Originally published 24 July 2021

A number of years ago, I set out on my Great American Road Trip (lovingly shortened to the beautiful sounding “GART”) in which I drove from Washington to Indiana (via Michigan) in late February in a determined little ’97 Civic.  This was the trip where my wiper fluid froze in Bismarck and didn’t thaw until March.  This was the trip where I decided to try pushing the pedals with my hands on some back road in Minnesota because I was bored.  This was also the trip where I drove triple digits for the first time—not while hand-peddling, for the record.

Tomorrow I set out on an even greater adventure, going fully coast-to-coast.  I can see Puget Sound—which is basically the Pacific; fight me—from my hotel’s roof garden as I write this.  By Wednesday evening, I will have seen the Atlantic.

Tomorrow I begin my GARRT: the Great American Railroad Trip.

I will be taking the Empire Builder from Seattle to Chicago, the Capital Limited from Chicago to DC, and the Acela from DC to Newark on my transcontinental journey.  Three nights in a sleeper car, eight meals on board, fifteen states and one federal district (that should be a state; again, fight me) await.

Today was Day Zero, the necessary puddle-jump from Spokane back across the mountains to Seattle so I can do the thing “properly” per my own definition.  I did, however, puddle jump in style as this was my first time ever in first class.  I crossed my legs.  It was the most amazing thing.  Do rich people constantly cross their legs on airplanes just because they can?  Or is it something only us coach-flyers realize is a luxury?  I digress.

The first class flight was, ironically, about as economical as coach.  My bag would have cost $30, first gets two bags free, and the ticket was about $30 more than just flying economy.  Win-win.  My seat-mate and I discussed how grass type Pokémon constantly get dished on undeservedly (#TeamTreecko).  We also admired how her very cute dress had pockets (!).  She was delightful.

I took the Link light rail and bus RapidRide from the airport to the hotel and thoroughly enjoyed being in the Seattle transit bubble.  I got Beecher’s Mac and Cheese, two gyros, took a nap, and vibed at a tiki bar.  It’s been a day, man.

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