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Thread: Off to Seattle! Got tips?

  1. #31
    Registered User monkeylady's Avatar
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    To get to the Olympic Peninsula from Seattle, you drive a car and take a ferry to either Bainbridge Island or out of Edmunds, 30 min. North of SEA by car, to the Kitsap Peninsula. Driving from there to the Olympic National Forest takes at least 1-1.5 hrs. For a total of 4-5 hours or more, depending on where you want to go. (This is high season in the ferry system and local ferries can often have queue times of an hour or more. The Olympic National Rainforest is a VERY BIG forest. I don't consider this a comfortable day trip, but well worth a night or two. There are some Lodges in the Park, but advanced reservations are required and you might be out of luck for this year. You could stay in Port Angeles somewhere and drive into the Park. There are likely others who are more familiar with accommodations in this area that could comment.

    Likewise, it's a big trip to Orcas Island. Either drive a car rental to Anacortes (1.5-2 hrs. North of Seattle, depending on traffic) and take the ferry through the San Juan Islands to Orcas. OR...I just learned from Taminica that you can take the Victoria Clipper out of Seattle to the SJ islands, but I don't know if it stops at Orcas. Hard to imagine that it doesn't. Taminica says the Clipper is expensive, but saves on time shuttling to Anacortes. The Anacortes Ferry is expensive anyway. The SJ islands are extremely popular in summer and you may need ferry reservations if driving a car, and also hotel reservations. The Clipper also requires reservations. This trip takes at least half the day or more, depending on mode of transport there, and would usually require at least one overnight.
    The stockpile keeps growing...I'm in serious trouble.

  2. #32
    Registered User monkeylady's Avatar
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    The Elliot Bay Bookstore is no longer in Pioneer Square and has moved to Capitol Hill. You can get there by city bus.
    The stockpile keeps growing...I'm in serious trouble.

  3. #33
    JLE
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grandcache View Post
    The most favorite among my "guys" (ages 3, 6, and 9) is the gum wall in the lower area of the market...it totally grosses me out, but they beg to visit it every time. As long as you are right there...the flying fish (fish market) and the pig are also regular stops. They also like the boat works at Lake Union and the Troll under the bridge in Fremont (If you are into geocaching international HQ is closeby)...what can I say? It does gain me bargaining power for time at the TB store....:-)
    I am Australian. We do not, in general, share the American gum-chewing habit. Please tell me the gum wall is not what I think it is. And if it is, what is it doing in a fresh produce market??
    Last edited by JLE; 07-10-2014 at 12:48 AM.

  4. #34
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    @JLE, I am afraid the gum wall is what you think it is: The Pike Place Market Gum Wall | KING5.com Seattle

    Actually, if you check out the King 5 Evening Magazine website they have some good video segments highlighting local attractions as well as lesser known gems.

    As far as the San Juan Islands and/or Olympic Peninsula, it is definitely worth staying overnight given the time to get there. It is possible to take the Victoria Clipper to San Juan Island and then rent a car to explore the island, unless you are a fairly strong biker who enjoys lots of rolling curvy hills. I am not sure about Orcas, but San Juan has some neat activities at various times of the year like bioluminescent night kayaking. Both islands have lots of water based activities available, particularly in summer. For the Olympic Peninsula reservations are definitely recommended, unless one is interested in camping in an area where reservations are not required, though permits may be required even in those areas. And pleasant as the coastal areas are, it may be important to be aware of tide tables in certain areas. If venturing to the Hoh Rainforest, one route winds by Crescent Lake with its amazing blue water.

    One somewhat closer day trip alternative to San Juan and Orcas is Whidbey Island. One can take the ferry from Mukilteo to Clinton, explore the island, then continue north through Deception Pass, crossing a high scenic bridge where there is the opportunity to explore some short well marked trails or enjoy the views from the bridge before returning to the mainland (essentially doing a loop).

