Duwamish meanderings in Southpark

This post will round out my investigation of Southpark’s Duwamish River Bank by showing you some of the varied sights I encountered.  This ranges from cranes, houses, warehouses, and of course the river.

When I went straight at the Cloverdale & 14th Ave intersection, so I could drive down by the Southpark Marina, I encountered a murder of crows in a tree on Dallas and 16th.  Little did I know that when I returned several hours later that the murder would be gathering in mass here. This must have been the guard troop left behind to secure their home territory.

Crows greeted me in Southpark
Crows greeted me in Southpark

I started by parking near the 14th Avenue South Bridge and followed South Orr Street. This street and South Dallas Avenue both curve unlike the rest of the grid layout in Southpark.This is because before the Duwamish was straightened there was an oxbow between the two roads. A definition of what that is comes from Wiki:

An oxbow lake is a U-shaped body of water that forms when a wide meander from the main stem of a river is cut off, creating a free-standing body of water. This land form is so named for its distinctive curved shape, resembling the bow pin of an oxbow.

I turned onto 12th and headed towards the river.   At Elmgrove I came to a corner where I could access the river bank.  Here I can look back at the bridge.

Duwamish river bank - 12th Ave So
Duwamish river bank – 12th Ave So

From this view-point if one turns around there is a mirrored art installation that was erected for Duwamish Revealed.  It was so much fun taking photos with it I did a separate post that you can find at this link – Mirror Art on Duwamish

Trucking down Elmgrove to 10th I found the Duwamish Waterway Park.  Long expanse of green grass with benches, picnic tables and a small beach area.

Duwamish Waterway Park in Southpark
Duwamish Waterway Park in Southpark

A pair of crows were scratching around and of course I took their photo.

Crow foraging at Duwamish Waterway Park
Crow foraging at Duwamish Waterway Park

There was a couple of homeless folks over in a far corner so I used my less expensive camera for a few shots. Did not want to make myself a robbery target needlessly.

My shadow and the beach at Duwamish Waterway Park
My shadow and the beach at Duwamish Waterway Park

From the park I went down 10th and turned onto Kenyon continuing my zig-zag route along the roads next to the river.  At the corner of 8th & Kenyon I found some large pieces permanently displayed next to a building that seemed unused now.  One was a huge anchor and the others were types of machinery.

Some research on this property turned up that it was Sea Bay, a Boat Manufacturing Company. It was for sale a while ago but around the corner in the yard was some activity.

Here is a picture to give you a bigger view of how things are becoming much more industrial versus residential.

West view down Chicago Avenue from 8th Ave South - Seattle/Southpark
West view down Chicago Avenue from 8th Ave South – Seattle/Southpark

As I walked down 8th I came across a yard with a dog that was paralyzed and using a doggy wheelchair.  I talked to the lady owner for quite a while about him and the neighborhood.  She then told me about the small park that had been built down the street where the corner intersected with the river. It told the story of how there was a trolley bridge over the Duwamish there.  I did a separate post on this historical site plus how across the river was the Georgetown Steam Plant pump house.   Here is the link for your viewing pleasure – Old Bridge over Duwamish info

Duwamish River from site of old bridge in Southpark
Duwamish River from site of old bridge in Southpark

This was where I also realized that I was on the Duwamish Trail.  Who knew it even existed. This was a fairly recent extension of it through Southpark.  After the corner history park on 8th I went down Portland Avenue South and turned onto 7th.  That street bends slightly to follow the river and becomes Riverside Drive.  More industry for one to see.

Right when I figured I was wandering in a no-man’s land of work there was two houses on the river bank.  And then I saw the door!

The blue door in the middle of industry
The blue door in the middle of industry

Strange but true here was a house behind fences and hedges that was a fortress against the no-man’s land wilderness.

No time to waste though, I was right next to the river and more things to see.  Riverside Dr turned into Webster Street, next I turned onto 5th South and to the left onto Fontanelle Street.

The river was certainly being abused in this corner of the city.  That recycling plant across the river had tons of metal. All this machinery on the west bank had been used for many years too. No wonder pollution is being cleaned up.  I have to hope the new owners of these properties are trying to be cleaner.

Then as I walked down Fontanelle I had another moment of surprise.  There on top of a building next to the fence was something really out-of-place…  a carousal horse.  You got it right, a horse you would put your kids on for a ride that goes around and around with a calliope playing in the background.

What is this in the middle of industrial wasteland?
What is this in the middle of industrial wasteland?


Go Figure - a Carousal Horse
Go Figure – a Carousal Horse

This is where I came to 2nd Avenue South and turned to the north.  I knew on my map that this was a dead-end but I wanted to see the small piece of the original river before it was straightened.  I was not disappointed but it was a bit disconcerting down this street and I had my mace in hand most of the way.  No worry though, the place was deserted and I got some good photos of this little corner of the Southpark world up against the 1st Avenue South Bridge.

2nd Ave South dead-end in Southpark
2nd Ave South dead-end in Southpark

If you look at the map with the old and new river course, you can see how the 1st Avenue South Bridge runs right between the arms of a bend in the river’s old path.  This little inlet is a piece of the one lower southern end.

After I had reached my destination of seeing the inlet I hustled out of that deadend and turned onto Holden Street right at where Hwy 599 had a stop light and the approach to the 1st Avenue South Bridge was.  I walked down under the bridge to see its underskirts. Here is a post with a 360 degree video of what that was like.  Underskirts of 1st Ave So Bridge

It was only 3pm at that time but the sun was getting lower in the sky.  I hiked it back to Holden and followed part of the new Duwamish Trail through some other streets of Southpark.  This last set of photos are some of the eclectic things of manufacturing and houses that I saw on my way back.

Then I saw my car. I did have a slight worry that it might be stolen but it was where I left it. To get out of the marina I had to go around back towards the crow tree and that was where I saw the whole flock.   Southpark Crow Murder

What a trek this all was!  My next leg in the adventure will be north of 1st Avenue South Bridge. That is a long piece of West Marginal Way that has no access to the river with shipping container storage and other big industrial lots.  We shall see what I find there.

To see more of my Duwamish Adventure I have a directory post that links all of the pieces together.  You can find that post here – My Duwamish Adventure Directory

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