happening and a bike polo game, if you didn’t gather that from the headline..)

4) I found the door that goes to John Malkovich’s brain in Tony’s apartment building today. It’s everything I’d hoped it would be:

5) The park’s arre nice here and the squirrels are fat and unafraid.



Today we have it on our agenda to visit the University of Washington (a university Dustin is considering for his undergrad), and we’re going to see the Central District where I hear they have really excellent Ethiopian food (which I am reeeeeeeeally into). I also hear the Central District is a little less batshit crazy, so I’m interested to see that other side of the city.


Friday I’m going to a Yoga class at the Seattle Yoga Studio and then we’re planning to take a trip to Vashon island to see a straw bale house.






About Chelsea A.

A slow rolling cyclist looking to be an active participant in my own life. Interested in straw bale building, Wayne's World, books on tape, and taking it all one day at a time.

Posted on May 29, 2014, in Cross Country Bike Trip Journal - 2014 and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. 14 Comments.

  1. Josh Bowling

    Hi guys. Good to hear the two of you made it safely and that both of you are having a great time. This is going to be a life changing experience, and Sally and I are excited to track your progress along the way. Hope your having a peaceful day and we’ll check back in a day or two. This is an awesome thing your doing.!!


    • Thanks for the love, Josh. You and Sally are already greatly missed!! Please do keep in touch via text and through the blog. I’ll be back home before either one of us knows it… ๐Ÿ™‚


  2. glad you arrived, we are leaving Boise tomorrow (Friday) it’s been fun and we have spent a lot of time viewing homes here. now we need to go back and finish up our house so we can get it on the market. take care make some great memories that you can dazzle your future childrens minds with!


  3. Envision yourselves living/working there?
    You didn’t clear this with Mac and me!
    Don’t think just because you write an awesome travel blog we’re going to let you move to the PNW. On the other hand, if we got to come visit you, maybe it would be okay.
    I guess for now I’ll keep on reading.


    • It’s nothing soon, Cheese. We’re thinking long-term. Dustin needs at least one more year of community college before he goes to big boy school to get his BA. We’re looking for a place where we can have land to build a straw bale + cob house and Southern California just won’t go for it…



  4. Seattle is a city?! Actually they keep it a secret because they want to hoard it for themselves. But now you went and told everyone!


    • They are seriously hoarding it so hard, Virginia. It’s weird… I knew it was a major metropolitan city, but somehow when I landed here and it was really a city — like Chicago or New York — it just caught me off guard. I thought hippies lived in Seattle, but I guess that’s Portland (?) Not that Seattle itself isn’t blue — as mentioned there’s lots of Utilikiltls and nose rings and Doc Martins and co-ops and “weed faeries” here…. I think I just want a couple more trees and a few fewer mustaches.


  5. we liked Idaho and we have to leave the damp wet lands with all the mold because of my asthma and I didn’t experience any asthma attacks in Idaho but we haven’t found anything yet we want to purchase. we are still having the realtors send us listings and land for sale, and they do allow cob houses there too!!!


    • Did you ask about Cob building there?? I’m not adverse to Idaho; Missoula Montana is actually right by Idaho. Maybe I’ll get a job working for Adventure Cycling and we’ll build our home on the Idaho/Montana border. ๐Ÿ™‚


      • I inquired via internet and apparently they do allow them, probably not in town in the middle of a tract, but on land out side of a housing development you apparently can. I like the picture of the Cob house that looks like an old French country style home, that’s actually my favorite style of house! unfortunately because we have to be near the V.A. we will probably end up in a tract home but I guess that will have to do at our age. got that bear spray yet????


      • where are you guy’s now?


  6. It’s the morning, it’s the evening
    It’s everything
    I click my heels and I’m there


    • Funny you would say that, Jacqui. I totally had the Ben Folds’ song “Underground” in my head the whole time I was in Seattle. “I click my heels — click click click — and I’m there. Underground.”

      So happy you’re moving to Seattle!!!!!!!! Maybe I’ll see you there soon, friend. Xo


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