Day Zero

Time to upload my first round of pictures! After I got off the light rail in downtown Seattle, I needed to go to REI to get some fuel for my camp stove. It’s a good thing that I did, because my rear d√©railleur wasn’t shifting very smoothly. Two minutes on the bike stand and it was right as rain- I guess it was just a little bit out of whack after the flight.


It’s hard to explain just how huge the Seattle REI is. Apparently it’s their flagship store. The central staircase is above; the place is three stories tall. Each floor is huge. There’s a climbing wall at least 30 feet high, a small mountain bike path, a simulated hiking trail for trying boots, and a million accessories. Other than my required fuel, I only picked up one extra piece of gear while I was there: a spork. I resisted the temptation to finally get that titanium spork that’s been calling to me for as long as that’s been a thing. Instead, I picked a simple plastic one with a knife edge. It should see me through many nights.

After REI I rode to another part of town and saw Twilight.


Oh, did you think I meant a movie? No, it was a boat. There were historic wooden boats viewable from a park on the sound.


The Virginia V is a wooden steamer from the 1920s, with a three stage expansion engine that took the boat to about 10 knots while doing 150 RPM. I didn’t get to see the guys or hear it run, but I imagine that the sound of it would be a little bit like those old time railroads that you hear in movies… Chug chug chug chug!

Later in the afternoon I walked over to the Pike Place Market to see if I could find any provisions that were tasty, local, and/or of good value, when I stumbled upon the “gum wall”-


I don’t know if this is famous or what, but people have been sticking an awful lot of gum to this wall. It’s fairly nasty. Regardless, it is a thing. People stand in front of it for pictures, and they add their gum.



So I made it over to the market and did find an excellent deal on cherries! Maybe it’s just that you can’t get them year round, but I think they’re one of my favorite fruits.


Walking around I found more interesting things in the market. Example- fine herbs:


Ham for $80 per pound (note to my parents- research this stuff with regards to your field of nut trees!!)


Finally, I went to a less touristy store to find some real food for my first couple days out. These items cost about $3 each, and from left to right they contain about 1500, 1900, 1700, and 1200 calories. Per weight and per dollar, I think these are going to be good things to have in my bag.


I’m paying attention to this now because it seems like most of the bike touring websites and blogs I’ve been to have had some focus on food in that light. It makes sense- I’m aiming to keep my budget in check, and I’ll need to keep my body fueled. Hopefully these do the trick!

And now, as I am about to become a real live bicycle tourer, I will go study my map to figure out where to camp tomorrow!

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2 Responses to Day Zero

  1. mom says:

    Okay, so another less touristy spot you might find decent prices and good dehydrated foods is Target. We have found some good soups and casseroles that take minimal preparation. They also have lots of trail mix type stuff. I like Trader Joe’s for dried fruit, nuts and granola bars, but that is not a very common chain, certainly not as common as Target.

  2. dad says:

    $80 /LB ham- Yes, I’m aware of jamon ibirico. There is a bit of hype and marketing there, but these “free range” Spanish pigs have unique flavor and do eat acorns as a key part of the process. Our permaculture neighbor lets his pigs roam around his nut trees, so it is a similar diet. We may well try it ourselves after our trees are bearing, but only after building some good fencing.

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