We stopped at this Pacific Northwest Bakery chain while waiting to meet some friends. It had some tasty chai and great cross buns for the Easter holiday season. It was originally created by Gwen Bassetti at Seattle’s historic Pioneer Square, locally owned chain dedicated to artisan baking. An assortment of breads, baked goods, sandwiches, soups, teas, coffees, and juices can be found here. Her original sandwich start started in Seattle’s newly refurbished Grand Central Hotel Building where it changed names from Gwen’s roadside farm stand on Lopez Island in the 60’s to the Grand Central Bakery in 1989. Famous for her Como loaves. Rating: 4 stars out of 5
One of the largest mountains in North America, Mount Rainier, otherwise known as Mount Tacoma is the highest mountain in the Cascade Range and is an active strato-volcano, also being one of the most dangerous volcanoes in existence. Because of its threat, it is listed on the Decade Volcano list as one of the world’s most dangerous threats. The amount of glacial ice on the volcano could produce massive lahars when she erupts that could destroy the entire Puyallup River valley and destroy Seattle. It is located only 54 miles south-southeast of Seattle that hosts over 3.7 million inhabitants in its area. Mythically, Rainier was known by local tribes as the Goddess “Talol” (Tahoma/Tacoma) as the “Mother of Waters” or “Larger than Mount Baker”. “Rainier” was given by the adventurer navigator George Vancouver to honor his friend Rear Admiral Peter Rainier and was listed on the Lewis & Clark expedition map as “Mt. Regniere”. A national park was established to encompass it as a forest reserve. She can be seen as far away as Corvallis Oregon or Victoria British Columbia on a clear day. There are over 26 major glaciers and 36 square miles of permanent snowfields / glaciers atop Mount Rainier and is the most heavily glaciated peak in the lower 48 states. The summit hosts two volcanic craters, each over 1,000 feet in diameter with the larger east one overlapping the west crater. The craters are free of snow and ice due to the geo-thermal heat coming from within the volcano, forming the world’s largest volcanic glacier cave network within the ice-filled craters and hosting over 2 miles of passages. Mount Rainier start the heads of the Carbon, Mowich, Nisqually, Cowlitz, and Puyallup fed from the glaciers, while other fed glaciers create the White River. Most empty into Puget Sound and the Columbia River. There are three major summits atop Mount Rainier, most notably Columbia Crest, Point Success, and Success Cleaver. The mountain is made up of lava flows, debris flows, and pyroclastic ejecta and flows from past eruptions. The earliest deposits are over 840,000 yeaers old with the current cone being over 500,000 years old. Most of the geological composition is andesite. Past lahars and lava flows had reached Puget Sound in the the past as recent as 5,000 years ago during a major collapse. Her most recent eruptions were between 1820 and 1854, though eruptive activity took place also in 1858, 1870, 1879, 1882, and 1894. She is ready for a major eruption anytime now. She is part of the eastern rim of the Pacific Ring of Fire, nestled with other active volcanoes in the east such as Mount Shasta, Lassen Peak, Crater Lake, Three Sisters, Mount Hood, Mount Saint Helens, Mount Adams, Glacier Peak, Mount Baker, Mount Cayley, Garibaldi, Silverthrone, and Mount Meager. Rainier has up to 5 earthquakes recorded monthly near its summit with swarms of 5-10 shallow earthquakes taking place every 2-3 days from time to time below the summit.
Days Inn – Federal Way 34827 Pacific Hwy S, Federal Way, WA 98003– Federal Way, Tacoma-Seattle, Washington
Right near the King County Aquatic Center, WIld Waves Theme Park, and close proximity to the Sea-Tac Airport, the Days inn at Federal Way is a comfortable rest stop off Interstate 5. The hotel offers a free continental breakfast, parking, free wi-fi, and late checkout. It is across the street from a shopping area with sushi, fast food, and other shops. The hotel also has a 24-hour business center, free coffee/tea, and a 24 hour front desk. There are approximately 54 rooms in the hotel all with wifi, coffee makers, free local calls, ironing boards, desks, and TV with satellite. We enjoyed our stay for two nights. It was a rest away from home well needed. Rated 4 stars out of 5.
