Seattle & Roslyn – aka ‘Cicely Alaska’ (Northern Exposure!)

I finally encountered a downpour when I travelled from Portland to Seattle.001

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It is quite 036extraordinary how I have managed to arrive in places where they have unexpectedly high temperatures and blazing sunshine – just like in Portland.



The drive to Seattle was challenging – driving rain and lots of traffic. Arriving at Paris’s small but perfectly formed house within an area full of pine trees was delightful.



Alfie and I stretched our legs in her very big garden and waited for Paris to return from work and collect us for our outing to the 012Snappy Dragon restaurant where we met Kate and Elizabeth – other lovely women who belong to the same group as us.

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Although Paris wanted to give me her bedroom, Alfie and I were very happy sleeping in her living room, him on his portable bed and me on her comfy sofa.



After an early morning coffee Paris went off to work (as a Naturopath) while Alfie and I went for a walk around the neighbourhood.



Alfie and I hopped on a bus to go downtown, with me paying just $1 as I am a ‘Senior’ (from 62 in Seattle, from 65 in California). I contacted Maggie (another member of the group) who works in a Hub downtown because Paris doesn’t have wifi and I had had a minor disaster – misunderstanding my website lady, I deleted the images in my ‘media file’ – only to have an e mail from her asking me if I had meant to delete every single image from every single blog….

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These things happen. The good news was that I learnt to optimise my images and started the process of adding the photos to the 17 naked blogs. Maggie set me up in the Hub, Alfie lay dutifully under the table and I began the laborious task.



At lunchtime, we met up with Rita, bought ourselves a nice picnic and sat in a local park. Downtown Seattle wasn’t that appealing to me.



We then had coffee in Starbucks 008



Returning to the Hub I carried on my work, then got on the bus to go uptown to 137th street, with Maggie.




Alfie and I then went for a long walk around the neighbourhood, bumping into a woman who has 2 border collies and was excited to meet Alfie.


I love the way that Americans call their garden their ‘yard’: so whereas we have garden-waste they have yard-waste.

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Alfie also enjoyed eye-balling the local cats.



Paris and I went to Ivo’s Salmon Restaurant along the river where I started to see the lovely parts of Seattle.


I was delighted to see their pictures of Chief Seattle and his daughter. I was less impressed with their ‘famous fish and chips’. Nowhere near as good as the average chippie in the UK. I enjoyed my fountain drink – otherwise known as limitless root beer.

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Paris then drove me around showing me the beaches where young people were having fires and the various bars.



The following morning I took Alfie to Carkeek park along the river for a really delightful walk and I realise now why Seattle is so attractive to people. Maggie told me she loved the climate (it rains quite a lot).



The weather was warm and partly sunny while I was there, after the initial rainy journey. I bumped into Kristin and her puppy – a ‘Newfie’. They seem very popular in Oregon and Washington State.

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I spent another couple of hours re-uploading blog images while sitting in Starbucks nursing a coffee and meeting some interesting people.









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After another walk it was time for Alfie and me to set off for Roslyn, going over a pass at 5,000 metres and encountering snow as well as some lovely scenery on the way.







Roslyn was the one place I was determined to visit. Why? Because I am obsessed with Northern Exposure and Roslyn was where the outside scenes were shot. It was allegedly ‘Cicely Alaska’ and the sign for the Roslyn cafe was changed to add an s for the filming – Roslyn’s cafe – which was then removed at the end.



I entered the town expecting it to be disappointing but in fact it was delightful. I felt so very happy to be there and Alfie and I walked around as I snapped pictures to my heart’s content. I went in The Brick (the bar in the series and a bar in real life) and had a burger. I chatted to someone who told me where to find Maggie’s house, Ruth-Ann’s house and shop, Joel’s house, the radio station…. All of this means 053 054 056 058 063 064 065 066 068 070 071 072 073 074 075 076 077 080 092 093 095 096 097 103 105 107 108 109 110 112 114 115 117 118 120 123 129 130 133 139 144 145 146 147something to those who avidly watched the series (I have the large box set) and nothing to those who haven’t!



As night fell I returned to The Brick to have a cup of tea and work on the internet. I enjoyed the atmosphere and as they were closing I chatted to the barman who explained that the tables are so heavy because the lighter ones were destroyed when fights broke out.



He showed me his hand, injured by a drunken visitor, but then said that the clientel had changed! Now many people come from Portland for the weekend. It is a huge place.



At 11.00, I parked the car near one of the 4 churches (?!) in the small town and Alfie and I bedded down for the night.



Awaking at 7.00, we had a walk around the sleepy cold town and then I had breakfast in Roslyn’s cafe – waffles with bacon, maple syrup and egg and unlimited coffee.



We walked around the town, finding the cabin that belonged to the ex-Nasa pilot in the series and then over to the cemeteries. Very many different nationalities worked in the coal mines and there were several disasters, commemorated at the different cemeteries. 25 nationalities in all.



As I had to leave, I telephoned the man who ran the gift shop (Joel Fleischman’s doctor’s surgery in the series). He popped down to open up and I found that he had been an extra in most of the episodes. He told me that the Cicely sign, when auctioned off, cost him $5,000. I photographed him and took a photo of the picture he had of himself in the series.



Every year, Roslyn hosts ‘Moosefest’ and Northern Exposure fanatics flock into the town to relive their favourite television series. The people I talked to are proud of their association with it. Northern Exposure always started with the image of a Moose walking down the street by Roslyn’s Cafe. I was told that it was shot by chance because the Moose kept escaping from where it was kept.



I left with some hesitation but it was time to move on. We visited the 153lake area where they did some filming.



Then it was time to be on our way – to East Oregon.