Friday, January 25, 2013

Train Trip

6 AM Bryce and I loaded up, picked up our neighbors Andy, Eli and Isaac and headed off to the train station to ride the Empire Builder to Seattle.  Joining us were the rest of Bryce's cub scout pack and their parents.
It was a four hour trip to travel through the Cascade Mountains which included going through an eight mile long tunnel.  Finally, we made it to the end of the line at King Station.
 Now it was time to explore Pioneer Square and see all that it had to offer.

On foot we walked a couple of blocks to the Klondike Gold Rush Museum...excuse me... the Klondike Gold Rush National Park, not museum.   Whatever,  they are an official National Park even though there is not a tree in sight, but that is how they are classified. 
I had talked to the park rangers ahead of time so they were expecting us when we walked in the door.  They took us right in to view a documentary on the gold rush and its impact on Seattle.  About this time the song, "North to Alaska" starts playing in my head....once the movie was over we walked through the "museum" to follow the journey of five individuals who had succumbed to the gold rush fever.
A few more blocks over was Milepost 31.
Milepost 31is an informational spot that provides an inside look a the SR 99 Tunnel Project.  This tunnel project is the world's largest diameter bored tunnel.  Pretty cool stuff!

By this time, everyone was pretty hungry so we walked over to the Waterfall Garden Project to have a picnic lunch.  It was a little chilly, mid 40s, but dry so we were thankful we had a nice place to eat our lunches.

After scarfing down our sandwiches, chasing the pigeons, and playing a game of tag, we headed down to our next destination - The Underground Tour of Seattle.  On the way there we encountered some men playing a giant game of chess, so we had to stop and watch.

Finally, we made it to the grand finale, well, almost the finale because we had one more stop after this one, but this is the one we were looking forward to the most...The Underground Tour.

Our tour guide was awesome.  She was such a history geek and had a fun way of telling all the dirt and gritty details of how Seattle got started.  Unfortunately, the thick, moist air underground made it difficult for Bryce to breathe.  He started feeling pretty queasy and his chest was hurting pretty bad, so as soon as we made it to the surface, Bryce and I had to leave the group and head back to the tour headquarters to wait for the others to complete it.  We were both pretty bummed.  However, our day wasn't over.  We had one more stop to make...Firestation 10.
 My neighbor, Andy, is a Seattle fire fighter...a professional fire fighter.  He arranged for us to visit station 10 and get a grand tour of the facilities.  What was really cool is that a call came in for fire fighters while we were there, so we saw four fire fighters come sliding down the fire pole to run to their truck.  Neat, huh?!
 The fire chief let all of the boys handle the equipment, feel how heavy it is, and get the sense of what a fireman has to do.  He even hid in a dark room and let the boys use his heat finder to find him!

 He then took the boys to the living quarters for the fire fighters.  Many of them like our neighbor, live at the station while they are on duty.  Andy is on duty four days and off five so half of the time he lives in Seattle.  We ended up on the upstairs patio of the fire house looking over Seattle.  After this picture, the fire chief had all of the boys lean over the railing and spit!  Love it!
Kings Station was just down the road from the fire station, so we quickly headed back to board our train to head home.  It had been a long, busy, fun, educational, awesome day.  Best rain.  For Seattle, that is saying something.

We were back home by 8:30 pm.  A fourteen hour field trip!

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like you guys had a great time! One of these days I really want to do the Underground Seattle tour.