Another long drive – 500 miles in 7 hours.   The next time it takes 5 hours to drive 200 miles to Mannin we will remember the joy of driving on the American interstates….we left the lovely mountainous forested countryside of Montana behind for the open plains of East Washington – rather boring.  Once back in the more coastal ranges, the blue skies receded and it clouded over and started raining – first rain for us in more than 2 months.  We camped in National Forest an hour outside Seattle, and the next morning headed into the city.  The first day was spent absorbed in the flagship REI store – we had to stock up for Alaska and make some gear decisions…..although how it took 5 hours I’m not sure.  

We stayed at the Comfort Inn, 6 miles north of downtown, which initially sounded far, but with the car at our disposal it was fine.  The weather in Seattle is like reasonably good Irish summer weather.  We explored the downtown areas – Pike Place Market, the original Starbucks, Capitol Hill.  We took a ferry ride out to one of the bay islands –  a really pretty place, very upmarket and different from downtown 30 minutes by ferry across the water.  

Cathal took advantage of our hotel room kitchen to clean and waterproof the tent – I’m sure the chambermaid was a little surprised to see that!  We also realised that having the car for 2 months masked just how much stuff we had accumulated – two extra duffel bags of gear and my guitar!  time to get rid of some of it.  We said goodbye to our lovely Ford Taurus on the morning of the 4th, and boarded the Amtrak bus for Vancouver.  

Seattle Centre & Space Needle


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