This morning we again turned north, noting distinctive features of this part of the world.
ONE: Coffee kiosks. We’ve seen similar small coffee/espresso shacks throughout Washington.
TWO: Huge tandem dump trucks. We think the truck has passed us, and we’re startled when the second wheeled box blows by.
THREE: Rain and snow. We entered Seattle, our goal for the 9th annual Ride, in a cold rain.
FOUR: Poor people’s housing. In many cities along the Pacific coast, we’ve seen clusters of decrepit trailers and RVs, and tent encampments, housing people who can’t afford rent. The sign on this Seattle bridge, above the tents, reads, “Do Not Enter / Not Open To The Public For Any Purpose / No Trespassing”.
Look carefully: debris and more tents are in the green space.
We pedaled through downtown Seattle.
As we rolled up 2nd Avenue, Charlie overtook us.
Charlie, a Seattle photographer who enjoys backpacking as we enjoy cross-country cycling, grew up in Maryland. He escorted us for many blocks to our choice of a landmark destination for this year’s Ride.
The 9th Ride’s high water mark: the Space Needle, 520 feet (158 meters) tall! [L to R: Space Needle, Sprint 26, Jeffrey, Joey. Photo by Charlie.]
We attracted attention in Seattle wherever we went. Some cheered us for how far we had traveled. Some cheered our recumbent trike. Some cheered for human rights.
Near the Space Needle, people saw our signs and approached to ask us questions.
L to R: Laramie, Donavan, Lori, Pollyanna, Carter. This devoutly Christian family listened to Jeffrey describe some of the injustices inflicted on people who come to America for refuge.
L to R: Nory, Joey, Elliott. Jeffrey explained that people come to America to be safe, and how kids their age are sent to immigration court without a lawyer to help them. When Elliott hesitated to hold Joey, Jeffrey said not to worry, Joey has no teeth, but if Joey had teeth, there are people he’d like Joey to bite. Elliott laughed.
Melody, an artist, is Nory’s and Elliott’s nanny. Melody reminded the kids that “you know who” (she mentioned no names) is responsible for refugee mistreatement. Jeffrey added that although conditions for asylum applicants has become particularly harsh in the last two years, the injustices date back decades.
We could have talked to people for hours, but the sun was getting lower and it was time to turn south.
The Proverb says, “Life and death are in the power of the tongue.” But the tongue has power only if it inspires action.
We hope our words will lead listeners like the new friends we made today—and readers like you—to ACT to help people seeking refuge from persecution.
Imagine if all of us lend a hand, how we can civilize, humanize, the world.
Tomorrow our Seattle adventure continues.