Seattle, Washingtona.k.a. “The Emerald City” (due to the lush evergreen trees in the area and to pull attention away from its other name “The Rainy City”. It’s a gateway to Alaska, The Queen City, The Jet City. 2006: Population – 578,700 with a metropolitan population of 3.8 million
Believed to be the birthplace to grunge music, reputation for being the largest coffee consumption city, birthplace for Starbucks and Seattle’s Best, and Tully’s. Seattle has the highest percentage of college graduates in the U.S., and home to one of the U.S. largest gay populations. The true town of “Boom” or “Bust”. It thrived and demised on its big booms … the lumber industry boom in its beginnings, till it burnt down. THe Panic of 1893. The Klondike Gold rush 1897, until it went bust. The ship building boom. The Boeing boom. The Microsoft boom. the .dotcom boom. Inhabited by nomads and tribes for 4,000 years – since the end of the glacial period (c. 8,000 BC – 10,000 years ago); First inhabited by the Duwamish Tribe with some 13 villages in the area of what is Seattle today as the first recorded inhabitation in 1850’s. Then the Denny party moved in 1851 to Alki beach and started the foundations of Seattle. Of course, there was a reason the native tribes did not inhabit that area, and they quickly felt the wrath of the area and decided to move to Elliot Bay where downtown Seattle now sits. A fellow named “Doc Maynard” moved in just south of the Denny’s. The area was first called “Mud Flats” because they chose to build the city of Seattle on top of mud flats. Little did they plan or organize, not knowing the tides, and the severe flooding that constantly took place on the space that they chose. So from the lumber industry boom, just kept filling in the streets with dirt, rock, and sawdust. The roads became quicksand. For 25 years. They continued with the lumbering and shipping the wood to San Francisco. Henry Yesler moved in and brought the first steam sawmill to the region. Struggling with the flooding, and battles with the Native Americans, it was a difficult city to live in. Prostitution, liquor, gambling, opium dens, etc. became prevalent in the downtown area. Rivalry with its sister city Tacoma also made competition tough. 1873 the Railway chose Tacoma over Seattle making times difficult. The railway didn’t hit Seattle till 1884. It wasn’t till 1906 before Seattle got a major rail passenger terminal. Seattle was often lawless and had a corrupt mayor. Lynch law was prevalent, schools barely operated, and indoor plumbing was a nightmare. Those who lived on the hills ran their sewage down into the downtown area in hollowed out wooden tubes, with current drifts from Tacoma, and dumping into the Bay, with tides and what-not, it all cess-pooled in the original Skid Row, that is now downtown Seattle. Sewage came in with the tides. The mudflat base kept making potholes throughout the city, regardless of how much they filled them with dirt and sawdust. When one pothole became so large a boy drowned in it, the city realized they had to face this problem as the pothole became 8 feet deep. The Great Seattle Fire of 1889 pretty much burnt down the entire city. Starting in a glue factory, spreading to a paint factory, then to a warehouse holding explosives and gunpowder, during low tide with no fire trucks and means to fight the fire, the city was essentially demolished burning 29 city blocks. The city rebuilt, replacing the wooden ash structure piles with brick and mortar – requiring a building code to mandate that. The city was renamed to “Seattle” – named after “Chief Noah Sealth” who was chief of the two tribes living in the area – anglicized to “Seattle”. Within a year after the fire, the population grew from 25,000 to 40,000. Mainly from the large amounts of construction jobs created from the fire. While rebuilding the city, they filled in the mudflats, and built a waffle-iron effect of a city in the downtown area. Building on top of buildings, levels, and layers – causing many new problems. This is why Seattle has an underground labyrinth of mazes. (which I’ll write about later) Now a booming city of technology and industry, a fascinating place to visit, with arts, culture, music, and business opportunities galore. The largest city in the Pacific Northwest, located in the United States, in Washington, between Puget Sound and Lake Washington. Nearly 108 miles south of the US-Canadian border, in King County.