Seattle: Post Election Weekend of Urban Cycling Exploration


Urban cycling exploration, Seattle

It was a stressful week with the US elections taking over everything and everywhere. For some reason, not in my worst nightmares, did I ever think Donald Trump would become the next president. I followed the elections a little bit (because how could you not), and after the second debate I just decided that there was no way this bully was going to win. I guess I am still an optimist inside, but sometimes you just fall on your face.

A nice weekend getaway, despite the border and election results...

A nice weekend getaway, despite the border and election results…

We still decided to go ahead with our plans to go to Seattle for the long weekend. So the atmosphere on the streets wouldn’t be as cheerful as we hoped, but maybe it was our last chance to visit the States before things go really crazy over there?

A happy camper. most of the time...

A happy camper, most of the time…

It turned out that there was no lack of Canadians trying to cross the border with us, so we ended up waiting for two hours. After we crossed, it was already getting late enough for lunch, so we decided we’d at least stop in Bellingham for some good old Mexican food. Of course, just as we were about to take the exit from the highway, Neil fell asleep. So we continued driving, hitting rush hour in Seattle at around 1:30pm (what’s wrong with this country?!), and by then Neil woke up and wasn’t the happiest camper after being on the road for over 5 hours.

Beer Sheva Park!

Beer Sheva Park!

So we finally made our way to Seward Park, a nice park not too far from our hosts’ place, had a picnic, and then let Neil burn off some energy which he desperately needed. Then we drove towards our hosts’ house, realizing that the area looked somewhat familiar.

Dinner at Maya's restaurant

Dinner at Maya’s restaurant

We’ve been to Seattle a few times, and on our first visit we made a point of visiting Beer Sheva Park, which had a special meaning for us as we used to live right by Seattle Garden in Beer Sheva for three years. So it was quite a surprise when we realized our hosts live a coin throw away from that park! What a coincidence. I guess Beer Sheva is always there with us.

Lake Washington South Loop

South Lake Washington Loop

Steven and Bethany, our Warmshowers hosts, had generously agreed to host us last minute in their beautiful new home. Not only that, they also gave us the entire second floor of their house, which included a private bathroom and a huge king size bed. On the corner of their street there was a family Mexican restaurant called Maya’s, where we had a nice dinner. Then we fell asleep when Neil went to sleep at 9pm and slept like rocks. Sometimes all you need is a little getaway, even not too far away, to feel all relaxed and well rested.

Lake Washington South Loop, over looking the highway

South Lake Washington Loop, overlooking the highway

On Saturday, following the recommendation of our hosts, we cycled the South Lake Washington Loop. It was a beautiful ride around the lake with orange fall colors all around. Some of it was alongside busy highways but all on separated bike lanes, which was awesome. We took a long lunch and play break at a very windy park, but Neil still had a good time. Then we continued our ride, managing to complete the 40km loop before 2:30pm. Since it was still early we stopped at Beer Sheva Park of course, which was like a dream come true – seeing our son play in Beer Sheva Park.

Along the Bruke-Gilmore trail, Fremont

Along the Burke-Gilman trail, Fremont

On that evening friends of our hosts showed up from Oregon for one evening. They drove eight hours each way just to be with good friends in the harsh days post the traumatic elections. It felt like they were mourning, and it really hit them very hard. We went out to a very authentic Ethiopian restaurant and then there was a full house that night, but we were very comfortable in the spacious attic.

Lunch at Fremont Sunday Market

Lunch at Fremont Sunday Market

Sunday looked a bit wet, so we decided to give up the original plan of cycling the Centennial trail and head to Fremont, our favourite neighbourhood in Seattle. Since it wasn’t raining when we arrived, we hopped on our bikes for a 40km there-and-back on the Burke-Gilman Trail. We were quite impressed with the bike trails in Seattle, which were completely separated and very scenic.

When we got back, the rain just started, and it was time for some chocolate tasting at Theo Chocolate. Before the chocolate extravaganza, we visited the Sunday market that had many food trucks and delicious food – we had freshly made nan with butter chicken and bibimbap (a Korean rice dish). After we were done it was time to start heading back, with a not so quick stop at Trader Joe’s in Bellingham. The border wasn’t all that bad and we were quickly back in Canada.

We didn’t feel any major changes in the US just yet, except for the grim atmosphere. Hopefully things won’t get too bad for our neighbours to the south. All we can do is hope.

Theo Chocolate factory and store

Theo Chocolate factory and store

This entry was posted in Cycling & Cycle Touring, Trip Reports, Trips with Kids, Urban, Western USA. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Seattle: Post Election Weekend of Urban Cycling Exploration

  1. Frank_Z says:

    Lake Washinton is nice, I cycled down the West side and a bit on Mercer Island. The bicycle routes – especially the signage with directions and distances – impressed me. When you cycle to downtown Seattle from the West shore of the lake you come even through a bicycle tunnel, it is really wide, maybe 6 meters if I remember it right.
    The Centennial trail was paved not too long ago. Snohomish has nice cafes, bars and a bicycle shop.
    If you haven’t done it yet, check out the John Wayne Pioneer Trail/Iron Horse State Park. An unpaved trail that starts near North Bend and has cycle-in camping (I think $10/night. I couldn’t figure out if you also need a (park(ing)) pass if you park outside/take public transit). Pulling a trailer should be possible, I am just not sure how shaky it would be for Neil – I don’t have experience with that. There are also climbing and hiking possibilities on the way up to Snoqualmie Pass.

    • Gili says:

      Thanks Frank! Great to hear that the Centennial Trail is now paved, we’ll have to go back to do that one. We’ve heard of the John Wayne / Iron Horse trail, but have yet to check it out. Our trailer has suspension, so that helps, but I’d imagine there’s a limit to how bumpy the road can be without Neil suffering or becoming agitated. There are so many great cycling options in Washington, it’s just too bad that some long border waits are in between us and them…

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