Continuing on north and heading towards the northern edge of the lower 48, I passed through Seattle and got a chance to see my friends Matt and Julie. It was so nice to visit them along the way and such a blessing to be warmly welcomed to their home to spend the night. It’s always great to sleep in a normal home after spending lots of time on the road… Passing through Seattle, I would get a glimpse of what the city had to offer, and I would make a stop at what, for me, is practically my Mecca: The Flagship REI store in Seattle!! Woohoo!!!
When I got into Seattle, I headed straight for the REI downtown, eager to go visit a place I’ve dreamed of visiting for quite some time now. There’s a dedicated parking deck there you can park in and not have to pay at the meters along the street. Sweet. I parked in there and then started heading into the store… sorta.
Here’s the view of the store from the street. Notice anything weird? Where’s the door to get in!??
Now I’ve been to more than 20 REI’s all over the country, and I’ve never had a problem walking in the front door. I looked around this area, befuddled at why I couldn’t find the entrance, so I walked back in the parking deck thinking I’d missed it and nope, couldn’t find the entrance there either.
I had to ask a guy walking down the street where the entrance to the place was and he pointed me up the street, so I walked up and found that the street entrance is not a door. It’s a friggen’ forest!
Seriously. You gotta take a hiking trail to get in. Or, alternatively, you can take the bike trail in. See the sign that says hikers only? Yeah, there’s also a sign pointing out the trail for mountain bikers. How cool is that? You gotta hike in to the store! lol…
When you make your way in and head up the stairs, you’ll see a waterfall built in to the forest, on the right side of the pic, and you’ll see the entrance up on the far upper left corner of the image. Kinda hard to squeeze both the waterfall and the main entrance into the frame on my iPhone, so I kinda split the difference.
The inside of the REI here I found really tough to shoot for some reason, compositionally speaking, so I’ll use my words instead.
So the two biggest REI’s are the flagship stores in Seattle and Denver. The Seattle store is the main store, but the Denver one is actually bigger. I think the Seattle store does more volume of sales, but the Denver store is physically larger. The Seattle store has two floors, the Denver one three and a half. The Denver store has a pretty sizeable Starbucks built-in, and the Seattle store has a small restaurant and even a kid’s playground! The Seattle store has a hiking trail and biking trail leading up to the store, as well as a sort of nature sanctuary place, and the Denver store has a small park next to it featuring grassy areas to sit and a bridge over a river with whitewater rapids flowing through it, as well as a bike testing trail. I actually liked the Denver store more, but it was nice to finally visit the location where many of the items I had ordered online were shipped from. (I believe they’re adding a shipping location in Pennsylvania or New Jersey now though for east coast peeps.)
Now if you ever see postcard pictures of Seattle or look up scenic places to visit when you go to Seattle, chances are you’re gonna see Kerry Park. Having seen many photographers post photos from the park, I decided to go up as well and check the place out.
When you get up there, you basically find a long sidewalky park right along the street with a sweet view of downtown Seattle and Mt. Rainier in the background.
Now at this overlook, you’ll find plenty of people with cameras as you might imagine, and since you’re gonna be there for sunset and waiting as the light changes, there’s plenty of opportunity to meet people and have wonderful conversations, and so that’s exactly what I did!
As we got closer to sunset, I was ready to see what colorful display was in store for us this evening.
A nice swoopy cloud swished in overhead as the sun set in the sky and it caught some of the sunset glow as Mt. Rainier lit up in the distance. The city lights hadn’t turned on yet though. Oh well. At least we could see the mountain in the distance.
As the light continued to fade into the evening, there’s this certain point when the sky actually shows up as this beautiful blue and balances well with the city lights that are now turning on. Doesn’t the town look great with the lights on like this?
and with this evening coming to a close, it was time to continue on and keep going…