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Seattle

After two weeks of riding, I'd planned a few days out of the saddle in Seattle before continuing west to the coast. 

A biker chick I know came out to meet me and we hung out together for a couple of days. Here we are at the famous Pike Street Market. 

If you like seafood...fresher than fresh seafood, this is the place.

They had everything.

Check out these monster-sized crab claws. 

They also sell every kind of flower and fruit one can think of. Beautiful.

There's a lot of local color too. These guys were entertaining the crowd and making a few bucks at the same time. 

Lowell's has been on the wharf since the 1950's and bills itself as "almost classy."

This is the Cadillac hotel, which is now considered a national park, believe it or not. Inside is a museum dedicated to the pioneers who departed Seattle for the Klondike gold rush. Fascinating stuff. Seattle marketed itself as THE jumping off spot for those headed north, and in doing so, it became THE major seaport north of San Francisco. 

An immigrant fellow by the name of John W. Nordstrom was one of the "stampeders" who passed through Seattle and he actually found gold, but rather than continue to mine for gold, he sold his claim for $30,000. He used the money to pay off all the expenses he incurred, and was left with $13,000. He used that money to establish a small shoe store in Seattle. That small shoe store became Nordstrom Department Stores. 

This is the impressive Arctic Club hotel. 

The façade is surrounded by carved walruses.

Inside is luxurious. Here's the central fireplace.

Here's the lounge...called the "Polar Bar."

Comfortable. From a different time. Nice. 

This is our buddy, Mike, who is a former biker and current mixologist. We encouraged him to look into the Indian motorcycle line and get back on the road.

They even had a very nice pool table...with which my partner embarrassed me...twice. 

Then it was to the beautiful Smith tower. Here's Coach seated in the Wishing Chair. Local Asian legend has it that if a woman sits in the chair and wishes, she can marry the man of her dreams...film at eleven.

The Smith Tower is quite old and ornate. Here's a poster of the building from the last century. 

The Smith Tower has an observation deck. One can enjoy a 360 degree view of the city from 42 floors up. It's barred in, sort of like a big bird cage, so one cannot jump, throw one's spouse off, or be thrown off by one's spouse. Probably a good thing.

A cool part of our view was the fabulous Blue Angels...who flew UNDER us!

Getting that shot of the Blue Angels wasn't easy. This was the first attempt. 

This was the second.

This was the third.

Mount Rainier is a volcano that is the backdrop for all of Seattle. It dwarfs everything around it. They pay tribute to the mountain at Rainier Brewing. Since we were in town, we had to try it while at the rooftop bar.

The iconic Space Needle. No visit to Seattle would be complete without seeing it. 

The UPS waterfall...in the middle of the city.

Beautiful flowers everywhere.

Old hotels and saloons full of history and character.

The rates have, however, gone up slightly. 

It was a nice weekend with my partner in crime. 

On to the coast! God bless!

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Post Script

The ride home from Murrell's Inlet was an easy run right down US 17. For the first time, I didn't need a GPS. It was also the first time since Vermont that I wasn't cold. Finally, I was able to ditch