Rebels By Bus

Slow Travel With Low Carbon Footprint

Welcome to Rebels By Bus!

Follow our on-the-bus adventures around the greater Puget Sound area–from simple one-bus trips to complex ones using several transit systems around the Olympic Peninsula.

Use our “search” tool (on top of the column on the right) to find your next trip.

Gail Johnson and Mary Williams

Spring Rebels by Bus adventures

There are still lots of seats left on the bus for three upcoming Rebels by Bus Adventures.
The Spring line up is:
madison parkMay 12th: Madison Park neighborhood of Seattle and the University of Washington Arboretum. The rhodos will be in their full glory. Madison Park includes Lake Washington shorefront, as well as delightful small shops and restaurants. And let’s NOT forget Café Flora, which is a delightful (and delicious) restaurant on East Madison, close to the Arboretum.

snohomish town

May 29th:  City of Snohomish  Snohomish is a small town known for antique stores, and only a short distance from Everett.  The town has lots of shops to browse, and a lovely riverwalk on the edge of the commercial district.  There is also a self-guided walking tour to see the lovely historic homes in town.  snohomish river walk

June 11th:  Gig Harbor

I think there’s a water theme going on this quarter… Gig Harbor is a beautiful town set snug in a small harbor.  There is a walk along the harbor, taking you to many little shops and restaurants, as well as spots to stop and enjoy the water and views of Mt. Rainier.

gig harbor rainer Each of these escorted trips cost $25.  To sign up, contact South Puget Sound Community College at 360-596-5753 or


Abby Williams Hill, landscape artist

CAT109_abbyHill_img1Abby Williams Hill (1861-1943) was an artist and social activist who arrived in Seattle the same year Washington became a state (1889).  She and her physician husband lived in Tacoma, where she fell in love with the mountains.  Early in the century she was commissioned by railroad companies to paint scenery of the Pacific Northwest.  These large oil paintings were used to lure tourists (by train, of course) to witness the beauty of the area.

She never sold her paintings.  Her collection is now located at the University of Puget Sound (UPS), in Tacoma.  In addition to over a hundred oil paintings are diaries, mementoes of her travels, letters, and sketches.

abby williams hill archives UPSA group of Rebels and I were honored to meet with the Collection’s curator, Laura Edgar, to hear more about the extraordinary life and work of Abby Williams Hill.  We were also given the opportunity to view some of the amazing archive collection.

We started our trip from the Olympia Transit Center, exiting the bus on Pacific Avenue in Tacoma.  Our first stop was Harmon Brewery where we enjoyed lunch.  After lunch we had about 30 minutes to explore the immediate area, chihuly glass bridge tacomaincluding the University of Washington campus and the glass bridge which leads to the Museum of Glass.  The “Red Chinook” is chihuly red chinooka Dale Chihuly wonder which hangs in the University’s library reading room.  From downtown Tacoma we caught the free light rail “Link” on Pacific Avenue at Union Station.  We got off the LInk at 10th and Commerce, crossing the street to our bus stop on Commerce.  Our bus, Pierce Transit route 11, dropped us off in front of the UPS campus.

Dozens of Abby Williams Hill’s paintings are hanging for public viewing.  The Collins Library has several paintings, including the few portraits that Ms. Hill painted.  The portraits are of Native Americans, in their native clothing, which Ms. Hill believed their traditional clothing may disappear with time.  Her magnificent landscapes and three charming botanicals are hanging in the main floor hallway of Jones Hall, the Administration building.

Don’t forget that specific directions for posted trips are found in the “Page” category of the RBB home page.  Look for “trip directions” in the right hand column.

Thanks to Vicki, one of the Rebels on this trip, for taking pictures of our adventure!

Christmas spirit and Seattle’s Benaroya Hall

benaroya organ

Monday, December 16th was the inaugural journey for the South Sound Senior Services  “Rebel by Bus” adventure.  The Rebels by Bus is an initiative encouraging people to use public transportation while seeking fun, low cost, and “green” adventures.   Mary Williams, Rebels by Bus originator, planned and lead this trip to the lovely Benaroya Hall in Seattle.  We had a delicious lunch at Wolfgang Puck’s counter at the Hall before listening to an amazing organ concert.  The (free!) concert featured holiday themed music by the Hall’s 4590 pipe organ.  A couple of the pieces were so powerful you felt you had to hang on to your seat!  Immediately after the concert the very enthusiastic Benaroya Docent manager told us about the Hall (did you know it sits on a series of rubber and steel layers?).  It truly is a magnificent building, which we appreciated all the more after hearing some of the interesting details. benaroya II


We left the hall just after 2:00 pm, dividing into two groups to further explore the city, or head back to our bus stop.  Four of us really enjoyed walking under the bright blue sky and feeling the Christmas spirit.  We visited the Fairmont Olympic Hotel to see their elegant tree and decorations in the foyer as well as the Teddy Bear Suite.  Next we walked a few blocks to the Sheraton Hotel, which hosts the annual Gingerbread Village.  The designs (and engineering feats) were spectacular.  Next we checked out the Nordstrom and Macy Christmas decorations (we preferred Nordstrom).  Our last, but not least, stop was at the Macy’s corner window at 4th and Stewart which features a magical train village.  If you place your hands on the “mittens” on the window, you make the train run!  We all exclaimed that it had been years since we walked around Seattle at Christmas time.  What fun…


We strolled the last few blocks to our bus stop at Lenora and 4th.  The bus was right on schedule.  Unfortunately, by the time we reached Tacoma we were stuck in a total traffic jam due to the freeway shutdown.  Instead of getting back to Olympia before 6, we arrived at 9:00 pm.  We felt like family (one group decided we should have a reunion) by the end of the evening!


