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by Linda Thompson
The Bad Pennies' 2006 Seattle trip over Labor Day Weekend was yet another successful adventure in Volkssporting. The lucky seven Pennies rendezvoused at BWI airport for a morning flight to Seattle, Washington via Minneapolis. The rental car, a classy Ford Freestyle, was piloted by Linda and copiloted by our fearless leader, Matt Pernick. With maps in hand and a wrong directional turn, we eventually arrived at our quaint hotel, the Inn at Queen Anne.
The Inn at Queen Anne, built in 1929, provided a high level of personalized service, comfortable rooms, complimentary deluxe continental breakfast, and plenty of charm. Parking was a bit of a challenge, but I was fortunate enough to have several backseat drivers. The Inn was a good choice for its close proximity to downtown Seattle.
Ready for excitement, we drove downtown for the Seattle Ghost Walk in Capitol Hill. Capitol Hill is one of Seattle’s oldest neighborhoods with many buildings dating from the late 1800’s. Of the haunted sites in Seattle, eight are within a 10 kilometer course on Capitol Hill, including the famous Harvard Exit Theater that has been featured on TV, as well as less publicized haunts. We passed two colleges with resident ghosts, and one old haunted hotel, and visited Lakeview Cemetery where martial arts legends Bruce and Brandon Lee are buried.
We did not see any ghosts, but enjoyed the stories and history of the neighborhood.
Six of the seven Bad Pennies trekked to the Spaghetti Factory for dinner. We shared an enjoyable evening swapping memories of past walking events in hail, sandstorms, and convoys of campers looking for lighthouses in North Carolina. After finally reaching our hotel for the evening, I seem to remember Greta Merrick commenting, “and this is only the first day.”
On Day 2, the Bad Pennies headed out for Olympia for the Capitol City Walk. The Capitol City Walk began around the Capitol Lake Park (also known as Tumwater Historical Park) and walked us down to the salmon-filled Deschutes River, where it flows through the parks and enters wetlands. From the river bank there is a good view of the old Olympia Brewery. Heading up the hill, we came across the Crosby House built about 1860 for Nathaniel Crosby III and Cordelia Jane Smith. The couple operated a general store and served as the first postmaster of Tumwater. According to a local resident, Nathaniel was a distant relative of Bing Crosby.
We walked to the main entrance of Tumwater Falls Park to admire the falls. The falls were originally called ‘the Chutes’ or Puget Sound Falls’ by the Hudson Bay Co. It was later renamed Tumwater Falls in the 1900’s. In Chinook, the name is derived from the word for rushing water, ‘Tumtum.” Tumwater was founded in 1845 as “New Market,” the first American community north of the Columbia River.
After exiting the park, we walked back toward the State Capitol and war memorials returning to our start point for lunch at the Bay View Market. Some of the Bad Pennies continued on for a second walk to Priest Point Park for a nice marina view.
Returning to downtown Seattle, we dared to roam the subterranean passages of the famous Underground Tour. The tour begins with a seated introduction inside Doc Maynard’s, a restored 1890’s saloon. We walked through the historic Pioneer Square to three different sections of the Underground.
Because of poor planning, engineering, and a lust for money, the underground passages were once the main roadways and first-floor storefronts of old downtown Seattle. The walk ways were uneven with spotty lighting which gave us cause to keep an eye out for rats. Margie Martin decided to give a blood curling scream to humor the guide and the rest of us tourists in the dingy dread of the underground. The tour ended at Rogues Gallery, where we found portraits of Seattle’s colorful characters and other displays depicting Seattle’s past.
What better place to eat salmon than Ivar’s Salmon House. We were joined by Matt’s son, daughter-in-law, and grandson. After a feast of a variety of salmon like King, Sockeye, and Coho, the Bad Pennies held a brief meeting to discuss future trips, and the need for a club editor. Future trip suggestions included: Chicago, Los Angeles, Jackson Hole, Santa Fe, Albuquerque and the Dakota’s. Claudette Chandonia won the “Badess Penny” award and received the 2006 Starting Point book.
There were two scheduled Snoqualmie walk events. Walk 1 was on sidewalks, trails and country roads, and ending with a stroll through downtown Old Snoqualmie. Most of us remember it as the killer hill in 96 degree heat. Walk 2 was the walk to the spectacular Snoqualmie Falls and through the scenic Snoqualmie Valley countryside.
Both walks features beautiful mountain views, old train cars, and many antique shops and restaurants.
After the walks, the Inn held a wine and cheese reception for their guests. Several of us continued the festivities by attending Seattle’s Bumbershoot weekend. Bumbershoot is a 3-day diverse musical festival with regional theater programming, visual arts, comedy, unconventional Indie Market and the Flat Track Derby Invitational.
On our final day before leaving the Seattle area, we ferried over to Victoria, British Columbia and met our Canadian friends for a “Spirit Bear” walk. The Spirit Bears are one-of-a-kind fiberglass bears designed by local artists to be auctioned off for Lions Society’s Easter Seal Operations. The Canadian club escorted us on the walk in Victoria and through the beautiful grounds and gardens of the Lt. Governor’s House.
As a new “Bad Penny”, I had a fantastic time walking, touring, and meeting new friends on our Labor Day weekend trip to Seattle.