Once the surreal experience that was Butte ended, we made our way to Seattle, Washington. Remember when I talked about how much I love driving now? Yea, that’s all done with. The drive to Seattle was our second consecutive drive of 9+ hours, and now driving is getting to be a bit of a chore. I just want to stay somewhere for a while now instead of jet-setting off every other day.

Washington is surprisingly desert-y. That’s Mt. Ranier in the background.

We decided to catch a Seattle Sounders game that night. Seattle and Portland are ground zero for soccer fandom in the US, and the Sounders have a great game atmosphere (despite being a very mediocre team). Unfortunately there are no pictures because they all came out bad for some reason.

Here’s one that didn’t. Seattle has the only stadium I’ve ever seen with a Thai restaurant in it. Remember, this stadium doubles as their NFL team’s home.

Seattle is just a cool city, in every way. The whole city is very car unfriendly. Parking is very scarce and bike lanes are plentiful. The public transportation system is the best we’ve seen thus far and very modern.

The weather the first day was sunny and bright, not at all what we expected for Seattle, even in July. Of course, the weather would change very soon. The next couple days proved to be overcast and chilly with sporadic drizzly weather.

We set out the next day (our only full day in Seattle) to see the city. I had read in the guide book about the Experience Music Project, originally a shrine created by Paul Allen for Seattle native Jimi Hendrix. The museum now is a bit more fully fledged and more or less features the entire musical history of Seattle (which is very storied, especially recently). The museum tickets also came with bonus access for the Science Fiction Museum, which had the nerd in me excited (but later disappointed).

Oh yea, both of the museums are located right under the space needle and the monorail.

The Experience Music Project (abbreviated as EMP) was awesome. As you first enter the museum, you see a giant video screen playing music; it had Jimi Hendrix playing the Star Spangled banner as we walked in. There’s couch cushions that you can lay down on and watch moving sculptures on the ceiling as you listen to the music.

The original Fender Telecaster prototype.

Hendrix’s butterfly suit.

One of the guitars that Hendrix smashed during his shows.

Logan and I try our hands at music mixing.

Just some cool Hendrix exhibits, including a lot of his handwritten lyrics to famous songs of his.

Just pointing out one of the notable influences of Hendrix’s music. One of the things the museum emphasizes is that his harder drug use was grossly exaggerated—but they certainly didn’t hide all the weed he was doing.

Cool centerpiece of a ton of different guitars in one huge contraption.

The first ever electric bass. You can’t really see from the pic, but it’s actually bass-size (like, it looks like a cello).

I couldn’t help taking this picture. It had to be done.

The Sci-Fi museum sucked by comparison. They could have done so much more, but most of the exhibits seemed mashed together and lacking in many ways. They should make me curator.

But yea, here’s the stuff that wasn’t completely lame. Like Gundam Wing!

Sci-Fi has as a genre has a disproportionate amount of really hacky yet hilarious movies.

The original Star Wars poster. I have a question: if George Lucas really knew all along that he’d pull the Luke-and-Leia-as-siblings plot twist, then isn’t he a sick bastard for this movie poster of Luke playing grab-ass with his sister?

A pretty huge collection of Star Wars figurines. I was able to name 80% of the characters. Is that bad?

The funniest part of the museum was the Rollerball poster.

This skate park is right by the Space Needle and is apparently a hotspot for aspiring skaters. There were tourists surrounding it taking pictures, so I took a picture of the tourists taking pictures.

Later we walked around Seattle for a bit and ended up at Pike’s Market, a landmark in Seattle. It’s basically a cramped and partially open-air flea market type of place.

I love sugar cane soda (if you haven’t had it, you haven’t had good soda), but I think I love the label more.

We sat in this cramped alley to rest up a bit and listen to some (surprisingly decent) street music.

This bookstore was sitting in a small space in the market, and the sign made me want to check it out. It’s a hard core leftist, communist, anarchist leaning established “run as a collective by the workers” for 35 years or something like that.

Ok so I’m not really a liberal and definitely not a communist or an anarchist, but I do support independent bookstores. I read a ton and while most of what I read comes from the library, I do buy a book or two every couple months. I try to buy them from independent bookstores and not from Amazon or Barnes and Noble because independent bookstores are disappearing due to the competition from admittedly cheaper and more efficient large chains. This is just about the only dumb support-the-little-guy thing I do, but whatever. So this place seemed like a good place to buy a book, even though I’m not really part of their core clientele.

Logan didn’t buy this book. He probably doesn’t need the advice.

I bought a book called “Footnotes in Gaza”, a really unique book that tells a well researched and documentary style story in graphic (ie, comic) form. I’d heard good things.

Logan bought “On the Road”, a book that was suggested by Simon, our first couch surfing host, as THE original “go on a roadtrip to find yourself” book.

Logan’s friend Matt, also our host for the Seattle trip, took us out to a local place for some drinks and food. In only mention this so I can publish the following picture. Note the outstretched pinky finger. Classy.