What a wonderful group of adventure seekers…all who are now Rebels by Bus!

Overdue trip directions

rbb_100_sq (100x100)It’s been awhile since I have posted anything on RBB… time seems to get occupied by things OTHER than blog postings!  The RBB trips through SPSCC continue to be well received.  It’s so gratifying to see new Rebels evolve into strong public transit advocates.  I love it!

I’ve added the specific trip directions for the last two RBB trips:  Chinatown/International District in Seattle, as well as MOHAI (Museum of History and Industry) in Seattle.

The last RBB trip ruined our perfect weather record.  It did rain (and blow) on our last short trek from the South Lake Union streetcar Westlake hub stop to our bus stop.  We didn’t get tooooo wet, and we had only a short wait for our warm bus.

I’ll be leading an RBB trip with the South Sound Senior Center in mid December.  We’ll be travelling to Seattle for the free organ recital (and tour) of the beautiful Benaroya Hall, home to the Seattle Symphony.  We’ll also have time to see the area’s Christmas displays.

The SPSCC sponsored trips start up again after the first of the year… on tap is Seattle Art Museum (Miro’ exhibit), Benaroya Hall organ recital, Bellevue (shopping) Collection, and Theler wetlands in Belfair.  Check out the catalog at

I do believe it’s time for another adventure!


rbb_100_sq (100x100)Stephanie R. is today’s guest blogger…an experienced Rebels by Bus adventure seeker!  I love having other Rebels write about their experiences.  You, too, can be a guest blogger!  Thanks, Stephanie!


Have you seen the poster that reads, “I do believe it’s time for another adventure?”  That’s exactly how I feel whenever I have been on a ‘Rebels by Bus’ field trip.  This time I went to “Seattle to Bainbridge Island via Ferry.”

We met at the Martin Way Park & Ride in Lacey to catch a bus to Lakewood and then transferred to another bus, which took us into Seattle.

Once we arrived in Seattle, we walked through a part of Pioneer Square that I hadn’t seen in a long time.  That is one benefit to taking public transportation…seeing different areas that you normally do not see.

We reached Pier 50 to take the Bainbridge Island ferry to Winslow.  What a great view of the city of Seattle!  I spent the ride over to Bainbridge Island reading the newspaper and free tourist information that was available on the ferry.  So many places to explore!

We spent several hours on the Island.  I ate a quick, but tasty, lunch at Town & Country Market as soon as I arrived in town.  It was fun to walk the streets of Winslow to visit the many shops that were open.  I enjoyed looking in the art galleries, perusing books at the bookstore, and even found a few gifts in several of the unique shops.  I treated myself to a dish of Dark Chocolate Mint ice cream at Mora Iced Creamery.  Delicious!

All too soon, it was time for the return ferry ride to Seattle. This time it was fun to visit with other “Rebels” as we relaxed in our seats, before taking the Sounder Train and another bus back to Lacey.

I didn’t travel too far from home, but I had seen beautiful scenery, met new people, and visited interesting places.  I had an adventure!

Perfect record stands!

rbb_100_sq (100x100)Yup; the Rebels perfect record stands… ALL of the Rebels trip have not been rained upon.  No, we haven’t had sunshine and blue sky every time, BUT… no rain?!  I should clarify; twice the rain fell, but only when we were safely under the bus shelter (at Pt. Defiance, on our way home from Vashon Island) and when we were nearing the Martin Way Park and Ride coming from the Salish Lodge trip.  That rain storm brought a beautiful bright rainbow, which we could all enjoy because we left the driving to the professionals!

Last week the Rebels went to Bainbridge Island and the lovely town of Winslow.  Even on a ferry trim adjgray day the ferry ride from downtown Seattle Cialis 10mg to Winslow is special.  The Bainbridge Island Museum of Art (BIMA) is now open; it’s free!  Directly behind the BIMA is the Kids Discovery Museum.  A block from the BIMA (along Winslow Way and up to the right on Ericksen Avenue) is the Bainbridge Island Historical Museum.  The current exhibit featured Ansel Adams’ portraits of Japanese Bainbridge Islanders who were interned at Manzanar during World War II.  This museum is packed with Island archives; a dreamland for historical researchers.

This year the return trip included the Sounder train from Seattle’s King Street Station to the Lakewood Station.  Specific details (where, when, what, how much…) of this trip are included in the “trip directions” found under “pages” in the right hand column of the RBB home page.


