Day 17

Seattle and Ms. Olympia

A view of Seattle from Kerry Part, Seattle, USA
A view of Seattle from Kerry Part, Seattle, USA

Side of the road near Heliotrope Trailhead (spider camp) to Middle Waddle Campground


Instagram excerpt - See here


I was glad to get away from the spiders. None entered the tent. The daylight revealed the commanding position of the campsite. It was perched atop a steep hill. You should see deep into the valley below for 100 meters. It was dotted with sequias with no scrubs. I had breakfast. The usual combination of Quaker oatmeal and black coffee before I collected my my tent.

I rode back up past the trailhead where I saw the snow peaked Mt. Hadley. The road continued and I followed it further. It became steeper as it twisted and turned. The gravel was loose and the bike struggeld for grip. I stopped and grabbed my phone from the holder and opened Google Maps. There was no reception. The map didn’t show the trails that returned towards the coast. It wasn’t worth getting lost. I turned and went back the way I came. Down and past spider camp to Maple Falls and towards Seattle.

I must’ve taken the highway because I don’t remember getting there. I stopped North of Seattle at an A&W burger joint to fill my belly and navigate a way through the city. It was just like McDonalds. A lady came into the store rambling and causing a nuicence to the staff. I paid her no heed. I found a lookout on my phone that overlooked Seattle and plugged it into Google Maps. I finished my burger and walked out to the bike in the parking lot.

“Hey”, did I hear someone say something? “Hey there”, I did hear it. I lifted my head from the motorbike and saw the girl in the store looking at me from the vehicle next to me. It was filled with stuff. Like she had been travelling for months or was just kicked out of home. She got out. She was shorter than me and her head was shaved. A Korgi dog jumped out with her. “Hey, I noticed you were travelling”, she said, “That must be someone special” She pointed to the memoir for my uncle on the bike. She was the first one out of all the passer by’s who say hello to say anything about it. I gave her some time. She was travelling as well. She seemed shaken up. Aggitated. Her car was a mess. It didn’t sit well with me. I didn’t want to camp with her so I said my goodbyes and left towards the lookout.

Kerry Park is a beautiful spot. It was nestled within some hills on the outskirts of Seattle. The houses were big and looked expenisve. The park featured a few seats. There were others looking at the city. The unmistakable tower shot above it all. Surrounded by the dense smoke from the North. It was hot. I continued into the city.

I didn’t have time to spend in Seattle. It was late in the afternoon and I needed to find a campsite outside of it. Seattle had a big place in my heart. It’s the home of grunge music. My older brothers and sisters would play Pearl Jam, Soundgarden and Nirvana. It felt like home. I rode past some gritty dive bars. I wish I could’ve gone in. There was a row of homeless people in tents camped under a bridge. It felt raw. I joined the traffic on the Interstate and my way out. The giant Boeing factory was to my left. I had to find camp.

It was a toss up between The Capitol State Forest and Mt Rainier. I should’ve gone to Rainier. The Forest was closer to Olympia and it was getting dark. The entrance of the campground said I needed a permit to enter it. I doubled back on the road to get reception. I looked it up. You could get one from the general store but it was closed. I tried my luck at the campground anyway.

There was a large caravan at the entrance. A sign post out front read ‘camp host’. I didn’t have a permit so they would either tell me to leave or pay for one. I stopped the bike and walked over to it. A dog began to bark. I knocked on the door and called out a few times. There was no answer. The dog continued to bark. There was no one home. I looked around the campground. It looked fairly large and empty. I decided to find a spot and come back later.

The campsite was nice. It had a picnic table, fire pit and a flat gravel surface. It was certainly a paid campground. I pitched the tent before it got dark. There was no sign of the campground host. I was far enough away from the caravan they could not see me. I grabbed a lighter from some other campers. They were pretty far away. The campground seemed large and fairly empty.

I don’t think it would matter if I stayed here.



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