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.