Seattle, Washington (1989)

While in Seattle, I bicycle the highly popular Burke-Gilman Rail-Trail, and also visit the famous downtown Seattle "Pike Place" market, where you find not only a mind-boggling selection of food, but also a tourist-attracting fish market in which a worker will fling an customer-ordered fish to a co-worker waiting across the market to wrap it (see photo).

Seattle prospered due to its surrounding forests, farms, and waterways. Since the 1950s, it has become important in the production of jet planes, missiles, and space vehicles. Seattle Center, with the Space Needle (the photo below shows the Seattle downtown from the top of the Needle), was the site of the 1962 World's Fair. I ascend to the top of the Needle to get amazing views of the city and bay. Seattle is on Elliot Bay, between Puget Sound and Lake Washington. The Olympic Mountains dominate the view to the west, not to mention the Cascades to the east. Seattle is warmed by the Japan Current and shielded by the Olympics from heavy winter rain. It is protected by the Cascades from mid-continent winter blasts. Only twice has the temperature reached 100 and never has it gone below zero. Seattle has been a gateway to Alaska, and boomed when a large amount of gold was shipped there from Alaska in 1897.

In 1990, the population was 516,259. It is the largest city in the state. It was incorporated in 1869, and has the tallest building west of Chicago. Old Seattle has been restored and is now called Pioneer Square. I found it to be an urban delight.

While on the Burke-Gilman Trail, I visit the University of Washington (established in 1861), where the Trail terminates.


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