Driving into and out of Seattle is a mess right now.
We have a viaduct that was built in the 1950's that was the original Hwy 99 north/south route through the city, before the I-5 freeway was built. Over time we have come to depend on both routes to get us where we need to go. Both get clogged with traffic during the rush hours.
Right now the viaduct is closed, while Bertha, the huge tunnel boring machine, works under the viaduct, drilling a route under the city that eventually replace the viaduct, because the viaduct might fall down. We are earthquake prone here, and the retrofitting can do only so much to secure this old structure.
I tell you all of this because we have reasons to go into the city. Last week I went to my audiologist for a check back on my hearing aids, and to make yet more adjustments. The Hear Center is in the Group Health Medical Center on Capitol Hill, just east of downtown. Since the Link Light Rail was recently extended, there is now a Capitol Hill Station six blocks from the medical center. Last week for my afternoon appointment, we lucked out and got a parking place at the Tukwila Station, rode the rail into the city and walked the six blocks to the Hear Center.
At that appointment I found out that since I was only about a month into having my hearing aids, I could update to the just released next generation Starkey Halo 2 hearing aids at no cost. They have improved technology for hearing a wider range of sounds, still work with the iPhone, and have a manual volume button right on the hearing aids that the Halo 1 did not have. I said "Yes!".
So yesterday, it being a morning appointment, with no chance of finding parking at the station, we walked from home to the Tukwila Station.
As you can see, this station is elevated.
It's about a 35 minute ride to the Capitol Hill station.
And then a six block walk up hill to the medical center, which is that building in the distance at the end of James Street.
The Hear Center is right next to a pretty flower shop.
I have been having issues with the hearing aid adjustments. Compression of high frequency sounds was not working, and everyone was talking with a distinct lisp. There were lots of hissing sounds. My audiologist and I decided to back off on all of the compression, and just make a volume change. She had the new hearing aids ready to go, set by her computer. She changed the settings, we paired them to my iPhone app and she gave me a few more options to control them. The result is much better. I think I will be able to live with these.
We grabbed a light lunch at a nearby Starbucks and then began our return trip.
The Capitol Hill Station is underground. Yes, more new tunnels under the city.
We got off at the Tukwila Station, walked under the rail tracks
back across the freeway,
and up the hill to McMicken Heights, and home.
We left at 10:00 and got home at 2:30. We figured if we added up the time it would have taken us to do our exercise walk, then fight traffic, do the appointment and lunch and get back on the freeway, it would have been about the same time.
And the 4.25 mile walk was included. Yes, this is my trusty pedometer. For a while I used a "Map My Walk" app on my iPhone, but it was not reliable, so I am back to using my pedometer. Sometimes the latest technology is not better. I just ignore the fact that I don't know how to set the clock to Daylight Saving Time.