After a few days in Tacoma, I hopped on the Sounder train and headed for Seattle. I’ve taken the bus between Seattle and Tacoma many many times but this was my first time on the Sounder. I had power outlets and I learned that if I choose my car better I could have wi-fi next time. It only cost me $1.25 more than the bus which was totally worth it.
Once in Seattle, I booked it from King Street Station up to Seattle Coffee Works where I finally got to meet Lauren of Better In Real Life! Lauren and I have been internet pals for a long time but we haven’t ever actually gotten to meet up; she was super supportive of me while I fought against sexism in Idaho. She was absolutely wonderful and we had a great time chatting while waiting for another internet pal, also named Lauren. She had flown in from Boston to spend the weekend with Liz and I and then got to meet the other Lauren as a bonus!
Lauren and I set out in search of food in Pikes Place Market but soon decided that ice cream was what we really wanted. Sadly, we discovered that Bluebird Ice Cream was closed but that Molly Moon’s was open. My vanilla bean and honey lavender scoops were so good that I devoured them before I grabbed a photo. Lauren and I headed to Elliot Bay Book Company to kill some time before wandering over to Taylor Shellfish. I’d been craving oysters so we got a bottle of pinot gris (a bottle that was both affordable and had won awards for pairing well with oysters) while we waited for Liz to get off work.
Once Liz arrived, we ordered a spread of oysters and we toasted to the kick off of a great weekend. Anyone sitting at tables around us would never believe that the three of us had never physically been in the same place at the same time before. As we enjoyed our oysters (a nice selection of Fanny Bay, Kusshi, Kumamoto, Shigoku, and Olympia oysters if you’re curious).
Apres oysters, we bused back to Liz’s place where she made us some scrumptious tacos and then we headed to Percy’s & Co. for some cocktails. My cilantro gimlet was delicious but the highlight was getting to meet Liz’s bestie Siiri who I feel like I know without ever having actually met. Our next stop was Conor Byrne where we watched Liz and Siiri’s friend Tom sing.
Liz had to work the next morning, so after Tom’s set we headed back to her house and bedded down for the night. I’d had such a fun day “meeting” people that I felt like I already knew and I could hardly believe the weekend was going to get better when Liz, Lauren, and I headed for the San Juan Islands.
We woke up and broke camp without eating breakfast. It was chilly and we were anxious to get on the road. We cruised down to Point Arena where we ate breakfast in a cute cafe before riding out to take a look at the lighthouse. It was pretty sitting way out by itself (it was only 8am but the lighthouse wouldn’t open for tours until 10…story of our mornings!) but I was more taken by the kelp forests visible below us.
We didn’t make too many stops on the way. I wish we’d have stopped at Fort Ross State Park to check it out but I haven’t quite perfected the art of looking around Forrest on the bike to see good places to stop before they’re going by. We did make a stop in Marshall at Hog Island Oysters where I tried one raw. I was unimpressed with their “Sweetwaters” that supposedly are “slightly salty” with a “smokey-sweet flavor”…I got “bitter” from them.
We made a pit stop at Muir Woods National Monument. The parking situation was intense! Good thing we were on the motorcycle (greatly simplifies parking) and had a National Parks Pass (hurray for not having to pay the admission fee!). I’ve never seen so many people stop to look at trees at one time. I’ll admit they were some of the most beautiful woods I’d ever seen–lots of light reaching the forest floor–but there were just SO MANY PEOPLE! I’m glad we checked it out but I was also ready to move on.
The next stop was the Golden Gate viewpoint. It couldn’t have been more perfect–I liked that there was a little fog but not enough to obscure the view of the bridge. After a quick photo op we crossed the bridge and because we had some time to kill before going down to Lucy’s so we drove through Golden Gate Park and a little bit into the Russian Hill neighborhood where we got some killer ice cream at Swenson’s. We decided to check out the Castro and Haight-Ashbury as they’re a bit far from downtown for the one day walking tour we were planning for the next day. Just like Golden Gate Park we were pretty sad that we had all of our stuff on the bike so we couldn’t get off an explore both areas. For all the pluses of the bike not being able to lock it up is a major downside…
After devouring a couple slices of pizza we headed for Lucy’s house in Menlo Park. We got a little turned around and missed the turn onto highway 1 so we took a little detour through Daly City. Our timing in getting to Menlo Park was perfect, we only beat Lucy to her house by about fifteen minutes or so. After a well deserved beer (for all three of us!), she and her roommates had to go to a meeting with their landlord so Forrest and I took advantage of the time to take some much needed showers.
After Lucy got home we headed to the “Oasis” for burgers, beer, and baseball. I was in heaven! Back at Lucy’s house we were all crashing…Forrest and I were pretty happy to have the air mattress and not be in our sleeping bags until it deflated on us midway through the night…but such is life!
Day 3: 207 miles plus a motorcycle tour of the Castro and Haight-Ashbury