Seattle to Newport, OR
For Selma it was another night without sleep, and the jinx of “Sleepless in Seattle” was starting to get a bit annoying. But a calming chat with her girlfriend back home helped her get through the night. And as the sun got up, she started plotting the route to some of the first attractions of the day
Today was the start of the road trip for real, and we were driving south towards the Oregon coast. But first, we wanted to check out a few things before leaving Seattle.
Selma&Louis posing with the car before take-off in Seattle
First stop was the Lake View Cemetery, where Bruce and Brandon Lee are buried. It is located near Capitol Hill in Seattle, just a few miles away from the hotel. It was a really nice neighborhood, which only added to our good impression of Seattle. We started strolling the paths, looking for the burial spots. We’d seen pictures of them online a long time ago, but couldn’t really remember exactly what the location looked like. So after a while, we realized we had to ask someone. A guy was mowing the grass, and as Louis approached him he killed the engine and asked “Bruce Lee?”. Guess he gets asked about that all the time. He pointed us in the right directions, and we had time to pay homage to the megastar of martial arts and his son (who was an up and coming star when he died in an on-set accident) before a busload of school kids arrived to do the same.
Louis taking pictures of the gravestones of Bruce and Brandon Lee
Then we went downtown to find an AmTrak station to pick up tickets for our train ride from Grand Junction, CO to Chicago. Selma went inside while Louis kept the car rolling (parking spaces were hard to find). The lady behind the counter had the challenge of her day as Selma spelled out Louis’s real name (Selma’s name was on her ID), and Selma hadn’t had time to check the final details for the train ride - and crossed her fingers, hoping she got the right tickets. The station was located right next to the Qwest and Safeco fields, so we got to take a quick look at those as well - before we hit the highway towards Portland, Oregon.
Safeco Field, Seattle
Our first stop was Centralia, halfway between Seattle and Portland, where we spent an hour in some of the outlet stores located along the highway. Louis picked up some clothes and a big suitcase, while Selma got a bag - and some Melatonin pills to help with the jet lag and insomnia. We grabbed some food and stored up on water before hitting the road again.
The sun was still shining, and it was even warmer than the day before - so the air conditioning in the car was working full speed. We passed a few minor accidents, a highway patrol officer taking a sobriety test on a guy who seemed to had had an encounter with the divider and a car with smoke coming out of the hood. We experienced some congestion, but the driving still went rather smoothly.
Fire engine coming to the rescue
Selma insisted on going into Portland to find CameraWorld, where she had planned to pick up a new wide angle lens, a polarizing filter and some other stuff for her camera. Louis was reluctant, as the traffic through town was heavy - and Selma had forgotten to do her homework before we left the hotel, so the carefully noted address of the CameraWorld store was unreachable without Internet access. But a stop at a gas station got us on track - the lady behind the counter had no clue, but two helpful customers were eager to give directions. We found the store and got inside - half an hour before closing time. There we were helped by two really nice guys, who gave us good advice about the camera equipment as well as the route further south. Selma bought a Tamron 11-18mm wide angle lens, UV- and polarizing filters and a cleansing kit, while Louis picked up a new Sigma 70-300mm lens, UV filter, two memory cards, a tripod and a cleansing cloth. Guess it was well worth stopping by after all .
Selma testing her new wide angle lense inside of the CameraWorld store
The guys at CameraWorld offered to give us validation for free parking, so we could hang out in Portland for a while. The town seemed really, really nice, and was probably well worth taking a closer look at, but we were eager to get out to the Oregon coast (especially after they had encouraged us to go for that route) and got right back into the car.
We headed west for the coast, and as the sun was starting to set, we stopped to fill up the tank for the first time. Louis chatted with the gas station attendant, while Selma started photographing the gas station in the evening light. Right next to the station was a really creepy shack. And to get us in the right mood, in the middle of the road a snake was splashed to the ground. Perfect place for a photo shoot! Louis went and got his microphone in the car and started posing. And all of a sudden we heard a shriek that cut into our souls and scared the crap out of us. We never saw what made the sound - it was accompanied by some rumbling in some bushes on the side of the shack. We chose to believe it was a cat, but felt a sudden urge to get back into the car - and fast.
Louis outside the scary shack
It was getting dark, and the first town we were to reach on the coast, Lincoln City, is supposedly the ugliest town in all of Oregon. So we decided to continue a bit further south, to Newport. We were both starting to get pretty tired, so as soon as we passed the town border we went straight for the first hotel we came across - the Best Western Agate Beach Inn. The room was $130 for the night, quite a bit more than we’ve planned to spend on lodging. But that’s just something we’ll have to accept for those days when we’re not sure how far we’ll reach - and thus are unable to book ahead.
As soon as they got into the room (a little before 10pm), Selma swallowed one of the Melatonine pills, slipped under the covers - and fell sound asleep. Finally.
(You can see even more pictures at Flickr - eventually.
But right now, the uploading tool isn’t cooperating… )