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A Trip Up North: Washington Part 2

Elias Moore

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While the Change of Arms ceremony was the reason my family and I took a trip to Washington, there were many other sites to visit while we had the opportunity. Following the submarine tour there were a few gatherings with friends at the houses they rented for their trip, before the next day began. We were, admittedly, told that there was no way to visit everything we wanted to in a single day, but I guess we proved everyone wrong.

 

The morning began with chilly weather and an early start to the day. My family climbed into our rental car and began the journey down a long country road to get to where our ferry would take us across the inlet and give us access to Seattle and our other destinations. Our boat hadn’t arrived yet, so we decided to walk around the surrounding town for a while. The ferry was a very large ship, but since we did not know exactly what it looked like, my family almost missed it. Thankfully, a loud horn announced its arrival and we sped back to our car before boarding began.

 

Once across, it was decided that we would drive north to Everett instead heading south to Seattle. The drive was mostly peaceful except for some heavy traffic in a few areas, and there was plenty of beautiful scenery. Upon arriving in Everett, we stopped at the Boeing headquarters and the Future of Flight museum. They are the only aircraft manufacturer to allow tours of the facility, so we happily bought tickets. Following a short promotional video our entire group was loaded on busses to drive to the factory. As we traveled across the many runways and parking areas, it became obvious just how massive the factory was. The Boeing Factory in Everett Washington is the single largest enclosed building in the WORLD. While it is not as wide as other buildings – only a mere 4.3 million square feet – its volume is 472 million cubic feet, an insanely large number. To put that in perspective, the entire Disneyland Florida park could fit inside the building (with parking space left over). Monumental amounts of space like this are needed due to the massive airplanes being built here. The 747, 767, 777, and the brand new 787 airplanes are all assembled at this factory.

 

My family and I were able to see this first hand. As we exited the bus our tour group was led down below the factory to a service tunnel that was so long that it was nearly impossible to see the other side at nearly a mile away. Near the entrance there was a service elevator to take us up 5 stories and give a nice view of the production line of the 767 and 747 airplanes. Up high, the workers looked like ants climbing over the metal shells of the new aircraft. Interiors were being installed, wings added, and systems checked all in an orderly fashion. This was the same for the other end of the factory. Traveling to the other side required a short bus ride, as we did not have the time to walk from one end to the other. At the edge was the new Boeing 787, having all the advancements in efficiency and quality you can expect from Boeing, like electronically dimming windows and a futuristic hull made of new compounds lighter than the metals previously used.

 

While this was a fun stop, there was one required visit for everyone who visits Seattle: the Space Needle. This tower looked out over the beautiful skyline and offered a beautiful 360 degree view of the surrounding landscape. Each tour began and ended with a ride in a glass elevator, zipping along the side of the building to or from the saucer shaped center at the top. The views from here were my final sights of Seattle before my family headed to the airport. However, this was not before an impromptu pitstop at Jimi Hendrix’s gravesite and memorial – only a few hours before our flight left – at night, and in the cold. Sadly I can’t complain because it was worth taking the extra time to finish everything we wanted to do in a single day. I guarantee we’re not heading back to Seattle for a long time. That was enough vacation for a while.

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The student news site of Rocky Mount Academy in Rocky Mount, North Carolina.
A Trip Up North: Washington Part 2