Rebels By Bus

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Rebels Adventure: Benaroya Hall, Home of the Seattle Symphony

Yesterday was the last Rebel’s adventure for Winter quarter…another indication that Spring is coming!

Twelve eager travelers met at the Martin Way Park and Ride in Lacey at 9:00, where we talked about bus basics.  We boarded to Intercity Transit Bus 605 at 9:20, arriving at the Lakewood Highway 512 Park and Ride at 9:50.

The next leg of the journey was aboard Sound Transit 594, which we boarded at 10:08.  The traffic was light, since it was a holiday; so our bus arrived in Seattle a bit earlier than scheduled.  We got off the bus at 4th and Seneca at about 11:15.

The wind was brisk, but at least it wasn’t raining!  We crossed 4th Avenue, heading down the hill to 3rd Avenue.  Again, we crossed the street at Seneca, heading north to the corner of 3rd and University and the entrance to the our destination:  Benaroya Hall. 

Benaroya Hall is the home of the Seattle Symphony.  It takes up an entire city block; from 2nd to 3rd, and University to Union.  The large foyer of the hall has many small tables, as well as a Starbucks and Wolfgang Puck café counter.  Many of us bought a warm something to go with our sack lunches where to buy electronic cigarettes in murfreesboro tn.  We had a leisurely lunch, then entered the Hall just before the start of the 12:30 organ recital.

The huge 4,490 pipe organ fills the back of the stage.  For more information about the organ see:

Yesterday’s recital was entitled “Variations on a theme”.  The organist, Joseph Adams, spoke briefly about the composer and music before each part of the program.  Very interesting, as well as informative!

The (free!) organ recitals (and hall tours) take place six times a year, on Mondays at 12:30.  For a schedule of dates and recital themes, see:

Immediately after the recital, a docent told us about the Benaroya Hall (the design, acoustics, materials used) as well as the organ itself.

We excused ourselves at a break at 2:00, and headed one block downhill to 2nd Avenue, then south (left) to Seneca for one block to our bus stop.  Yes; we did cut it close… we waited only a few minutes for our 2:12 Sound Transit bus 594 to arrive.

Again, due to traffic we arrived at the Lakewood Park and Ride lot a bit before our scheduled time.  We caught the Intercity Transit bus 605 just after 3:30, arriving back at the Martin Way Park and Ride at 4:00 pm.

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.

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Taking advantage of our mild (so far) winter

We’ve recently had many more blue-sky days than usual…perfect for another bus adventure!

This past week I had a lovely day trip to Theler Wetlands, in Belfair (north Mason County).  Sam and Mary E. Theler moved to Belfair in 1926.  In the mid 1930’s they purchased 500 acres between Belfair and Allyn for $4,500 (!), which was subdivided into lots for housing.  The Theler’s generously gave land to the Belfair school, including the 75 acres where the Mary E. Theler Community Center and Wetlands trails are located.

This is an easy solo short day trip.  I caught the Mason Transit Bus (route 6) at the downtown Olympia Transit Center at 9:20.  The bus also makes stops at any of the bus shelters heading up Harrison Avenue towards Highway 101.  The cost is
$1.50 for adults (50 cents for age 65 and older).  This first leg of the trip takes you to the Shelton Civic Center, arriving about 10:10.  The next bus (Route 1) didn’t leave until 10:45, so I had plenty of time to walk a couple blocks to Sage Book store (116 W Railroad Ave # 102) for a short lattee.  Carolyn Olsen, long-time successful Shelton businesswoman, has created a wonderful atmosphere at Sage.  Regulars gather around a huge old oak table to tease and share stories.

