Sunday, September 17, 2006

Grouse Mountain, Seattle, a dusting of snow in Montana, home for dinner, a SHOCKING CONFESSION, and a short summary

I expected Grouse Mountain to be a bit of a hiker’s refuge from the city, but no, it was very geared towards the vacating family. Complete with a big 'chalet' near the summit (which is reached via Gondola by your average tourist), a little zoo with Grizzlies, and regularly scheduled shows -ranging in levels of goofiness- for the kiddies. Such as the Canuck Lumberjackfest (I don't know if that's the name, but it should be). The Bird Show, which was a good bird show I have to admit, better than the ones I had previously endured. (Nothing against birds, I mean, they're awesome, but I can't says I find extreme pleasure in watching them do their thing. It's a good thing, but it's -theirs-, I suppose I just want to respect their privacy.)

Coming back over the border was again, a bit of a hassle. I was hoping that they would not let me in, resulting in me being a displaced citizen for years to come. Oh, to live the dream! But NO, they simply insisted on hassling me enough that I will now finally go and get my passport.

Since I had only passed through the city best known for Frasier, rain, and Microsoft, on my way up to the country best known for round bacon and Celin Dion; I stopped for an afternoon in the town I had so rudely neglected, before riding the tailwind back east.

I phone-texted (sp?) a friend when walking around aimless in downtown, who I knew was somewhat familiar with Seattle, about what I should see. She replied, without hesitation, the Library. Though I enjoy an occasional visit to the Library, I was skeptical about its value as a highlight of the city.

I was quite taken with it. Initially, I expected to spend about 30 minutes there, I spent about 3 hours just absorbing the form and function of the place. It's probably the most intriguing piece of architecture I've experienced as a whole, not that I'm a connoisseur, but nonetheless, it's awesome. The architect's name is Rem Koolhas, and you can sort of get an idea at

I did walk around Pike Market, found it as expected, except for the odd zoning. One block off the market (which is quite visitor friendly) is literally ONE BLOCK FULL of drug dealers. There were 8 guys, on this one block (right next to the Market!), standing around with, what was apparently, nefarious business dealings in mind.

3 of these fine fellows, one after another, walked along side me.

Them: Hey man, can I hook you up?

Me: No man, I'm good.

Them: Really? I got lots o'stuff...Hook you up?

Me: No man, I'm cool, don't need a thing...Really.

I think that the Canadian border crossing guards had set these guys up (see previous entry). They so wanted me to just try narcotics of some sort, that they went to great lengths to tempt me. Ah ha! I showed them; after refusing to fill my body with mood altering substances, I took refuge in a coffee shop where I ordered a Mocha with two extra shots of espresso.

On my way back east, it cooled down nicely to the 50's and rained in Washington (no big surprise) and then snowed a bit in the Montana mountains overnight! It couldn't have been planned better; a single vacation kicked off in Death Valley in middle of August, to end with a pleasant dusting of snow.

I stopped in Butte MT and Bismarck ND, before making it back for dinner with Ron and Nancy. Nancy made beef stroganoff, quite tasty. I’m now hanging with Henry and Darcy. Both couples were somewhat amused with the thicker than usual, vacation goatee.

So, I guess I'm done...huh? What's that?...What did I do in Montana and North Dakota? Well, you know, I just passed through...

OK...OK...Fine! Enough with these infernal interrogations! Enough, I say! You want to know the shocking truth!? Well, you can't, you probably can handle it, so here it goes.

I had some money left in the budget, so I not only stayed in hotels for my last two nights [audible gasp from you, the audience], but ones with jacuzzi tubs [extremely disturbed, long awkward silence]. Where I sipped warm brandy and read a novel (that which was hinted at in a previous entry)...for a shameless number of hours, before retiring to bed. I assure you that I find such decadent luxury enjoyable, only when juxtaposed with some degree of suffering. [deeply ashamed, and violent, sobbing from me; soon to begin] BWAH HAH HAH HAH...BHAAAAAH!

Summary: Best 5 weeks of my life. No reservations.

Stay tuned for the pics! Along with some more details. Warning: some of you may be subjected to a live vacation slide show; my deepest apologies.

(Oh…and thanks for the comments. I read every one whenever I logged on to the world wide information superhighway.)


Anonymous Allen said...

I don't believe you're in the state of MN before 9am on monday :-P


8:32 AM  
Anonymous Susan B. said...

Hmmmm. Decadence and suffering. Good you're learning how to have a little and a lot. Don't mind an occasional combination of hot tub, alcohol, and good reading material myself. I checked out the library online. Quite an accomplishment. Glad I didn't have to view the goatee. Hah.

8:43 AM  

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