    One last alternative to consider if cost is less of a consideration is that Kenmore Air has quick flights from Seattle to some of the islands.
    Last edited by NWhikergal; 07-10-2014 at 01:22 AM.

  5. #35
    JLE
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    Quote Originally Posted by NWhikergal View Post
    @JLE, I am afraid the gum wall is what you think it is: The Pike Place Market Gum Wall | KING5.com Seattle
    I'm sorry, there's only one thing to say in response to this gross and distressing clarification: EEEEEEEEEUUUUUUUWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW WWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW.

    You guys are lucky TB is there. This could have been a deal breaker!

    Edit/update: Ok, so now I have watched the clip. I have to lie quietly in a darkened room now. I may be some time......
    Last edited by JLE; 07-10-2014 at 02:18 AM.

  6. #36
    JLE
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    Now, we can't all have the Great Wall of China. And as a proud Melburnian I make no such claim. But I'll see your totally GROSS American National Gum Wall of Shame and raise you this: Hosier Lane, Melbourne & Worldwide Graffiti & Street ArtHosier Lane, Melbourne & Worldwide Graffiti & Street Art.

    We know how to do a wall in Melbourne!

    (OK, so a City of Melbourne council functionary ordered a Banksy to be painted over in the lane a couple of years ago. But we try not to draw attention to that....)

  7. #37
    Registered User taminca's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by monkeylady View Post
    I just learned from Taminica that you can take the Victoria Clipper out of Seattle to the SJ islands, but I don't know if it stops at Orcas. Hard to imagine that it doesn't. Taminica says the Clipper is expensive, but saves on time shuttling to Anacortes. The Anacortes Ferry is expensive anyway. The SJ islands are extremely popular in summer and you may need ferry reservations if driving a car, and also hotel reservations. The Clipper also requires reservations. This trip takes at least half the day or more, depending on mode of transport there, and would usually require at least one overnight.
    The Victoria Clipper only stops in Friday Harbor, but the Ferry is right there at the harbor and you can take that to Orcas and the other islands. Time wise, the Clipper leaves Pier 69 in Seattle at 7:45am and gets to Friday Harbor at 11:15am; it is a beautiful ride. And it leaves Friday Harbor at 4:30pm and arrives back in Seattle at 7:30pm. It would make for a very long day trip and there is a lot to see and do, so I agree with @monkeylady about staying at least a night. I stayed 5 days there last year and had a great time!
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  8. #38
    Registered User taminca's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ilkyway View Post
    What bag will be accompanying you? (Well what bag in, and which bags out in addition might be the better question ;-) ).
    Ilkyway, I just received my instructions and packing list from the people organizing/guiding my kayaking/camping trip and am still in shock. I have not had to travel by plane with so much STUFF since... well, I cannot remember when!

    Sleeping bag and pad, waterproof dry bags, clothing and foot gear, headlamps, mess kit, toilet paper, seat cushion and lumbar pads... Forget trying to squeeze everything into my A45... perhaps TWO A45s would hold everything!

    My vacations that include flights have not required so much gear and stuff. For camping/hiking/kayaking trips, I'm used to loading up my car and just driving off. Having to get on a plane with everything on that list will be a new challenge -- well, unless I just check baggages and leave my beautiful Nordic A45 at home.

    Any frequent-flying kayakers/campers out there with packing advice?
    "Inside everyone is a great shout of joy waiting to be born."
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  9. #39
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    @taminca, if not for the sleeping bag, you might be able to do it, but otherwise that looks difficult. The first question is whether you already have all of this gear or not...If not, I would stop by a shop called Second Ascent in Ballard or the REI gear garage, and you can likely outfit yourself pretty reasonably, as they sell both new and used gear...then ship your new acquisitions home or resell them. I do not have the kayaking gear, as I usually just do day trips for kayaking, but I might have a few camping things I could loan you, depending on when you will be kayaking/camping, as I have backpacking trips in late July. Most of the gear you mentioned might be able to fit in a 40L main compartment style pack easily, depending on whether you have a down or synthetic sleeping bag, but you might have to pack all your clothes, etc in a Synapse.