The next leg of the trip (Route 1) was in a smaller van-type bus.  This route goes north on Highway 3, past Deer Creek, the Grapeview Loop (Stretch and Treasure Island are reached from this road), as well as Allyn.  The water was still and calm; riding the bus you are high enough to see things that you cannot see from a car or truck. Read the rest of this entry »

Seattle’s FREE Frye Art Museum

This past week we meet our new friends from Snohomish County at Seattle’s Frye Art Museum

The Frye Art Museum has been depicted as “The “old girl on Pill Hill” (at 704 Terry Avenue) is now “a chic young heiress whom everyone will want to date” (Art Guide Northwest, 1998).  This quote and other interesting history of the Frye are found through at:

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Beat the Heat! Trip to Westport

Westport is the quintessential northwest coastal village. Located on the Southside of the mouth of Grays Harbor, it sits across from Ocean Shores. The active fishing harbor with ample walkways is across the street from shops and restaurants. A lookout tower and a paved pathway through Westhaven State Park leading to the Westport Lighthouse, which was built in 1898, is at the end of Westhaven Drive.

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Beat the Heat! Trip to Ocean Shores

Weather is different on the coast. We left the 90-degree heat and sunny skies of Olympia to find the fog bank once we got near the Pacific Beach.  The air was cool but pleasant as we walked in the gray mist. Children were digging in the sand and sandpipers searched the shoreline for treats. As we were leaving, the fog started to lift and we could see blue sky.

 Ocean Shores is an easy 2-bus trip from Olympia.  We took the Gray’s Harbor Transit bus route 40 to Aberdeen’s transit station where we transferred to bus route 50. This bus goes through Hoquiam Station and then does a loop that goes through Moclips, Pacific Beach, Copalis Beach, Ocean City, North Beach Casino and Ocean Shores. Read the rest of this entry »

A gardener’s paradise in Woodinville

As Master Gardeners, Gail and I decided a trip to Woodinville was in order.  Our destination:  Molbaks, an extraordinary garden store and nursery. Besides the usual good things about traveling by bus, (gas and parking costs, I-5 anxiety, etc)  we wouldn’t be tempted to buy too many plants and other garden goodies!   

We decided to drive to the Lakewood station (Exit 125/Bridgeport Way) in order to give us more time options for our return trip.  Taking the 10:33 am Sound Transit 594 took us to downtown Seattle (4th and Union) by 11:55.  Gail used her ORCA card for the first time.  The ORCA card is so convenient… no digging up the correct cash and/or coins, and the card reader tells you the cash balance remaining on your card.  The ORCA card is the ONLY payment method that recognizes “transfers” if you ride more than one bus. Read the rest of this entry »

Walking the Labyrinth at Harmony Hill

Harmony Hill is perched just above the southern part of Hood Canal in Union. It is a retreat center started 25 years ago, growing from a small lodge to a campus with a large garden, greenhouse and meeting hall.  Its primary mission is to provide support for people with cancer and their caregivers through free retreats and workshops.  But it is a welcoming place for anyone who desires a tranquil place for reflection. There is an incredible sense of peace here. On a clear day, the Olympics dominate the sky above the water.

 We had been to Harmony Hill several times but this was our first trip by bus.  One of the things about this trip was our awareness of the different vantage point of bus travel. High up, we could see more of the scenery.  Read the rest of this entry »

Seattle’s Gold Rush History

 The Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park:  Tucked into the historic Cadillac Hotel in downtown Seattle is a national park that preserves the history of the Klondike Gold Rush.  Thousands hoping to get rich poured into Seattle in 1897 when gold was found in the Klondike, Yukon Territory, Canada. This is a great American story about the people and the journey but it also provides a sense of the history of Seattle, as it was at the end of the 19th century. As the main supplier of goods needed to meet the one-ton requirement (food and gear) to enter the gold rush territories, Seattle was transformed from a small waterfront city to a regional trade center.

The journey was rough. Some headed up the Chilkoot Trail while others headed up the White Pass out of Scagway. These were narrow passes over mountains that were impassible once the snow began.

The exhibits show pictures of the many people who embarked on that journey. They also have a sled loaded with a ton of food and gear, effectively translating a vague term like “ton” into something tangible. Looking at the pictures of the narrow trails over the mountains, it is not surprising that many did not make it with all their food intact. In fact, you can play the wheel of fortune to see likely you would be to come home with gold.

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