Welcome new Rebels!
The FIRST South Puget Sound Community College (SPSCC) “How to be a Rebel by Bus” class occurred this past Thursday and Saturday. What a fantastic group of adventure seekers!
The 1 ½ hour Thursday evening session introduced the group to bus riding basics and tips, including how to read a bus schedule and information about the “Regional Reduced Fare Permit” (see note below**). The group then chose one of three possible bus trips to take for their Saturday field trip….the West Seattle taxi was their choice.
Nine apprentice Rebels met at the Martin Way Park and Ride on Saturday, departing at 9:20 am. We transferred to Sound Transit bus 594 at the Lakewood Highway 512 Park and Ride, and departed the bus at 11:15 at 4th and Jackson by the King Street train station in Seattle. The group walked a few blocks west (towards Elliott Bay) to Occidental Park. A few of the group had called ahead to the Central Bakery to order a sack lunch. Many of us ate our sack lunch at the lovely Waterfall Garden, across the Occidental Park plaza at 219 2nd Avenue. This pocket park is the original location of Jim Casey’s United Parcel Service (UPS). The surrounding building is painted in the UPS trademark chocolate brown.
At noon we gathered back at Occidental Park, walking two blocks west on Washington Avenue towards Elliott Bay. We then walked one block north to Yesler, where we crossed Alaskan Way and Pier 50, the dock for the Water Taxi service to West Seattle. The cash adult fare is $4.00 each way. There are two vending machines on the dock that take only credit or debit cards. Cash or ORCA card passengers pay as the boat is loading.
**Most of the Rebels were eligible for the “Regional Reduced Fare Permit” (RRFP) for riders age 65 and older. The permit allows the card holder to pay HALF of the adult fare for public transportation in most of the transit systems in the Puget Sound area. The permit is $3.00, and can be purchased at the downtown Olympia Transit Center. What a deal. The card holding Rebels saved more than double their $3.00 investment in this one trip!
The ten minute crossing was a taste of a perfect Seattle summer afternoon… the sun had come out; the Seattle skyline was shining. The 77 foot Rachel Marie docked unusual pokies and puffies galleries at Seacrest Park, where we caught the free Metro shuttle van (route 775) after a few minutes wait. This route goes up Admiral Way and back to Alki Avenue at 63rd. Directly across Alki from the bus stop is a monument commemorating the landing of the Denny party, the original Seattle colonists, in November 1851. From the monument, most of us walked several blocks west to the 1913 Alki Point Lighthouse. During the summer, the lighthouse property is open to the public on Saturday and Sunday afternoons. For more historical information about this operational lighthouse, see www.lighthousefriends.com
After the informative tour, the group strolled along Alki Avenue until we came to an inviting ice cream store. After enjoying our ice cream, a few Rebels waited for the Metro shuttle van (the shuttle will stop at any of the many Metro bus stops along Alki; just flag them down) to take them back to Seacrest Park. The rest of us walked the (approximate) 2 ½ miles.
We boarded the 4:00 water taxi, which wove past a fully loaded container ship heading out to sea. Once we docked, several minutes past our expected time, we had a hustle up Yesler to the 2nd Avenue extension bus stop. At that intersection, I saw that our bus was ready to cross the intersection. I ran down the next two blocks, barely getting there in time to tell the driver that ten passengers needed to board. We made it!
The trip back home was uneventful. The traffic was light, so we arrived back to the Martin Way Park and Ride as predicted; at 6:20 pm. My pedometer showed that we had walked over 12,000 steps… no wonder my feet were tired!
This inaugural group of Rebels are now bus enthusiasts. On the way home they compared notes and talked about what trips they will try on their own. Some of the Rebels have (or will) sign up for upcoming Rebel day trips, through SPSCC’s continuing education program (www.hawksprairie.org) Summer trips include Lake Quinault Lodge (August 15th) and the Klondike National Historic Park (August 21st). The “How to be a Rebel by Bus” class and additional day trips will be offered by SPSCC this fall.
Specific instructions (bus routes and time) for this trip are found as “Seattle Water Taxi Directions”, located on the far left column of the blog’s home page. Come join the fun!