Our short vacation to the IMBC2010 in Bend, OR is on its final day . We left Tumwater around 8:30am and headed north along I-5 towards Seattle. We did not want to take the freeway but looking at our maps we decided that we had no other alternative, but our plan was to keep it to a bare minimum and take exit 142 Federal way. We took the old Pacific Highway all the way into Seattle. Soon we arrive at the Pike Place Market in Seattle
(a Mike Simmons shadow inspired image of Sonja's F650GS at Pike Place)
I knew that Chuck was going to be at the market today as we had been texting each other all morning
Today was Market Wednesday and they eliminated all the parking on the South side of the street for these tents. The heat was building up and parking was scarce
We were not the only ones searching for parking. There are some steep hills which makes bike parking difficult or impossible due to the severe lean angles
Sonja was very lucky to snag this spot right at the entrance just as a van was leaving. I had already overshot the space and had to park at the end of the block
On the news we heard that Seattle was fogged in . You can see the remnants of the fog in the background as the sun made its appearance.
We made our way inside the market (on the main street level)
and tried to sneek up on Chuck at the end of this corridor . I try to make it a practice to stop in everytime I visit Seattle. The past two times he was not here, but today he came out to admire the Beemer
Chuck wasn't the least bit interested to visit my Wee which was parked at the other end of the block. It was too far away and too hot. I imagine that when I get to his age I would wish to limit my walking too
Today my Wee would have to be content to park beside this classic looking Triumph . It is difficult to see the faded lines painted on the bricks but these are 3 dedicated motorcycle parking spots and there was no charge for parking there.
As we are not shoppers, nor were we looking for anything. Our visit was just to socialize and have Sonja meet with Chuck. We managed to drag Chuck away from his strenuous job and take a coffee break across the street at his favourite coffee shop
Here is Chuck pretending he is the barista du jour behind the counter. It almost seemed that he was in charge of this place . As it was nearing lunch time we decided to have a snack while the three of us chatted for a bit . It was a relaxing half hour.
It was soon time for us to depart for our final stretch back to Canada
(Waterfront view fro Pike Place Market, looking West)
the Market is a lively place with musicians playing their tunes
From the Market we headed up Aurora (Hwy 99) all the way up to Everett/Marysville then onto Hwy 9 as was our desire to avoid I-5 at all costs, stopping for a brief intermission at Cycle Barn in Lynnood. Sonja was looking for another riding jacket and kevlar type jeans. Traffic was slow and heavy and the heat was relentless in our riding outfits. After we passed Smokey Point we could finally make some time along Hwy 9. I wanted to make a short stop in Bellingham so we stopped at this pullout to say our goodbyes
For weeks we had been making our plans. We had a terrific 6 days and we did not wish it to end. During this time we had ridden nearly 2,100 kms together, we had become a riding team. We had met friends, new and old. We are bringing home new memories of good times and wondering when we can do it again
And here we are, somewhere just east of Bellingham on Hwy 9, a mere 100 kms from home and we are saying our goodbyes by the side of the road.
Sonja has mounted her bike, started the engine on her Beemer and is leaving me behind. We had been together, watching out for each other, looking into our rear view mirrors the whole time making sure each other was safe and now we were both alone. Heading in opposite directions, her north and myself West
I watch as she rolls down the road, then out of sight. I am now alone
and as I head towards Bellingham along the shores of Lake Whatcom I listen to the sweet sounds of my V twin engine and think that life can't get any better than this .