Day 70 - Saturday, August 17, 2002

Belfair to Seattle, WA (Seattle Hostel International)

Ride length: 40.1 miles (64.5 km)
Total to date: 4495.64 miles (7235.0 km)
Moving time: 2 hr 50 min.
Average Speed: 14.2 mph (22.9 km/hr)
Total ascent: 929 ft. (283.2 m)
Minimum elevation: 5 ft. (1.5 m)
Maximum elevation: 470 ft. (143.3 m)
Ending elevation: 61 ft. (18.6 m)
Wind: Calm.
Weather: 50°F (10°C) in the morning; got up to 70°F (21°C) by end of ride at 11:00am. Some fog early but it cleared quickly. Great riding weather!

The sweet taste of success

I did it!

I got up this morning, made breakfast, packed my gear, checked my bike over, filled up my water bottles and hit the road just like I have for months now. There was one huge difference - it would be my last day on the bike.

The ride to Bremerton on the ferry gave me time to do some more reflection on my summer of riding. It sure has been a long journey. Two months ago I never thought I'd make it. Crossing an entire continent on a bicycle is no little feat. What a daunting task. Now that it is over I feel like I accomplished more than just. Not only had I ridden my bike across our beautiful and diverse nation

I made it to Seattle and am finished riding for the trip. Even though I have five days before my flight leaves I don't feel like riding any more because 4500 miles is just enough for me. I'll spend the next few days packing my bike and trailer in a box, exploring Seattle and Vancover, and writing my ride summaries. There is a great used book store near the hostel where I bought a few books to read during the next week or so.

Bremerton is supported in large part by the naval station here. This town is also famous for its shipbuilding operations.

I made it to the 9:00am ferry to Seattle just before it shoved off on its hour long cruise to the other side of the Puget Sound. There are dozens of ferrys that run across the sound and between the islands. Here is a picture of my bike on the deck of the ship and a shot of the foggy Seattle skyline.

The hostel opens its check–in desk at 1:00pm so I had some time to explore the Pike Place Market and eat some lunch at the Pike Brewery & Pub. The Pike Place Fish Market is a must see stop while in Seattle. I once saw a television show that featured this place but didn't know it was here until I saw what was going on. They throw fish. They don't lob fish, they hurl fish through the air. Shoppers pick out a fish or crab at the street level coolers and the salesmen throw the fish to guys waiting in the packaging area. It's absolutely amazing! I took a good deal of video of this amazing event - here are some still frames:

Here's another series of thrown fish and a picture of Pike Place.

They guys that work at the fish market do a lot of yelling a well. They've got some rehearsed, funny lines. If someone asks "Do you ever drop the fish?" The salesmen yells "Do we drop the fish?" and, in unison, everyone else working yells "Never!" They take tips and when a worker gets a tip he puts it in the jar and yells "Look what we got!" and everyone else yells "Hey!" It's a real fun place and dozens of people gather around to watch the proceedings.

I went to the Seattle Aquarium and bought a City Pass. It's a booklet of vouchers good for admission to six local tourist traps that cuts about 1/2 off the total admission price. I'll do all of them within the next few days. The aquarium is very nice here. It's not nearly as large or impressive as the Baltimore Aquarium but does offer a selection of Pacific aquatic life that the Baltimore aquarium just doesn't have. They have a very successful sea otter breeding program here and have their own fish ladder where they breed different species of salmon. They also have a hands–on tidal pool where the public can reach right in and touch live samples of local marine life. The aquarium also features an "inside out fishbowl" where the public enters a spherical glass enclosure that is surrounded by water and a wide variety of fish species.

Food: 3 packets cream of wheat, 3 packets sugar, huge bowl of dungeness crab chowder, oyster crackers (70 Cal.), 2 hard rolls with butter, 1/3 lb. mushroom swiss burger in the garden on sourdough bread, serving of fries, 1 L Snapple (440 Cal.), 2 chocolate chip cookies,

Hostel: $25.00