Seattle, WA and Portland, OR

We left Vancouver and headed back to the US for our next destination, Seattle, Washington. Seattle is the largest city in the Pacific Northwest region of North America and the fastest-growing major city in the United States. This city is full of character with it’s vibrant city-center and is home to Pike’s Place Market, the Space Needle, fresh, locally-sourced raw oysters, and a Ferris wheel at Pier 57.

Pike’s Place Market is an open market with everything from seafood to fresh fruit to dried flowers. The market opened in 1907 and is one of the oldest continually operating public farmer’s markets in the country. Thousands of tourists swarm the market daily to purchase fresh food and goods, steps away from one of the country’s most iconic coffee shop.

The iglide® car in front of the famous wall of gum in down town Seattle

Seattle, WA and Portland, OR

Before leaving Seattle and heading off the Portland, the car was brought to the celebrated Space Needle. The Space Needle is a landmark of the Pacific Northwest and a staple of the Seattle skyline.

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There is an observation deck from which to view the whole city of Seattle. Just like the Eiffel Tower, it was built for a world’s fair in 1962. When it first opened, nearly 20,000 people a day were taking elevators to get to the top to see the entire Seattle metropolis.

We were able to visit a fitness machinery design company that integrated our bearings in their top of the line equipment. We were able to tour their test room and see the bearings used first hand. iglide® bearings can significantly reduce noise and maintenance in fitness equipment. Their low-friction, self-lubricating operation keeps operation quiet, and eliminates the mess of oil leaking onto the machines.  Smooth operation of the iglide plastics makes machines move smoothly, making customer workouts their best.  Because they do not require external lubrication, maintenance is also unnecessary.

Our bearings inside this piece of fitness equipment 

iglide L280® bearings are a great solution for exercise equipment, possessing a low coefficient of friction, and high wear resistance. It’s also ideal for use with rough shafts or in abrasive environments, so manufacturers can use less expensive shafts in their equipment as well.

Seattle, WA and Portland, OR.4 Seattle, WA and Portland, OR.5 Seattle, WA and Portland, OR.6The car set up in the parking lot for a visit

After leaving Seattle it was time to head to Portland. Portland is a very unique city, famous for their food carts which celebrate food from almost every ethnicity you could imagine. The carts line over two blocks of the city and made picking what to eat for lunch very difficult. Some of us chose coffee from one cart, a salad from another, and desert from a third just to sample the incredible and unparalleled variety of food.

Seattle, WA and Portland, OR.7Food trucks lining the streets in Portland

Next we visited Powell’s Books, a bookstore chain located in Portland. We headed to the headquarters, dubbed Powell’s City of Books, which claims to be the largest independent new and used bookstore in the world. Besides boasting multiple buildings, inside the store each section has a color to indicate what genre the room is, because otherwise finding a book would be close to impossible.

Seattle, WA and Portland, OR.8The car going over the Hawthorne Bridge, the most well known of the multiple bridges in Portland

Our next stop is San Francisco where the car will get to drive over the Golden Gate Bridge.

We will keep you posted,

Sascha and Kayla

Foz do Iguaçu

From Rio Grande do Sul we took off towards one of the most beautiful places on Earth. About 560 miles separated us from the stunning Foz do Iguaçu waterfalls. Those 560 miles took us just under 17 hours! We left the hotel bright and early at 7AM, and didn’t reach the hotel until midnight!

Foz do Iguaçu

We got off-track a few times, heading in the wrong direction, but also had to face incredibly bad weather, dirt roads, and heavy traffic. At one point, we were stuck for more than an hour without moving an Inch.

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While this was exhausting for us,  it was no sweat for the bearings in the car. They are resistant against dirt and water, and have done us well over the past 17,400 miles! The 560 miles we drove today is no problem at all.

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The road to the waterfalls was very curvy, leading mainly through mountains and forest. While driving on roads like these, some of which were unpaved, it is important to have a good steering system, one that is reliable, and easy to maneuver. Self-lubricating igus bearings are used to improve the performance of thousands of vehicles manufactured each year all over the world. They ensure a smooth turning motion of the car, as well as stand up to continuous impact loads and changing temperatures.

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As soon as we caught our first glimpse of the Foz do Iguaçu waterfalls, we forgot all about the horrendous drive it took to get here. They were absolutely breathtaking – demonstrating just how powerful nature can be, as well as beautiful. It is incredible how much water flows over these falls, about three times as much as Niagra Falls!

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It is impossible to get one shot of the entire falls – they are incredibly massive – about 1.7 miles long, with 275 falls.

These waterfalls have drawing people to the area for centuries. According to legend, A God created these falls when he saw the woman he was about to marry fleeing with her lover in a canoe. The God, in a rage, sliced the Iguaçu river, creating the falls and condemning the lovers to an eternal fall. Less dramatically, the falls also stand as a natural boundary line between Brazil, Argentina, and Paraguay.

There are many pedestrian areas that allow you to get surprisingly close to the waterfalls. The National Park that surrounds the falls is also home to a wide variety of animals, including raccoons which were everywhere during our visit!

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We were not able to drive the car into the park, but were invited to jump on any of the public buses running through, many of which are using iglide bearings in their sliding door mechanism!

Nearby this natural wonder, is a wonder of engineering – the Itaipu Dam, located on common ground between Brazil and Paraguay. The dam is the largest hydroelectric facility in terms of energy generation. In fact, the dam produces about 70% of the power consumed by the entire nation of Paraguay!

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The structure is incredibly massive – 643 feet tall and over 25,000 feet long. In 1994, it was names one of the seven modern wonders of the world by the American Society of Civil Engineers.

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We are now heading back to São Paulo to end the Brazilian tour. The car will then be shipped off to the United States, where it will begin its travels in Anchorage, Alaska!

Until then,

Sascha