Saturday, June 08, 2013


After leaving some money at REI we headed to Pike Street Market.  After a 30 minute search for parking we found a spot 3 blocks away.  Although it is legitimate market with fresh fish, vegetables, fruit and the like, it has become a tourist attraction in Seattle.

Between 1906 and 1907, the cost of onions increased tenfold. Outraged citizens, fed up with paying price-gouging middlemen too much for their produce, found a hero in Seattle City Councilman Thomas Revelle. Revelle proposed a public street market that would connect farmers directly with consumers. Customers would "Meet the Producer" directly, a philosophy that is still the foundation of all Pike Place Market businesses.

On August 17, 1907, Pike Place Market was born. On that first day, a total of eight farmers brought their wagons to the corner of First Avenue and Pike Street—and were quickly overwhelmed by an estimated 10,000 eager shoppers. By 11:00 am, they were sold out. Thousands of would-be customers went home empty-handed, but the chaos held promise. By the end of 1907, the first Market building opened, with every space filled.

A century later, Pike Place Market is internationally recognized as America's premier farmers' market and is home to more than 200 year-round commercial businesses; 190 craftspeople and approximately 100 farmers who rent table space by the day; 240 street performers and musicians; and more than 300 apartment units, most of which provide housing for low-income elderly people. "The Market," as the locals affectionately say, attracts 10 million visitors a year, making it one of Washington state's most frequently visited destinations.

The prices arn't so cheap now as salmon was going for anywhere from $20 to $35 a pound.  Yikes!!!

The Pike Place Fish Market is the most popular attraction.  With fish mongers tossing the fish from the display to a coworker behind the counter for wrapping.

We had some really good Russian pastries at Piroshky Piroshky Bakery.  I opted for the Marzipan Roll while Cathie went for Cinnamon Cardamon Braid.  Mmmmm Mmmmm good.



Next on the tour was the Museum of Flight at Boeing Field south of downtown.  Lots of planes, most original with a few reproductions thrown in.  The highlight for me was an up close view of a B-17, the Flying Fortress with one of the museum's docents.  As of late I've been reading about WW-II and several of the books I've read were accounts written by either pilots or crew members of the B-17.  Although I wasn't allowed inside the plane, I was able to "look" inside and take several photos.  Seeing the inside of the airship really brought home some of the stories I've been reading about.  Although the plane looks big on the out side, the areas that the crew inhabited were really small.


One crew member would get inside the ball turret which stuck out on the bottom of the plane.  Once inside the only way out was back through the plane.  The hatch would only open when the ball was rotated allowing the access from the plane.  In it's normal position, while in flight and while operating the two 50 caliber guns, the hatch could not be opened.  A very cramped space, the crew member inside would be laying on his back with his heels in stirrups ( you can see one on the left of the round window).

In the central part of the plane there were two more 50 caliber guns which were fired through an open window on each side of the plane.  With two crew members in this space it was pretty cramped.  Some things you might not have known about the B-17;  Due to the tight spaces, the crew did not wear their parachutes, only putting them one when called to bail out.  (Hence a big problem for the ball turret gunner).  Each of the thirteen 50 caliber guns would fire at a rate of 13 rounds per second, but they only carried enough ammunition for one minute of continous fire.  This was done as a weigh saving measure so they could carry more bombs.  The crew consisted of ten men adding to the crowded conditions.  Of the 12,732 B-17's built, today the are about a dozen still flying.  During the war, 1/3 of the planes were shot down, 1/3 were destroyed in accidents, and 1/3 survived.  At the end of the war the amount of casualties from the B-17 missions were stagering, in fact the life expectancy for a B-17 crew was 14 missions that was how dangerous it was.You can read more about the B-17 HERE.

Also on display at the museum is one of the first 707 Air Force One's and a supersonic Concorde, both of which you can go inside and look around.

For a change of pace, the next day we drove to Tacoma and paid a visit to the Museum of Glass.  Cathie and I have a modest collection of blow art glass so a visit here was a must.  We can only hope for a lottery win so we could possess some of the masterpieces found  here.


Besides the collection of works of art, the museum has a "Hot Shop" where you can watch artists creating all kinds of different objects.  A docents explain what is happening as  you watch a work of art created.  You can watch the artist live on this LINK.  We spent about an hour watching in person.


The next 3 photographs are of the Chihuly Bridge of Glass.   Dale Chihuly is a renowned glass blower and the works displayed on the bridge are all made by him.

We stopped for lunch nearby at the Rock the Dock Pub where we enjoyed the food as well as the view of Mt Rainier.

We finished off the day with a visit to the Snoqualmie Falls which as it turns out was just a couple of miles from our camp in Carnation.

We left Seattle and headed south to Portland where we paid a visit to our old friends Dave and Linda.  The first night we went out to dinner but optied for a BBQ at Dave's and Lindia's for our second night.  We hadn't seen them in about 10 years so it was great to catch up on the latest.  Dave promised to pay a visit to San Diego this winter.

While in the Portland area we checked out  a couple of the falls in the Columbia Gorge.


We are currently in Reno and this is where the "hot" in the title comes in to play.  98 degrees today and the same expected tomorrow.  A big change from all the rain eailer in the trip.  Probably not much acess to Internet for the rest of the trip, so the final chapter won't appear until after we arrive home in 10 to 14 days.

Till then............... 

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