A trip to Issaquah (by bus)

Nine bike miles and 35 bus miles got us to the doctor here in Seattle and to the dentist over in Issaquah. Our doctor is only a mile away so the day started out easy enough (although mostly uphill, of course). While stopped for a red light at 40th and Wallingford, cursing the busy half-mile hill we’d just faced, the grocer at Durn Good Grocery came out and mentioned he’s our neighbor. Really? This is how hard it is to meet one’s neighbors in this city! We’ll be back…and time our visit to see the resident grocery dog as well.

After the doctor, we rode two blocks to the Bastyr Dispensary for some $11 cough tincture he refuses to take. Grr. But what a cool place! I’d never been so when I didn’t see a bike rack on the sidewalk, I just locked up to the front fence. I think there’s probably a bike rack below in the parking garage. The place is full of non prescription stuff so it’s nice to know I don’t have to go uphill to Whole Foods or as far downhill to PCC to get medicines. If you clicked to their site you probably noticed the Medical cannabis is NOT available at Bastyr dispensaries. But they were well-equipped for the medical munchies, with many chocolate options and even frozen burritos.

Then we headed downtown to catch a Sound Transit bus to Issaquah. We went over a little early because Issaquah is a great little city–especially if you’re into trains and salmon. Today we didn’t have time for the Issaquah Salmon Hatchery, the adjacent Rogue Brewery with Lego table, or the wonderful Issquah Library across the street. Instead we headed straight to the train-themed playground and the old train depot.

I made a discovery on the way to the bathroom across the ball field–it’s hard to ride on grass! I took the long way back on the path once I realized a short cut isn’t worth it when it’s over grass (or gravel).

This was our first big day out with the new Hebie kickstand. It’s high! It works great, but we’re all getting used to how high it props the front wheel. And I should point out that unless on have a cargo bike with Rolling Jackass center stand or similar, you should not leave your kids on the bike–even for quick pictures. While my bike has never toppled over during the shooting of a photo, I have dropped it before, and it’s not fun to have to pick back up (for any of us).

Seattle often feels like a small town when I unexpectedly run into people out and about, but Issaquah has Seattle beat because the last two times I’ve been at the park, I’ve seen Kent Peterson, the only Issaquah resident I know. The best part of today’s encounter was when Kent said, “Pictures or it didn’t happen!” before snapping a picture.

On the ride to the dentist the boys were wowed by a very large balloon tied to a penny farthing plant stand outside Issaquah Floral & Gift Shoppe. I also noticed a real penny farthing outside Bicycle Center of Issaquah so I’ll have to put that on a future Issaquah itinerary. And that will guarantee another Kent sighting.

I was sure our trip home would be better than last time, when we got stuck out late and had to deal with very cold temps. But an express Sound Transit bus is probably the way to go, even if it means a big hill to get home or a transfer to a second bus. Even if things had run smoothly, the 271 to the University District (1 hour 17 mins, 60 stops) is a long haul.

But things didn’t run smoothly. Our bus was broken. And not normal broken–broken that left it extremely stinky. Like rotten eggs. Something about the battery, I overheard the driver tell another passenger. A replacement coach met us at Eastgate Park & Ride, but it was a long, stinky ride over. The only good thing about the extra stop (other than leaving the stinky bus) was the salmon-covered bridge at the Eastgate Park & Ride. But unfortunately Sound Transit buses stop up on the bridge while Metro buses stop down in the parking lot. So no extra payoff for the extra bike lifting. And then the two-year old sadly asked about 50 times on the remainder of the ride home, “Where the stinky bus?” Don’t worry, little guy, it’s with the bus mechanic getting fixed.

Today’s miles: 9.0 miles
April cumulative: 132.3 miles

7 thoughts on “A trip to Issaquah (by bus)

  1. What a wild adventure! I love the old fashioned downtown feeling of Issaquah. Usually, I’m at Pickering place loading up at Trader Joes before my head home to the east.

    • Tell me more! Is Pickering Place just a shopping center or park as well? We have to go to Issaquah once a month for orthodontia stuff so I’d like to do more exploring. I bet that Trader Joe’s is huge and new with wider aisles than I’m used to…that alone would be worth a trip.

      • The Trader Joe’s isn’t that big, but Pickering Place is an old farmsite with a big community garden and bike trails down by the creek. It’s next to the giant Costco world headquarters. On Saturday’s in the summer the farmers market is at Pickering Place.

  2. I don’t know if Pickering has a park or not. I always think of it as a shopping complex.

    Yes, the Trader Joe’s is pretty big and the aisles are quite wide (:

    There is also a PGG close by with a nice deli.

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