A two-day stop in Seattle is next up for the running trip. I have visited the Emerald City a few times over the years, but driving into town, I felt great excitement to take it on by foot. We booked a fun Airbnb in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood to serve as our base camp for the visit and were welcomed with free parking, a roaring fire, and a great playlist filling the walls with music. A delicious Thai meal a few blocks away, a Philadelphia Sixers win (for Sean), and early to bed were great foundations for a big run the next day.
Tillie dropped off Sean and me at T-Mobile Park to kickoff our run. For you baseball historians, this is the old Safeco Field, the place that Ken Griffey Jr. built. I get to visit a number of ballparks each year with my work surrounding the Lou Gehrig Memorial Award, but I had never been to T-Mobile. I thanked Scott Lynch for his donation here, one of a few Scott signs today! Scott is a Phi Delta Theta volunteer, University of Pittsburgh (Pitt) alumnus, a Philly sports fan, and an all around fun person!
Have you ever heard the story of when a Seattle Seahawks game created an earthquake? It’s true. The “Beast Quake” occurred when running back Marshall Lynch broke nine tackles to score a 67-yard touchdown and secure a playoff win in 2010. It was later determined that crowd activity and noise was so great during Lynch’s game-clinching touchdown run that a nearby Pacific Northwest Seismic Network station registered a small tremor, M=2 located at then Qwest Field. Pretty crazy. Qwest Field is now Lumen Field, home of the 12th Man, the raucous Seahawk crowd. I thanked one my 12th Man candidates, Jay Longnecker, a fellow Iowa State Phi Delt, Fraternity volunteer, and my trusty insurance agent. Lumen is also home to the Seattle Sounders Football Club of Major League Soccer.
From the stadiums, we ran to King Street Station, a train station that serves the region. It is the fifteenth busiest station on the Amtrak system. I love train stations. To me, there is nothing better than a good train ride to get you from point A to B. I need to figure out a way to pull-off a train-themed running trip in the future. Hmm. I thanked my sister-in-law Lauren, her husband Tom, and their kids for their donation at the train station. The Jensens live in Le Center, Minnesota, close enough that we get to see them a number of times each year.
Just around the corner from King Street Station we found the grand entrance to Seattle’s Chinatown neighborhood. If a city has a Chinatown neighborhood, I’m there. I find them fascinating, full of energy and amazing eats, and serve as a glimpse into a culture that is so different than what I am used to. I consider myself a traveler, but I have not been to Asia. I need to get there. I thanked my friends Brad & Lindsay Klein for their donation. Brad & Lindsay are two of my favorites. Proud Fort Dodgers, Iowa State Cyclones, tons of fun, and gracious hosts to the Goods as we roam the parking lots of Jack Trice Stadium on football Saturdays. One of my highlights of 2022 was seeing Nelly in concert at the Iowa State Fair with the Kleins. I’m already working on them for Luadcris this summer.
So Seattle has some hills. Forgot about that. We took on a few to climb up to the Central Public Library, a majestic and shiny building that appears right at the moment when your legs are failing you. In between deep breaths and groans, I thanked David McDonald who told me that he loves to visit the library when he visits his daughters. David is a proud Phi Kappa Psi and friends with my parents.
More hills. This time down. To the waterfront! Big cities on the water are fun and have that recognizable smell of grit and determination. And fish. Seattle’s waterfront is coupled with a mountainous background which adds yet another great aspect to the scene. When I pulled out my second thank you sign for Debbie Smith, Sean wondered if I had mixed up my signs. “Debbie, again?” A few notes:
- This comment shows me that my running buddy has truly entered the flow of the running trip, concerned about the order and duplication of my signs.
- Debbie is repeat offender of multiple landmark sponsorships, which is amazing. Honestly, it’s encouraged!
I love a good city poster (and an excuse to take a picture/catch my breath).
Also on the waterfront is the Seattle Great Wheel which provides captivating rides I presume and great contrast to the rest of the city-scape. I thanked Roger & Paula Griffith at the wheel for their continuous support of these trips. I grew up across the street from the Griffiths in Fort Dodge, and if I wasn’t a child, I would have had to pay rent at their house. Their son Travis and I were joined at the hip, but the Griffiths have always provided loving support to our family and visa versa.
