Monday, June 14, 2010

Backpacking - Northwest style

Seattle's "urban hive"

One of my history professors related an opinion one day in class that Oregon is a nineteenth-century state. The vast majority of its original Euro-American settlers arrived overland by foot and horse during that period. Consequentially the state's culture, politics, and architecture bear the imprint of that century. Washington State by contrast is a creature of the twentieth century. Most of its early generation settlers arrived via train during that time, and this is reflected in the scale of its industry and major city.

The Olympic Mountains and Puget Sound

Seattle is certainly a much more science-fiction looking town than Portland.

My super-secret 1920s Art Deco hotel. Cheap and just blocks away from the waterfront.

Leopard print carpet. Classy.

Day two: foraging for food

Monkfish: A tasty prehistoric monster from the deep!

A mini-pilgrimage to Seattle's Science Fiction Museum and Hall of Fame to get psyched for the Writer's of the Future awards ceremony and workshop.

The Norwegian/Swedish word for "heart." To me it feels rather clinical in this context. That or swarthy sea-going raiders ritualistically consecrate each condominium with a blood sacrifice. Either way, it's a good example of the influence left by many Scandinavian immigrants on this region.

Seattle's swanky main train station. Thankfully they are stripping away the low and nasty 1970s false ceiling to expose the ornate forty-feet-high original with its artwork.

This is my first spontaneous train/backpacking weekend since living in Germany. With school winding down it feels nice to actually have something of a life again.

Mt. Rainier as seen through Amtrak's dirty windows.

Portland's Union Station

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