This is a total digression. I have more wool posts, but on a Skype call with my daughter last night I mentioned the drive I took yesterday from SeaTac through Seattle, and she wants to see photos.
I flew in (my mother's ill), arriving an hour late because our plane was delayed to permit people coming from the east through a thunderstorm to make their connections. Picked up the rental car and called my brother-in-law to let the family know I was on my way to their house. He mentioned that the highway 99 viaduct is closed this weekend for construction, and the only option for the southern part of my trip would be I-5, and that it would be crowded. He mentioned that getting off the freeway when possible and taking 4th Avenue through downtown would be a potentially good alternative.
I know Seattle somewhat, because I lived here 40 years ago and took the buses back and forth between Lake City (way north), downtown, and my classes at the University of Washington. Things have changed a little between then and now, and I have never done much driving in this city. I did have a map (not very detailed) from the car-rental agency. (I forgot to bring a better map, and I'm not sure it would have helped.)
The freeway became a large-scale parking lot beginning about 2 miles south of downtown, so I edged over and exited at something called Martinez. It appeared to be willing to connect to 4th Avenue, but that didn't work out: I could SEE two lanes of access to 4th Avenue, but the elevated highway segment I was on wouldn't let me get to them. I headed north and attempted to find 4th Avenue by driving around some stadiums (post-1970s construction) and ended up on 1st Avenue South, where some event was going on involving teams of people running through the streets wearing costumes or at least matching t-shirts. I think beer may have been involved. There were a LOT of teams: hundreds of people. One team had Viking-style horned helmets and armor that I think was made of Rainier beer cans.
I ended up progressing slowly through Pioneer Square (my first, four-week weaving class, in 1971, was in a second-floor space in Pioneer Square; I transported my rented Pioneer table loom there on the number 7 bus from Lake City). I decided to delay my attempts at finding 4th Avenue for a few blocks because I wasn't sure I could access it from the clutter of streets around Pioneer Square.
I figured out that the people I was seeing darting in and out of traffic were likely participating in a large-scale scavenger hunt. Reason? MANY people running in front of my car when traffic slowed to a stop (every 5 feet or so) to get their pictures taken with the license plate of the car in front of me.
The car from California had cut me off when I was attempting to merge onto some more-major street from the narrow alley near one of the stadiums (stadia?) that I'd inadvertently gotten onto while looking for a way to get to 4th. At this point, I became glad that the California driver hadn't let me in, and that the more generous driver following it had, because being behind that car made my travel across lower downtown Seattle a lot more interesting than it would have been otherwise.
Note the "construction ahead" sign. This was also a theme of the day. And more frequent than the photos indicate. I only snapped pictures when I was not moving.
The construction was not minor.
Nor was the event.
When people were not running in front of my car, this is what they were doing:
I headed up the hill, still seeking 4th Avenue (lots of one-way streets to figure out, with more construction, undocumented because my car was actually moving).
I did find 4th Avenue. My connection to wherever I went next involved going down a street that my map, also studied when I was fully stopped, suggested was the connector (Battery). Once I turned onto it, the two lanes (out of three) that went where I needed to go were clearly marked BUS ONLY, but (1) I couldn't see how else to get there and (2) lots of other cars were using the BUS ONLY lanes. So I followed them.
Whew. I decided to park the car and walk as much as possible for the rest of the day. But my journey was a whole lot more interesting than I-5 was!
While walking back from visiting my mother, here's a bridge I waited to cross:
I am undoubtedly not the first person to think this looks like a TARDIS:
(There are actually four of them on the Fremont bridge.)