Washington

The big U Turn

Each day seems to be different on the journey. Today was going to be a short day, just shy of 200 miles down the I-5 freeway from Seattle to Portland. What started out to be a three hour tour turned into a six hour grind. I made the mistake of leaving at three which I thought would just get me by the rush hour traffic. Not so. Leaving Seattle as soon as I get on the freeway the traffic stops. I try going around the west side of Seattle and find more of the same.

We chug along and then about 10 or so miles later there is a small fender bender to the right. Does traffic start to move again? No. I and another 600 of my best friends grind another thirty miles to Tacoma and come across the another small fender bender that the police had not cleared from the freeway. At this point it’s hot and you can’t lane split in Washington (and every other state besides California and Texas). Traffic brings out the worst in me, so I pull off to an A&W (you know like the root beer) to get some water and some grub. If you’ve not had the rootbeer from the tap in the restaurant, it’s a much better taste than rootbeer in the can or even the bottle.

After a bit of recharge… I get back to the freeway. Traffic is still going slow and continues to grind for another thirty miles. Just south of Olympia, seventy miles later from my initial start in Seattle, the traffic starts moving. The main cause of the traffic was an incident on the OTHER side of the freeway. The main cause of backup on our side: RUBBERNECKING! If the accident is on the other side and the authorities are there, rubbernecking only makes the situation worse, not better. It slows down traffic increasing the risk of getting rear ended (as happened twice today) and once traffic clears the disgrunteld emotions really start to come out in the gas pedal. So faithful readers, do us all a favor and don’t rubberneck… the thousands of people behind you will appreciate it.

I arrive in Portland, the city of roses, at 8:30 and check into the Hotel Mallory (now Hotel Deluxe). The hotel is one of the older hotels in town and has a certain charm about it. I met Chris and Vy for dinner at PF Chang’s. Afterwards we drove out to the south side of town to Bushwhackers, a country dance hall. The place was totally dead, ie, there were no more than 15 there. Since it was a Friday night, their business model may not be right on. (edit: turns out there was a rodeo that weekend)

Tomorrow I’m off the bike, which will be a nice change of pace :).

Categories: Washington

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