United States 7: Seattle

Space Needle – see the future

Margie, a former resident of Seattle, provided the team with a variety of interesting tasks to complete during this leg. First checked off the list was Riding the Ducks.  The team boarded a duck driven by a guy initially wearing a red crazy spider hat.  They, along with a bunch of other rolling party goers, completed a lap of Seattle’s most interesting sites whist singing along to tunes and getting people in the street to join in with dance.

Sleepless in Seattle location by day Floating houses, Union lake
Gasworks Duck 4 Docked at Duck HQ

Having ridden the ducks, the team raced to attend a ball game and try the garlic fries.  Joining a nice Canadian couple, the team watched the Blue Jays destroy the Mariners.  Ang, figuring that with no national allegiance the best team to support would be a fellow Commonwealth member, joined Donna in annoying the surrounding American crowd with their cheering.  For the record, the Blue Jays won the game, 5 to 1.

The thin air at Safeco You need a bigger sign
The more expensive sea level seats
Commonwealth in a sea of Yankies at altitude Garlic fries
Mariners had a Chance, but it was a ruff one.

The team’s next challenge was to visit EMP (the Experience Music Project), and experience both music (almost a shrine to Nirvana) and sci fi (Avatar and Battlestar).  Simon remarked that “eccentric billionaires make the best museums” (eg MoNA) . Moving to the waterfront, the team walked through the Pike Markets.  Later, they proceeded back to the hostel where they joined up with a bunch of backpacker types and went on an art walk.

Big pile of axes Ready to hunt Cylons
Towards Pike Street Art Pike

The art walk had very little to do with art and very much to do with drinking and socialising.  Highlights included the tattoo parlour and Bambino’s (where pizzas redefine the word ‘large’).

Spied during the art walk and played the very next day.

The final task was a quick visit to Kerry Park where they were treated to a spectacular view of Seattle.  Their return trip to the hostel to collect bags was made all that more interesting by a Weird Al look and act alike bus driver.  He verbalised to each person who was dressed in all black their pick up number (4 people during the team’s ride) and that he thought they were going to a convention.  He said to one customer that he was happy to drive his bus to Kansas or Australia, should that be where she wanted to go.

Kerry Park panarama

The team proceeded on foot to the Greyhound bus depot and took a bus ride north to Canada. Four and a half hours later the team were once again the first racers to check into the hostel in Vancouver, winning this leg of the race.