    One other option, if you have all this gear already, would be to check it in a large duffel, then bring all of the other stuff you will need in your A45 (packed lightly in case you find anything you need in Seattle).
    Last edited by NWhikergal; 07-13-2014 at 06:24 PM.

  10. #40
    Registered User taminca's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NWhikergal View Post
    One other option, if you have all this gear already, would be to check it in a large duffel, then bring all of the other stuff you will need in your A45 (packed lightly in case you find anything you need in Seattle).
    Thanks, @NWhikergal! I like this suggestion very much... it will result in my have plenty of room for any TB goodies I might pick up at the store. Hmm.. could be dangerous, though. Now off to dig in my closet for a really large duffel...
    "Inside everyone is a great shout of joy waiting to be born."
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  11. #41
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    If you can get your hands on a compression sack specifically made for sleeping bags, they are amazing...my winter bag ends up being about the size of a loaf of bread and my summer bag squishes even smaller.

    I agree with NWhikergal's suggestions about REI, Second Ascent, and/or renting. You might be able to "pre-order" so you know you will have what you need. If you don't want to sell your acquisitions, you could also mail a carton home. :-). PS Do the trip organizers offer any gear options?
    Lots of assorted purples, some blues, and a bit of black: 2S19, 5SE, 2WF, MCB, SCB, Imago, 2S, LS, TT, K, 2QC, 5 3D, 4WFSBPC, 2WFBPPC, FJNB, 4Wallets, 4LSB, 2SSB, DLBP, Pilot, Assorted sacks, packing cubes, organizer pouches, key straps :-)

  12. #42
    Registered User taminca's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grandcache View Post
    If you can get your hands on a compression sack specifically made for sleeping bags, they are amazing...my winter bag ends up being about the size of a loaf of bread and my summer bag squishes even smaller.

    I agree with NWhikergal's suggestions about REI, Second Ascent, and/or renting. You might be able to "pre-order" so you know you will have what you need. If you don't want to sell your acquisitions, you could also mail a carton home. :-). PS Do the trip organizers offer any gear options?
    Thanks! Will look into compression sack for sleeping bags. The company does rent out sleeping bags and pads for a fee. I like the convenience of renting but am leery about sleeping in/on a strange bag/pad. As a last resort, I might rent them and just bring along my pillow and sleeping pad liner.

    However, since both you and @NWhikergal mentioned Second Ascent, I will add that to my to-do list while in Seattle. I can always use more good-quality outdoor clothing and gear.
    "Inside everyone is a great shout of joy waiting to be born."
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  13. #43
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    @Taminca, if you need any outdoor gear enabling, just let me know! I have done a ton of research on hiking and backpacking gear, and I have visited most of the Seattle gear shops. I am in the process of cutting ounces as much as possible as I prepare for a 90+ mile trip later this summer. @Grandcache's compression sack suggestion is a great space saver. And an inflatable pillow is another nice alternative.

  14. #44
    Registered User taminca's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NWhikergal View Post
    @Taminca, if you need any outdoor gear enabling, just let me know! I have done a ton of research on hiking and backpacking gear, and I have visited most of the Seattle gear shops. I am in the process of cutting ounces as much as possible as I prepare for a 90+ mile trip later this summer. @Grandcache's compression sack suggestion is a great space saver. And an inflatable pillow is another nice alternative.
    Thanks, @NWhikergal! Do you have a recommendation for an inflatable pillow? I have not had good luck with previous ones. What I have now is REI's Backpacker Pillow, somewhat comfy but it does take up a bit of space.

    ETA: 90+ miles! Wow! How many days would that take?
    "Inside everyone is a great shout of joy waiting to be born."
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  15. #45
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    @taminca, sending you a pm so I don't derail the thread.
    Last edited by NWhikergal; 07-13-2014 at 08:14 PM.

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