< Victoria, B.C. | Brookings, OR >

Sleeping in Seattle


First off, sorry about the title; I couldn’t resist the chance for a terrible pun.

After leaving Victoria, I rode up to Sidney and took the ferry over to Anacortes. Unsurprisingly, I was able to get through customs without any hassle, and in paying for my ferry ticket I was able to use exactly the rest of my Canadian currency, with the exception of my souvenir dollar coin depicting a giant cyborg running through the forest on the back (or possibly, but far less likely, an amputee athlete with a prosthetic leg).

While waiting for the ferry to arrive, I met an incredibly nice lady who bought me coffee and a scone from the shop. She was about to embark on a bicycle adventure through the San Juan Islands, which from her description, is something I shall have to do in the future. I want to thank her here for her generosity, and thank everyone again who has helped me along the way…

So, I rode down Fidalgo and Whidbey Islands and continued to stuff my face with perfectly ripe blackberries. While climbing up to Deception Pass, my sunglasses decided to fall off my shirt collar and jump in front of my rear wheel. The poor things never had a chance. At Deception Pass, I met a lady whose father had been stationed in Juneau in the 1930s, and sailed up to Point Barrow taking color pictures along the way. She said that he captured an erupting volcano, native children boarding the ship to be taken to school, and tons of glaciers and other natural wonders. I hope I get the chance to see those pictures some day.

I rode on a bit further and finally called it quits for the day somewhere outside of Coupeville. The next day, I decided I would take my sweet time making my way off the island, and I arrived at the ferry terminal in Clinton just as it was starting to board. I could not have timed it better if I tried. The ferry arrived in Mukilteo, and with it my last real climb before I arrived at my sister’s house in Seattle.

After I finished the climb, I noticed that I now had a rather stiff headwind to deal with and that lasted all the way into the city. It was pretty disheartening to see street debris tumbling toward me at 20+ miles per hour, but I guess the benefit of having airborne debris flying at my (now unprotected) eyes was that I was only rarely actually able to see. But eventually that portion of the ride ended and I suddenly realized I was in Greenlake. I hadn’t even known I was in Seattle yet, but when I suddenly realized where I was, the foul mood from the last two hours of riding lifted completely. Navigating off of a hunch as to where I thought my sister’s house probably was, I made my way through the city. I arrived at the Ballard bridge in time for it to raise and let boats sail under, and after that it was a short ride to my sister’s neighborhood. I didn’t actually remember her address, or what street she lived on, but I knew a bus went along her street and I knew what her house looked like. And that was enough to get me there. Ending two months on the road since my parents left Anchorage, I was with family once more.

The next ten days were spent visiting family, deciding the way south, putting on weight, repairing and re-outfitting. I read three books and only rode my bicycle three times. I ate waffles (!) and drank coffee. I showered regularly, and was able to flush the toilet every time I went. To my mother’s disappointment, but my comfort, I shaved off my beard, but as a concession I have left my hair long. I finally got glasses, so I could see the stars at night, and I’ve started to get serious about learning Spanish. And I am now invulnerable against the yellow and typhoid fevers, tetanus, and hepatitis A and B. I finally gave my bicycle the attention it needed a month ago, and it now shifts and rides like a dream. I got those fenders I always wanted, and many other small things.

The rest has been great and I’m starting to think I don’t want to leave. So, of course it’s time to go…

< Victoria, B.C. | Brookings, OR >