Sunday, July 15, 2012

Journey To Alaska: Eight Hour Seattle Layover

Crabs at the Pike Place market
 After our first stop in Las Vegas, we landed in Seattle, Washington where we had an eight hour layover. We wanted to have a chance to see at least a portion of Seattle since it has been a childhood dream of mine to visit there...especially Kurt Cobain's House. We rented a car for $30 (surely cheaper than a cab ride into the city) and headed downtown toward the number one tourist hotspot in the cty, the Public Market at Pike Place. We mainly wanted a bite to eat, a glimpse at the first Starbucks location, and to see if we could find this banjo busker from Rochester. We ate, got Seattle's Best coffee, took a few snapshots, then split this scene to head north toward Discovery Park and hopefully Kurt Cobain's house.

About 10 miles north we arrived at Discovery Park, a Frederick Law Olmsted designed park. One who's designs you become quite accustomed to growing up in the Buffalo area. It became very apparent that we were in the Pacific Southwest Rainforest. The lush landscape was easily detected looking below at the tall pine forests while flying into the airport. Now that we were in it, we became enveloped in towering mixed forests, dripping moss and lichens, neck high ferns, and a tinge of the briny sea that lay beyond Puget Sound to the west...and a new environment to scope out some Western birds that we will probably never see in New York State. We did tally up a hand full of life birds to our list on our brief visit to Seattle including Northwestern Crows, Pacific-slope Flycatchers, Anna's Hummingbirds, Violet-green Swallows and a few others that escape me at this time. Guess I will have to check to check the lists.


Sweet Pea
A quick stop down at the Fisherman's Terminal yielded us good views of Glaucous-winged Gulls, some fishing boats and other items you do not typically see down at the Wilson Boat Harbor on Lake Ontario. We never did make it to Kurt Cobain's house. Once we got to the park, we just couldn't bring ourselves to leave such a lovely oasis. After that, it was back to the airport for our third leg of our journey to Alaska.