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15068 miles already?

June 2, 2008

It took a while to pass the 15K milestone. Yes there were lots of group rides, but there were also enough days the weather was so crummy, it was better to take the Escape.

Sunday was the first day of June, but the weather could’ve made you think it was the first day of March. Spring may arrive just in time for summer. Or not at all. That’s been known to happen around here.

I needed to go to Everett. You used to be able to get the Sunday Herald in Seattle, but not any more. A move is in the offing, and I wanted to get an idea what’s out there. I find it much easier to do this by looking at a Sunday newspaper.

I also find riding to Everett easier on a Sunday. Highway 99 doesn’t have nearly as much traffic, so you don’t have to be so concerned about keeping up with a frantic herd.

This particular Sunday, 99 seemed even more empty than usual. That’s okay. The skies were gray, it was cold, and I wanted to accomplish my mission.

Downtown Everett was rather lifeless, too. When I lived there over two decades ago, the place was not lifeless, it was dead. Like Bruce Springsteen’s Born in the USA video, nothing but “For Lease” and “Going Out of Business” signs. Things have improved; there are stores and restaurants downtown. But it seemed everybody was staying home.

I was looking for an indie coffee place, but having no luck finding one. Maybe I should be getting out of Seattle more often.

There’s Solid Rock Coffee on 19th Avenue¬†SE. Not downtown, it’s in a strip mall. Well, that’s where most businesses are in the U.S. I’ll go there, after getting a Sunday Herald at the AM-PM at 41st and Rucker.

Most Sunday newspapers are mostly ad inserts; there not being a recycle bin handy, I pile the ads and the other stuff I don’t care about on the table next to the overstuffed chair. There’s not much newspaper left, and there’d be even less if I wasn’t interested in the classifieds. The Herald has an awful lot of syndicated content, but these days so does the Sunday Times/P-I. Maybe subscribing to the New York Times isn’t such a bad idea.

I’m done with the paper long before I finish my coffee. Time to go. I head south on 19th, it being also designated as SR 527.

It turns into Bothell-Everett Highway once you hit Silver Lake. This was a 2-lane country road, once. The pavement is nice and smooth, and there’s plenty of room for those who don’t like the 40-mph speed limit to go around. On either side, there’s medium- to big-box retail, more strip malls. At least they kept a lot of the trees.

Before long, you’ll find yourself in Mill Creek. There’s a little mill with a water wheel in the center of town. I imagine the name resulted from a creek upon which a mill was built, both long gone. Or not.

More lanes sprout, and traffic gets heavier. Yes, that’s I-405 up ahead. The low-fuel light glows menacingly, so I decide to fill up at the Shell station on the other side of the overpass.

Continuing on, I realize I’m still in Snohomish County; the street numbers are still getting bigger. The street narrows down to two lanes, and the strip malls give way to trees. It curves pleasantly for a mile or two before a sign appears: “Entering King County.”

The strip malls return, and there’s a sign marking the city limits of Bothell. This one doesn’t say, “for a day, or a lifetime.” I think that one’s on SR 522 on the east end of town. Hang a right, you’re on Bothell Way, headed for Seattle.

Again, traffic is fairly light. It’s a rather uneventful run, at least until I spot the flashing lights of a fire truck up ahead. And there’s a Sound Transit bus stopped ahead of the fire truck.

The bus had punted a Honda CR-V into the shrubbery at the Safeway near 68th. There’s a bus-only lane, but anyone needing to make a right turn into a parking lot or an intersecting street can duck in. I’ll bet the driver of the CR-V seriously misjudged the bus’ speed.

Home is getting closer. It’s still gray. It’s still cold. When I get home, I need to read the Sunday Times/P-I. At least there’s a recycle bin close by. Favicon

  1. June 3, 2008 6:36 pm

    Hey, Orin

    Congrats on the new milestone! Too bad for the Escape.

    I’ve ridden over 13,000 miles on my ’01 Aprilia SR50, putting my Civic into an early retirement.


  2. WaywardSailorGirl permalink
    June 4, 2008 9:00 pm

    I just picked up an Aprilia Scarabeo 100 on May 17th. I’ve put 300 miles on her…looking forward to minimizing the Cherokee miles.

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