I started out fairly early and headed up into the northern Cascades on route 20W. The day was bright an cheery and the ride itself was twisty and had some great mountain scenery. My goal for the day was to get to somewhere near Seattle. The day was going well until the dreaded rain came. It kind of put a damper on the whole ride because the awesome views of Diablo Lake and other spots along the ride were significantly diminished. Still, riding in the rain beats working in the office and by the time I got to Everett, just north of Seattle, I called it a day. Nothing too exciting 🙂
I slept in the next morning then got up and headed to Mountain Lake Terrace to the fine establishment that is known as BestRestProducts.com. The owner, Dave, is an extremely nice and knowledgeable guy who took the time to sell me some new parts for my bash-plate and to give me some scenic rides to try in WA. Dave basically took a hobby and his own love/experience with motorcycles and created some really useful after-market tools and parts. Highly recommended.
From there, I decided that after all this time in the more remote places of the US and Canada that I needed to sample some “civilization”. I wanted to stay the weekend in a cosmopolitan environment and enjoy the pleasures that came with it. I decided that Bellevue was the appropriate place being 9 miles from Seattle and being Washington’s second largest city. I found a reasonable hotel right in the trendy section of town and spent the next three nights doing… NOTHING!!! Let me tell you, it felt great.
I got to wander around the downtown area just sitting at the sidewalk coffee shops, restaurants, etc people watching. I got to cruise the Lake Washington shoreline looking at the multi-million dollar homes. I got to see a couple of movies in a “real” movie theater. I got to indulge in wonderful food. I got to wander the huge malls and buy absolutely nothing except a book to read with my kids. In short, I got to pretend that I was again young, single and had not a care in the world… pity it was just pretending 🙂
In the end, a funny thing happened… it actually made me end up feeling lonely for the first time. I guess it was all those people around and yet no-one to talk to. Still, it made me realize why Canadians are so nice. It’s a huge country and so few people live there that they are ecstatic when they actually run into another living being 🙂