And then we found the gum wall. Obscure landmarks are really great. I like gum. You like gum. Why not have a gum wall? It’s only gross if you allow it to be. Don Schenk, my donor for the location, was in this spot very recently. We may or may not have found his piece of chewing gum, but I added mine to the wall and took a pic. Don is a great Phi Delta Theta volunteer who I’ve worked with over the years to advance the work of the Fraternity.
If you visit Seattle, you’ll probably visit Pike Place Market. It’s classic Seattle and great fun to see the hustle and bustle of the vendors and consumers. When you’re on a long run and want to experience the market without ruining the rest of your run, you have to be mindful of your exploratory intake. Sean made the right decision for us and we enjoyed a nice smoked salmon Pâté piroshkyy from Piroshky Piroshky. I thanked Scott Lynch again for his donation.
A few sea-inspired photos from inside the market.
At the entrance of the market (and just behind me in the picture below) is the world-famous Pike Place Fish Market. You’ve seen them in action, throwing fish and having a heck of a good time when consumers purchase their seafood. It’s a show that bring a lot of energy to the market. Also at the entrance is Rachel the Pig, and symbol of giving for the Pike Place Market Foundation that funds social services connected to the market. I used the spot to thank the Loonsfoot family for their donation, and I thought it tied in nicely as the Loonsfoots exude a giving nature to the Ames community. I’ve helped Bryan out on the baseball diamond coaching our boys, and Tillie and Lauren stay active with our church.
The next stop was one of the first landmarks to go – The Original Starbucks! The company that put Seattle on the coffee map is everywhere around town, along with many other great coffee shops. The mother of more than 20,000 Starbucks around the world, the location at 1912 Pike Place is very humble. And there is always a line. No coffee for us, but I did thank Wendy Faust, the executive director of the Live Like Lou Foundation. I get to work with Wendy everyday to leave ALS better than we found, and it’s been a joy to watch her thrive in the role. She also really likes Starbucks.
Every running trip has memorable moments and highlights. It also has follies. Like this picture below. There I am, just trying to carry out a heartfelt thank you to the wonderful Janine Kock of Westside, Iowa. And then you realize as you’re writing your blog that the sign is definitely upside down. The good news here is that I have more opportunities to thank Janine on this trip. Oh boy, sorry Janine! P.S. – Janine is awesome. Her work with The Observer publication in Tillie’s hometown is awesome! Best small town newspaper out there!
And just when you’re done being embarrassed about an upside down sign, you move on to your next thank you and realize that you’ve definitely misspelled your donor’s name. Yesterday, Nolan Pattee spelled correctly. Today, missing a t. What gives? Cool picture though right? Standing in the Seattle Sculpture Park with the Space Needle in the background. Thanks Nolan!
We then ran to the iconic Space Needle, realized we were way to close to get a good picture of it at that moment, and stumbled upon a fun Runner’s Choice photo for the Cunninghams at the Chihuly Garden and Glass Museum. The Chihuly folks know what they’re doing.
Boom. Better view of the Space Needle. A little vegetation, nice positioning, Sean’s photo skills are on point. I thanked the amazing Mike Hyatt. I always love thanking Mike, my favorite Oklahoma State Cowboy and loyal running trip donor. I look forward to seeing Mike this summer in Scottsdale to catch up, exchange travel stories, and learn more about life.
The Kraken! Seattle’s hockey team is making waves in the NHL playoffs, and the city is abuzz. Is there a better sports name out there? I don’t think so. Sean and I ran around Climate Pledge Arena where the Kraken play and stopped out front to thank the Wechslers, our good friends who live in Charleston. The Goods joined the Wechslers a few years back for an epic RV road trip through a number of National Parks out West. They are the best! For you sports fans, this building below used to be Key Arena, the home of the Seattle Supersonics. They’ll be back.
The last phase of our run had us climbing up to Kerry Park in the beautiful Queen Anne neighborhood. I thanked Randy & Lori Good, my aunt and uncle, with one of the best views of the city. We also met up with Tillie and Michelle in Kerry Park.
Today’s post-run celebration was at Queen Anne Beerhall, an awesome spot with great food, drink, art, and Seattle sports fever. I thanked the Etler family once again for their donation.
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Favorite Post yet! Love those happy people! And, loved traveling with you kids most of the time!!!