Seattle to Tacoma - The Subduction of Seaweed John - CycleBlaze

September 3, 2014

Seattle to Tacoma

Island hopping down the Puget Sound

I have ridden between Seattle to Tacoma many time, having lived in both cities.  Both cities have changed.  I find some friends have moved on and others have past on each time I visit, making each journey an exploration of the interior view of life.

The bike route is simple, so please pay attention.  There are two ferries sailing to Vashon Island from Seattle.  There is a rush hour passenger ferry that leaves from the downtown dock near the Victoria Clipper, which sails to Victoria, BC.  Bicycles, unboxed, are allowed on both Vashon ferries. But today it is the auto ferry we are taking.  Following my map you will see the Fontleroy, Vashon Ferry leave from West Seattle just south of Lincoln Park. The bike route over the Duwamish waterway is tricky and construction can change the route.  Best go to Google Maps for the details.  It is not a hard ride from downtown Seattle and you get to go through some of the older residential sections of town.

I was taken aback but not really surprised by now that an armed, uniformed, body armored human was standing on the car deck. He shouted in a military tone something unintelligent to me as I rode the Flyer to the bow of the ferry.

One bike related item to remember in general when boarding a ferry is to shift to your lowest gear before securing your bike.  Docks and piers are expensive to build and ships have deep keels.  So ferry boat docks are built where the water is deep close to shore, which often means steep cliffs to climb with cold legs when rushing first off the ferry in front of distracted and hurried driver. 

Vashon is an island suburb of Seattle with lots of places to attract tourists, but no place to camp.  The upper middle class inhabitants don’t like overnight visitors.  The ride is quite steep coming off the ferry up to the ridge of the island but the rest of the way to the south end is pretty gentle.  There are several good places to eat, plus a high end grocery store in town.  My favorite restaurant Sound Foods appeared to be closed but perhaps to be reopened.

You pay to get onto Vashon ferry in Seattle but the ferry to Tacoma is free getting off island.  Lunch of course had to be taken at the Antique Sandwich Company in the historic smelter town Ruston (now part of Tacoma).  The Antique is owned and run by long, long time friends, Dick and Tammy.  They were among the first pioneers of the Fair Trade movement and there are fascinating items from all over the world for sale and others just for viewing as one dines of wholesome and delicious food.  

Still riding down memory lane I arrived at Marty and Mike’s home just a few blocks from our old house in Tacoma.  But Marty and Mike go back a long, long way before we lived in Tacoma.  All the way back to Hawai`i in the 1960s.  A time of great surf, peace and social protest, and general turmoil.  Garden fresh most everything on their table and a lot of catching up on family. Now not just children but also grandchildren.

Seattle waterfront and Elliot Bay with Mount Rainier in the background.
Heart 0 Comment 0
Fisherman's Harbor, Seattle. Many of the Alaska commercial fish boats winter in Seattle and Tacoma
Heart 0 Comment 0
Bridge to West Seattle and the ferry dock to Vashon Island.
Heart 0 Comment 0
Heart 1 Comment 0
Heart 0 Comment 0
The ferry to Tacoma was more relaxed with few passengers.
Heart 0 Comment 0
Riding south on Vashon Island.
Heart 0 Comment 0

For those who are wondering how I veered so far off my planned route, I can only answer I needed to be in the company of friends, old friends.

Today's ride: 73 km (45 miles)
Total: 615 km (382 miles)

Rate this entry's writing Heart 2
Comment on this entry Comment 0