Hello everyone. First I'd like to thank everyone who has been taking the time out of their lives to read all my posts. It's been really great knowing that people have been sharing this experience with me. I feel like I'm a different person. The miles have beaten and galvanized me into a stronger willed and more focused individual. Everyone should take the time to do something like this. Some of the things I've learned and been taught, I feel, could not have come about any other way. With all of that said... I'M IN SEATTLE!!!
Finally right? I've been here for about six days. I've just been moving from home to home, bouncing around, waiting until Erin's wedding. Sunday was the second day I was here and that day I went to church with Erin and her fiance Dan. We went to Mars Hill which is pastored by Mark Driscoll. One of the many bands put together by the church played and we watched Mark's sermon via video. This church has grown so much in popularity that all but one of the buildings are satellite venues projecting his one week behind sermon. The people there have a great heart and it was great to be a part of it for a day. Afterward the three of us went and had Mexican for lunch. Now, being from Southern California, I have a certain standard for food that is labeled "Mexican." Although it wasn't 100% up to par, my carne asada burrito was pretty darn good. I also got to hear the story of their relation ship during the meal. They both met while on the same bike tour that I have been on for the past month. Hear that all you single guys? If you want to find a good lady, join a group bike tour. After lunch we parted ways. Seeing as how they were getting married in less than a week they had a few more pressing matters to attend to.
This was really the only solid thing that I've done all week. I've been bouncing around from host to host kind of seeing little bits of Seattle at a time. The fist night I stayed in Ballard with one of Dan's groomsmen named Jake in his townhouse. It was definitely a last minute accommodation and I was grateful that Jake could help me out at all. The next two nights I stayed with my first Couch Surfing host, also name Jacob, in his apartment in Magnolia. Magnolia is located on top of one of the bigger hills of Seattle which give's it's occupants an amazing view of the whole northwest area. He was also busy with wedding preparations (he is the best man for his brother's wedding) but he was able to spend as much time as he could with me. The first day he gave me my own set of keys and I was able to goof around the city without all my gear with me. The second night I was with Jacob he took me to one of the more prominent Ballard bars to have a few beers and talk about each of our adventures. Well at least that was the intention. What really happened was, we unexpectedly stumbled into the bars movie night. The both of us, as well as about 50 other patrons, ended up watching Patrick Swayze's Roadhouse. If there is ever a reason to watch Roadhouse, it's with 50 other slightly inebriated bar people. It was amazing. Possibly the most awful movie ever was made incredible by the situation in which I watched it. If you've never seen it, here's an excerpt.
Red Webster: How long are you gonna be in town?
Dalton (Shwayze): Not very long.
Red Webster: That's what I said 25 years ago.
Dalton: Really? What happened?
Red Webster: I got married to an ugly woman. Don't ever do that. It just takes the energy right out of you. She left me, though. Found somebody even uglier than she was. That's life. Who can explain it?
The next morning I left Jacob, spent some time in the city and then headed for my next host's home which was in West Seattle. This was the home of Grant and Lisa. Grant met me at the door with his giant golden retriever and then led me around back where to my surprise was my own little house waiting for me. Well, it wasn't a house... but it was an entirely self sufficient guest room with a shower washer/dryer, kitchen area and a refrigerator. Lisa made sure I had a dry towel and then they too gave me a key to the garage and the room. This gave me another day to explore without having to drag my caboose. Currently I'm staying in the American Hostel in Downtown Seattle.
The wedding is tomorrow. I feel anxious not only for the wedding itself but to start riding back home. This will be my last night in Seattle because I'm leaving right after the wedding tomorrow evening. Actually, I have a confession to make. My friend Miranda drove up here from Temecula and she also is leaving right after the wedding tomorrow evening... Now I know what you're thinking. You're thinking that I'm going to do the dirty, low-down, no-good thing and ride back with her. I say shame on you for thinking that. After all we've been through. I'm only going to do half of the dirty, low-down, no-good thing. Actually it' not that bad. She's agreed to let me ride with her down to St. Helens Washington. Which would save me an entire two days of riding and a whole night in Seattle which, to be honest, is really expensive. This hostel is costing me 40$ a night. Anything I can do to save that extra 40 bucks I will. After the Sunday night in St. Helens I will make the 95 mile ride to Tillamook then take the coast home from there. Please don't be angry with me. I just have to get out of Washington. I feel proud of myself though. My odometer says that since I've started the trip I've put 1950 miles on my bike. It hasn't all been forward progress but still... that's a lot of miles. It's amazing what a little time and about 60 miles a day will do.
As far as coffee goes, there hasn't been anything that exciting here. I did see the original Starbucks in Pikes market. Apart from the the aesthetics of the store they're still selling the same coffee. They're just using better machines to make equally as awful drinks. On some street corners if you stand just right, you can see two Starbucks at once. Seattle coffee roasters traditionally roast pretty dark which just isn't something that I'm into. Some people really like the harsh and heavy roasted profile but it's just not my thing. I'm kind of coffee'd out to be honest. I know it's a little anticlimactic, but I've had so much good coffee from these other places that I think that there would have to be a super stunning shop here to really catch my attention. And although there is at least three coffee shops on every street corner most of them are mediocre at best.
This is going to be my last post by text. On the way home I plan of traveling as fast as I can so I don't think that that will leave me much time to write about my travel back. I'm going to try to take videos with my iPod touch so maybe I can upload those pretty frequently. Again, I want to thank you all for reading. Maybe this story of an out-of-shape kid from SoCal riding all the way to Seattle will inspire you to do something similar in the future. Anyone can do it. You just need the time. And remember...
"THE ROAD IS YOURS!"
-John the Rider