Salish Lodge & Snoqualmie

snoqualamie fallsThis past week another group of new Rebels discovered the fun and ease of using public transportation. We took four buses to get to the iconic Salish (Snoqualmie) Lodge in the lovely town of Snoqualmie. Highlights of the trip included good weather, great on tap root beer and gumbo at the Snoqualmie Falls brewery, the hardware/gift store on Falls Avenue, and the walk from the Salish Lodge past the rescued train cars. snoqualamie trains and trail

Each and every connection was smooth; no more than a 10 minute wait until the next bus. On the return trip, we took the Sounder train between Seattle and the Lakewood Station. For details of this trip, go to “trip directions”, in the right hand column of the RBB home page.

SIX new Rebels by Bus adventures





The fall catalogue for South Puget Sound Community College continuing education classes is out.  If you didn’t get one in the mail about a week ago, look for it around town.  The front cover of the catalogue depicts an exuberant woman, arms wide open, walking through beautiful fall leaves.  She must be on her way to a Rebels by Bus adventure!?

SIX trips (two per month) will be offered.  Following is the link to all six trips, plus one “How to be a Rebel by Bus” classroom experience.

Easy Trip to Tacoma

chihuly red chinook

    This past week I took the bus to Tacoma… met a friend for lunch and went to the Tacoma Art Museum. I caught the Intercity Transit 605 bus from the Martin Way Park and Ride at 9:20, arriving in Tacoma on Pacific Avenue right in front of the State History Museum. I crossed Pacific Avenue to the University of Washington campus. I followed the campus walking tour (on line at to the Library building, which is the restored Snoqualmie Falls Power Company Transformer House. Take a left once inside the front door, then take the stairs to your left following the sign to the Chihuly “Chinook Red” chandelier. This huge (seven feet wide and 19 feet long) chandelier was created in 1999. It has more than 900 pieces, and weighs 1,500 pounds. The tower where the chandelier is sited is a reading room, complete with a huge round study table and a few more comfortable chairs. What a great space for quiet reflection! The campus walking tour highlights the many restored buildings on campus, as well as the art found throughout this lovely urban campus.

tacoma art museum

        The Art Museum is one block north of the U of W campus, across Pacific Avenue.
        I REALLY liked one of the exhibits; watercolors by Vanessa Helder. There was also an exhibit of portraits, including two by Renoir. I picked up a “Chihuly Glass in Tacoma” brochure at the Museum which had a map showing 13 locations of Chihuly glass in Tacoma. A self-guided cell phone tour is available at 888-411-4220. A podcast of the tour is available at

From the Art Museum, I crossed Pacific and walked north and west one block to Commerce. I caught the free light link at the Convention Center/15th stop, which took me to the “end of the line” at 9th Avenue. Yes, I certainly could have walked, but the (free) Light Link is so fun!
I walked north along Commerce. The old Elks building is on the left. McMennamins has purchased this long-neglected building. It will be Generic Levitra great to see this building (and block) re-vitalized! I used the stairway along the side of the Elks/McMennamins to take me UP to Broadway. I walked north along Broadway for a few blocks, then headed UPPPPP hill to St. Helens. Again, turning north (right) up St. Helens to Laura’s Bayview Bar and Grill, where I met a friend for lunch. Laura’s is known to have the BEST fish and chips in town (it’s true!)

Across the street from Laura’s is Kings Bookstore; the Powell’s of Tacoma. Kings is primarily a used bookstore; offering a huge variety of books. You most likely will find what you’re looking for, even if you don’t know WHAT you’re looking for!


        A few blocks west of St. Helens is the lovely Wright Park. The conservatory is worth a visit, which requests a small donation. The park was bustling with screams of delight from kids playing in the new large water feature, the “sprayground”.

From here I took a leisurely (downhill!) stroll back to Broadway. Along the way I stopped to window shop. I went inside the wonderful Giraffe fair trade store (also located in Vashon), which has a wonderful selection of home accents and accessories. Further down Broadway (1100 block) is The American Art Company. The gallery is known for featuring pastel artists. The current exhibit of pastel landscapes was exceptional.

I continued my stroll down Broadway, past the Murano hotel and Convention Center back to Pacific Avenue. Having time before my bus, I crossed Pacific to the Anthem Coffee shop, which shares an outdoor breezeway with the State History Museum. My iced coffee was perfect for the warm afternoon. Anthem also serves wine and beer, and brings in music on a regular basis.

The Intercity Transit bus 605 reaches the U of W campus stop on Pacific at about 3:15.

This trip got me excited about the RBB adventure on October 17th to Tacoma’s ArtMingle. Check out the description in SPSCC fall catalogue.

Hope you can join me for this Rebels by Bus Adventure!

NEW adventures await…

rbb_100_sq (100x100)spscclogo1The fall RBB adventures through SPSCC are listed in the following link…
REALLY fun line-up… TWO trips per month!
Salish Lodge and Snoqualmie, Seattle Center, Tacoma ArtMingle, Bainbridge Island, Seattle Chinatown, and Seattle’s Museum of History and Industry.