October 14, 2006
Well it’s Friday the thirteenth. I leave Sammamish sometime after noon, and follow the bicycle paths that parallels I-90 into the city. The paths are tricky to negotiate, as the trail frequently disappears at exits and overpasses. I have to constantly re-locate it where it picks up again on the other side of the interchanges.
Closer to downtown I ride through a beautiful hilltop park, and there’s a path right on the I-90 floating bridge, which is a cool ride. On the other side there’s a long tunnel with all sorts of artistic murals on the walls.
“Welcome to the I-90 Bike Tunnel” the first one says, followed by colorful images of cyclists. I see plenty of flashy-dressed commuters on road bikes, buzzing by like bright insects. It’s yet another clear-blue day, as I’ve slowly descended upon the Seattle skyline from the hills to the east.
I ride up and over the steep Beacon Hill, which I assume could actually be named after a real beacon from the yester-years. Descending farther, my path brings me directly between the football stadium, and the ballpark. Photos of The Mariners starting team lines the sidewalk.
It takes me a little while to find a ride-able bridge to West Seattle, but soon I’m climbing the steep hills there on the south side of Elliot Bay. California Avenue has a hip section of coffee shops, bars, bookstores, and the like, and I find Aaron’s Cycle Repair. www.rideyourbike.com I’ve arranged to spend the night with Aaron.
Inside the bike shop, his six year old son plays Legos adjacent to the work area. Legos and bikes – gotta love it. If you read my first entries, maybe you remember I busted out my Legos on one of the final days before this trip, before turning in the keys to my empty apartment. I build a spaceship for his son. Aaron’s wife stocks the shop inventory, and shows me a mile away to their place, where I’m to sleep tonight.
I catch a bus north to Seattle Center and Key Arena, for tonight’s Bob Dylan concert. Oh yes.
Near the entrance I pass numerous solo street musicians, including a tuba player, a guitarist, and saxophone player. Inside, the opening act is already onstage, Kings of Leon. The local Pyramid Brewing Company vendors are in the house, and I have two Snowcaps – I know it’s the highest alcohol content, so best bang for the buck. I’m a little drunk.
As you can probably imagine, the show is excellent. Most of the songs are old standards and classics with “his band.” The sound and acoustics are surprisingly loud and great, with Bob’s crooning voice high in the mix, absorbing the arena.
I’m in the same room with Bob Dylan! There are no video screens, so what I see is a silhouette of the man dressed all in black, hunched over the keys with a black top hat. I can’t make out his face, so he’s almost surreal, like an old ghost. Here’s the set list.
She Belongs To Me
Lonesome Day Blues
Positively 4th Street
It’s Alright, Ma (I’m Only Bleeding)
Just Like A Woman
Highway 61 Revisited
When The Deal Goes Down
Tangled Up In Blue
A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall
Watching The River Flow
Workingman’s Blues #2
Thunder On The Mountain
Like A Rolling Stone
All Along The Watchtower
After the show I spy a 24-hour grocery next door, and pick up a box of Chewy Chips Ahoy. As I’m walking down the street toward where I think the bus line runs, a woman says “Oh, cookies!” I offer some and strike up a conversation. We go over the highlights of the show.
She once saw Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell, and Van Morrison all at the same concert. Now there’s a show. Long story short, she and her husband live in West Seattle, and they end up driving me practically right to Aaron’s front door. Life is good.