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Exploring the Great Northwest! - Part 5

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  • harmonetreporter@yahoo.com
    On our last day in Seattle, we checked out of the hotel (it was an Embassy Suites, by the way...love that free breakfast!) and headed back downtown again, this
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 1, 2002
      On our last day in Seattle, we checked out of the hotel (it was an Embassy
      Suites,
      by the way...love that free breakfast!) and headed back downtown again,
      this time
      at my son's suggestion to take in the famous "Underground Tour" of
      downtown.
      The story of how Seattle was first settled and established, and the
      resulting
      problems the city leaders had to overcome, from attracting downtown
      businesses
      and dealing with sewage problems at high tide (all those houses up on the
      hill,
      sending their waste down to the bay...can you imagine what happened at high
      tide when the drain pipes backed up? Can you imagine geysers of human waste
      shooting out through the toilets?? Fun stuff), followed by recovery from a
      devastating
      fire that started in a boiling glue pot and ended up destroying some 33
      blocks of
      downtown in about 12 hours...this resulted in the rebuilding of downtown
      Seattle,
      raising the street level to the second story of the downtown businesses,
      creating
      an underground part of the city that was almost forgotten, until local
      urban renewal
      efforts uncovered the hidden history of early Seattle and folks clamored to
      learn
      more about their city's past through underground tours and renewed efforts
      at
      preservation. The tour was fascinating and funny, as we trooped up and down
      stairs and through a labyrinth of underground passageways, listening to our
      guide tell us about the city's early days and how the original parts of the
      downtown
      area were almost lost forever.

      After hanging around downtown a bit more for lunch, we headed out again,
      this time
      saying goodbye to Seattle and making our way back toward Portland. We
      didn't
      take the direct route down I-5, though, but headed southwest toward the
      Pacific Coast,
      and a chance to drive down scenic route 101 along the Washington coastline.
      We
      headed out to Aberdeen and then down, along the rocky coast and through
      more
      hills covered with fir trees, some old growth forests with trees 8 feet
      wide at their
      base, to tiny saplings that had just been planted as part of the logging
      industry's
      re-growth efforts. The trip added several more hours to our travels, and it
      was
      about 8:30pm when we finally arrived in Portland from the west along I-26,
      which
      took us right into downtown. A few trips around the blocks and up one way
      streets (but officer, I'm only going one way!), and we finally found the
      hotel,
      another Embassy Suites, this one an older restored hotel with luxurious
      carpet
      and marble floors, etc...wooooo! We'll be here the rest of the week, though
      we
      may dump the rental car since the parking fees are wayyy high! We'll see...

      Anyway, it is now Monday morning and we are going to do a bit more
      exploring
      in Portland. The sky is clear and blue, and the sun is shining brightly.
      I'll tell you
      more later!


      Regards,
      Steve Tremper
      tremper@...
      (919) 224-1830

      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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