Seattle, WA—Our spectacular Portland hosts were two of the 75,000 people at today’s Obama rally, which gave us just the right amount of time to handle a dire laundry situation and give the car some well-deserved love. After digging for quarters for the washer/dryer and replacing some fluids at Oil Can Henry’s (the automotive equivalent of an operating theater), we were ready for a glimpse of Portland before moving on to Seattle in the evening.
That glimpse was mostly limited to the original Powell’s Books and the Saturday Market, each of which was more than enough to ensure my return to Portland for a more proper visit. If they had failed to impress, though, the streetcar system would surely have picked up the slack. They say there’s no such thing as a free ride, but today, we had two. The general grassroots, creative vibe of the city was evident everywhere, and the variety of colorful characters we encountered on the sidewalks merited future exploration.
Alas, the call of the road pointed us north, and around a dramatic bend at the tail end of a three-hour drive, Seattle’s stunning skyline came into view. It was enough to make me momentarily forget my irritation at its commuters’ obliviousness to the hallowed institution that is “stay right, pass left.“ Tomorrow, Seattle will show us what it has to offer.