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The Launch Pad: Taking in Seattle

Seattle for the first time-- what a thing!

Seattle has an otherworldliness about it-- from trees that look just a bit too fuzzy to be real, to the way Mt. Rainier rises up from amongst its peers and lords over them, to the impossibly steep streets that dive down toward the water front. I don't know what is more surprising, those steep streets or the volumes of bicyclists living amongst them. Where Saint Louis feels comfortable like a big bowl of homemade mac & cheese, Seattle feels a lot like the lemongrass sausage pho I enjoyed last night-- a little exotic. 

The city has a lot of elements that I appreciate. The evergreens are a welcome sight after my years in Lake Placid, NY and northern Maine. The water that surrounds the city is gorgeous, shining between rows of buildings. It's always surprising when you take a turn and then you're plunging toward the water on one of those wild streets. The mountains though. Oh how I love the mountains. 

I had the fortune of meeting up with my fellow Big Rider Sarah Briskin on the flight over. Sarah was flying in from Boston, and it was wonderful to be able to commiserate in the way only two people getting ready for a ride this long could. We have a lot to do today-- fetch our bikes, put them back together, pick up last minute but vital items for our trip (pillow, toiletries, etc), and head to a BBQ at the home of another Big Rider. We also get to meet everyone!

We are staying at Seattle Pacific University in their dorms. I forgot how unforgiving dorm mattresses can be. The pillow provided isn't much better either. I'm starting to wonder if I shouldn't just throw down on the floor on my Aerobed Pakmat and start acclimating to that. I have a view of Lake Union, however, and while I'm a bit sleepless right now (it's past my wake up time in CST, but a wee bit early still in PST), I am tempted to go for a stroll on this crisp, cool Seattle day. 

I am so very excited to be here, so fortunate to get to be a part of this cause and this adventure. This is a very special experience and while I knew that before, it's really starting to come into focus. I am going to be making lifelong friends.

The American Lung Association is a cause near and dear to me. While I suffer from asthma, I have known others with more harrowing experiences with lung disease. The ALA does incredible work helping to prevent and treat these diseases. If you can help me reach my $9,900 fundraising goal ($3 for each mile I ride this summer), please click here to donate. I have already raised $7,350!

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Rhonda Weiche June 17, 2012 at 05:37 PM
Larissa, This is incredibly exciting! Your writing is beautiful. This would make an interesting book...You inspire me to do something this amazing! I just went for about a 5 mile walk and am heading out shortly for a bike ride! Not quite the distance you will ride of course, but will be wishing you a sensational first day!
Larissa Powers June 18, 2012 at 05:50 AM
Thank you, Rhonda! You know, my partner James is riding 45 minutes per day on a trainer for each day that I ride on the Big Ride. All the little adventures we do count.

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