Arrival in Seattle

Seattle, Washington
March 6, 2013

Dear Family & Friends:

I arrived in Seattle this morning in a driving rain. I took a cab to Liberty Sidecars to pick up my bike & sidecar. The sidecar is stunningly beautiful. I love it, and I know Ollie will love it. Pete Larson, the owner, gave me a lesson and off I went.

The sidecar adds a lot of complexity to riding the bike. I have to be constantly aware of the fact that the sidecar adds significantly to the width of the bike on my right. There is a real risk of side swiping other cars or running up curbs with the sidecar wheel. Also, the riding feels very unstable. It is sort of like riding in a rowboat in large sea swells as the bike rolls left to right and right to left. The steering is more difficult because it is hard to turn the handlebar. So, imagine me learning how to ride the bike on unfamiliar streets in downtown Seattle, in heavy traffic, all the while enduring a heavy downpour. Yikes!!

I had lunch with Garrett Madison, a good friend who is a lead guide on Everest for Alpine Ascents. It was good to connect with Garrett. As he described his plans to return to Everest later this month, it sent pangs of envy and sadness through me. But, Sharon and I are looking forward to our river cruise in May, and I think the mountain will be there for at least one more year.

I am staying at the MarQueen Hotel in downtown Seattle, waiting out the weather. It is a beautiful old-style hotel built in 1918 by the Ford Motor Company to house its factory workers building the Model T’s. There is no elevator in the hotel. Tonight, I plan to have Thai food at a restaurant across the street.

I hope to get out of here tomorrow.


seattle raining


13 thoughts on “Arrival in Seattle

  1. Be careful on that bike, and have a safe trip. Have enjoyed following your adventures over the years. Your spirituality, positive attitudes, caring nature and strength continue to be an inspiration to me and I’m sure for many readers who don’t know you personally, but benefit from the healthy role model you present.

    Best and God bless,

  2. Hey Bill that looks great! I am sure Ollie is going to be on cloud nine! (as you will be too, I’m sure). We would love to see you guys cruise through our parking lot at SKY so we can see Ollie in his new ride and put a hug on him. Be safe!

  3. You are an effective, interesting communicator, Bill; I look forward (possibly a new “Summit Experiences on my Harley” series with Ollie, or Sharon, or . . . ?) remembering all your presentations, and now this posting/story the journey with Harley & Sidecar from Seattle . . . home (and I am recalling how challenging it was on my bike in the rain on the roads up and down the hills of Burbank).

    Thanks sharing your story; best wishes for the (life) journey home, and the adventures ahead!

    Ron & Kay

  4. Your post answered one of my questions: cover for the sidecar. For all the reasons you mentioned in your post since picking up the motorcycle, could you consider shipping the motorcycle to Sacramento and riding it home from there–the Washington/Oregon weather is very problematic (grim, gloomy, wet, harsh, and in combination with relentless wind and rain) [a long rhetorical question]. May a guardian angel ride with you and be your extra eyes on the ground. Blessings,


  5. I like Rick’s idea. Ship to Sacramento, pick it up there, visit Mitch at Chico who can get the first ride in the sidecar, and get home safely.

  6. Dear Bill,

    Be safe! “Never drive faster than your Guardian Angel can fly” & keep her dry too. I know how excited you must be & how fascinated Ollie will be when you take him for his first ride. My prayers are with you always. Love & Blessings, Betty

  7. Thanks for all the nice comments.

    My bike and sidecar would not appreciate being shipped home on a train. And, Ollie will be the first person to ride in his new sidecar.

    So far, I have dodged the weather bullets. The sky is clear blue this morning in Salem.

    You bet, I will be touring the wine country again. I bet they can’t wait to see me in those tasting rooms. See all of you in Napa/Sonoma–the free drinks are on me!


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