Determined to kick the car habit, I decided to take the Intercity Transit bus to Tacoma Tuesday to meet a friend at the Tacoma Art Museum and have lunch. I knew the bus would double the transportation time, but I was looking forward to reading on the bus...and looking at clouds without endangering the lives of other motorists.
I left my house at 9:35 a.m. in the pouring rain to catch a bus downtown where I had a half-hour layover before catching the #603 to Tacoma. I spent it at the Bread Peddler eating a piece of marionberry pie. Everything was going really well so far.
The bus left at 10:30 and I started reading the very wonderful and engrossing Generosity by Richard Powers. I was happy not to be driving--the rain and the spray from cars and trucks would have been nerve-wracking. About 20 minutes into the ride, I realized I didn't know exactly how close the bus stopped to the museum. In fact, I wasn't really sure where the museum was, but knew it was downtown. I could either get off at one of the downtown stops, or confess to the bus driver that I had left home that morning without figuring out exactly where I was going. It sounded like an existential crisis moment, so I just kept reading. I'd wing it in Tacoma.
I got off on Commerce Street and ducked into a coffee shop to ask where the museum was. The barista pointed north. I arrived one half block later only to discover the museum was closed on Tuesdays. I called my friend to tell her to meet me at the Museum of Glass instead. I crossed the fabulous Chihuly bridge (my umbrella getting blown inside out) and down the spiral stairs (my feet getting soaked)...only to find that museum closed on Tuesdays as well. Another phone call, another crossing of the bridge to the Museum of Washington State History where I had never been. Guess what?
My friend picked me up in her car and we found ourselves in a cozy Mexican restaurant across town. After a wonderful three-hour conversation, I returned to Commerce Street to pick up the Olympia bound bus at 2:54. At 2:53, I watched my bus pull up to the stop and then pull away without every stopping.
"You've got to be really aggressive," someone suggested.
The next bus was due in 15 minutes. While I waited I made plans to stand in the street in my bright-orange raincoat in 10 minutes. So what if my foot got run over.
It did not. Luckily there was a crowd of aggressive bus riders at the stop with me.
I had about an hour's ride home, so I folded up my umbrella and took out my book. Around Fort Lewis, the sun came out. And then my camera. The I-5 is a really great vantage point for cloud watching because there are no trees and no telephone poles. But there is the issue of shooting through a window and being in motion...which is how come I only have one good photo to post (below).
I returned home, approximately 8 hours after I left..and then I was back out to catch the sunset in downtown Olympia (below). This red sky at night did in fact portend a delightful day on Wednesday.
NOTE: Should you want to duplicate my fabulous bus experience, click here Intercity Transit
for routes and schedules. But remember, the three museums in Tacoma are closed Mondays and Tuesdays.