Wednesday, August 25, 2010

One cool city that REALLY does like to "rock 'n run"...

Well, you won't often find us extolling the virtues of the "big city" here at "OCEANPAX paddle /run". That's not to say there aren't a lot of great cities on this planet - there certainly are and we've been fortunate to visit and live in some of them, over the years. I grew up in a city, or at least in the suburban fringe of a very large Canadian city, Toronto - still love to visit family there. So just for a change of pace, here's a posting on another city that we think is pretty darn cool.

I have to say, I really like Seattle. It's located relatively near to where we live on Vancouver Island, close enough that it's not a big deal to visit for an overnighter. We got there a couple of times over the holidays. It's where Barefoot Ted lives - that alone makes it worth a visit if you're a barefoot or minimalist runner in need of a little guidance and encouragement. (And while you're there, you can take in one of his incredible coaching sessons!) Scott Jurek, the legendary ultramarathoner, lives and works there. Seattle is home to REI, the American version of our Mountain Equipment Co-op. You can spend a few hours there, browsing the outdoor gear, and leave feeling you've had a veritable taste of heaven...without even making a purchase! No need, of course, to say that Seattle has great coffee. I liked  a downtown "Seattle Grind" enough to bring home a travel mug - as a reminder of how good coffee can be at five o'clock in the afternoon!

Seattle is next to the water and so is the Pike Place Market. Ahh, fresh curds, bread right out of the oven, fresh pastas, the tapinades - just thinking about all those treats makes me crazy. The two very mystical "stratovolcanoes", Mount Rainier, to the south-east and Mount Baker, to the north-east, press their snow-capped peaks dramatically towards the sky. And then there's the Experience Music Project where you can stand only inches away from many of the guitars that Jimi Hendrix, who was from Seattle, played during his electrifying and all-too-short musical career. Listening to his music and watching videos of him perform back in the sixties, on a large screen in the exhibit, totally "compressed" the last 40 years. It was like we were there again. Don't anybody roll their eyes, but that gave me goosebumps! Still love his music - a lot.

Volunteer Park, where Barefoot Ted loves to run with his two dogs, is an awesome place for an urban-park, barefoot run. We took the image of the Seattle skyline and the Space Needle, the symbol of the 1962 World's Fair from the top of the 100+ year-old Water Tower. When we were there last December, Ted led us up the 106 steps, running, to show us the view but also to demonstrate the advantages of training on stairs. We were breathless - literally, and that was long before we got to the top! Ted didn't appear to have increased his heart rate at all. The view was pretty sweet too.

So yeah, if you're out this way and if you can't be on the ocean or the forest trails, and you feel like a day or so in a big city, Seattle's one of those cities that is well worth a visit - and it's a great place to grab a coffee, watch a ball game, walkabout, ride in an authentic, amphibious landing craft known as a "Duck" with a "hilarious Coast Guard-certified captain", chill out or, of course, rock 'n run!

Got a fav place to recommend when you're not paddling or running?



  1. Had an awesome time there earlier this year. Wonderful city. I'm glad you mentioned the "duck" boats. Did you finally get the courage to ride in one? LOL

  2. Hey L, good to have you back, we missed your regular contribution here. As for the "duck" boats with the Coast Guard-certified captain, we really thought about it but lost our nerve. Everyone seemed to be having waaaay too much fun - it exhausted me just to watch them drive by :-) !!!

  3. Just looking back at some of your previous entries and getting inspired to get out for a walk with the family and the dogs. Yes, Seattle is a great city. Your description of the city and other sights is excellent. I have known for quite some time that you are a modern Renaissance Man (and Joan a Renaissance Woman) in terms of your knowledge and skill sets but also in terms of your exploration and acknowledgement of (and willingness to share from) the rich diversity of cultural experiences and philosophical perspectives out there. (Yeah to Jimi!)

    Thank you for continuing to blog and continuing to share. To quote a popular mis-quote of Jimi Hendrix: "Excuse me, while I kiss this guy".

  4. Ahh, Rick, bless you for your kind comments. Fact is, we think you're one cool dude. Stopping on the road and joining Linda and Cathy meant a great deal! We'll keep blogging knowing that you'll keep reading! D.