Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Boeing Factory

One of the few things I knew about Seattle before visiting was that the world's largest volume building (13.4 million cubic metres on a 40 hectare footprint) was around. That alone was enough to go & visit the Boeing assembly plant, but with my interest in manufacturing it was a must - plus planes are just cool. Unsurprisingly, no cameras are allowed on the tour so you'll just have to believe me that it is a big facility. We saw the assembly lines for the 747, 777 & 787 Dreamliner from high up above the floor. Naturally there were a whole lot of workstations, but being a Saturday backshift there wasn't a lot of activity. The group wasn't too big & the guide very informative - & clearly loving her job. Back at the Visitor Center it was great to get outside, enjoy the sun & watch a couple of WWII warbirds fly past twice. There was easily a few billion dollars of planes sitting around too.
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A 747 tail

Traveling north we made another brief detour to Burlington (finally found the B in BNSF) to hunt down a dog-bone for my bike - they didn't have one but I ended up with a pannier brace to hopefully do the job. With thirteen states, seventy-nine days & over 20000 km (12500 miles) of driving, almost 1000 km of mountain-biking over 80 hours we left the States & they let us back in to Canada. What a fantastic time we've had & every day we still see little things around that remind us just how much we've seen around the west-USA.  Not to mention all the fantastic riding I've done in some really great places.  If I was ever back for any length of time I think I'd spend a lot of time riding in Colorado, Wyoming, Idaho & Oregon. 

We eventually met Karin near a beach (it was the first sunny day in Vancouver in months) to grab the keys to let ourselves in to her & Adam's apartment. Very blessed to be staying in a home for a while, for the second time in the trip & also within a week.

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