Washington

Washington: Day 16

SeattleSeattle today.  I had to try twice to get there!  The first time, I followed the directions of the girl at the hotel desk.  Mental note:  NEVER do that again!  The second time, I followed the map and my instincts, and got to Pioneer Square.  Parking was a breeze, strangely enough, and I entered the square just in time to take the 11 o’clock Underground Tour.  The guide was – frankly – hilarious.  He had a knack for highlighting the humorous parts of history, and I laughed myself silly over the problems poor Seattle had with tides and (to be coarse) sewage.  

Next, we followed our guide underground, to see the various rooms and passages constructed by Seattle residents so they could conduct business while the city was raised around them.  Literally raised, since soil was brought in and ground-level streets became about 15-20 feet higher than the storefronts.  They put ladders on street corners so folks could climb down to the stores, browse the underground shops, and then climb back out with their goods.  Once the shops were abandoned, rum runners and “sewing circles” took over the Underground.

After the tour, I made my way up – literally since Seattle is built on a hillside – to Pike Place Market, where the ghost of a Native American woman can be seen walking through the halls of the lower level, carrying a basket.  I saw shop keepers, tourists, bakers, fishmongers, flower sellers, Penny the pig, and just about every kind of product you could sell in the market.  But no ghost.  Still, it was fun.  I purchased a hot apple-cinnamon bun and sat in a little park next to a huge totem pole overlooking the Puget Sound while I ate it.  Then I strolled again through another section of the market, until the sheer number of people and the pushing, swelling crush as everyone fought to get through the tiny hallways overwhelmed me and I headed downtown, searching for more space and freedom. 

When I got back to the hotel, the first stirrings of the Pike Place ghost story were stirring through my mind, so I spent a happy evening writing another story for the book. 

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