People do different things with their free time. I tend to be a little different than most in this regard. Having just entered my second half century of life, I decided it was about time to start taking some of the less traveled roads that I had bypassed earlier in my life. One of these roads is volunteering and community service. Which led me to Puget Sound Blood Center. It not only became a passion of mine but I found I enjoyed both volunteering and donating.
I became friends with many of the staff and volunteers at the Olympia center, where most of my donations have been made. However, I had a curiosity about the other centers around Western Washington. Did they look the same? Were the people as friendly and pleasant in Bellingham as they were in Vancouver? Which center had the best needle pokers? How did the others compare to my home center in Olympia?
I decided to embark on a one man quest to find out. I obtained a list of centers and decided to visit all eleven in the course of a year. Seeing that many were several hours away, I decided to also be environmentally sound and try and get to each center without the use of my automobile. I came up with several options on how to do this but I was not sure all were feasible or even possible. I like to think of myself as a friend of the earth but in reality I drive my car about 90% of the time so this was also going to be a learning experience in mass transit and learning how to get to places out of the physical area that I knew. I came up with a list of possible combinations of transport and decided to try to implement all, at least once, in my quest. Here was my list: city bus, Amtrak, bicycle, car pool, walking, Grey hound bus, hitchhiking, electric or hybrid car, commuter train, roller blades, and scooter. Many suggested I give up hitchhiking, and I didn’t even know anyone with an electric car but I did have plenty of other options and I set off a year ago to achieve my goal.