Terminal 5 Trouble

The Duwamish Adventure continued today.  I walked around the area where West Marginal intersects with Delridge and Spokane streets.  The mouth of the Duwamish is just to the northeast of this big Port of Seattle terminal.

Back street by W Marginal mega intersecton
Back street by W Marginal mega intersection

T-5 has been in the news lately because it was where a Shell Oil drilling rig docked. This created a huge environmentalist demonstration at this basically empty terminal.  That all ended about 6 months ago in June of 2015 when the rig left for Alaska.

The Port is in the process of modernizing it to accommodate larger ships and replace aging dock and cranes.  They stopped moving containers in late July of 2014.  The Shell/Foss lease is a short-term use of the area while the Port gets ready for the updates.  Here is some signage I found next to the Chelan Cafe before I wandered down West Marginal Way towards their offices and security check point.

Terminal 5 land use sign
Terminal 5 land use sign
Map of T-5 on notice of land use
Map of T-5 on notice of land use

Wherever I go there are crows showing their stuff.  As I walked through an empty office parking lot I pulled out my small camera and snapped shots of a crow watching the West Seattle Freeway traffic from a light pole.  There was also a BNSF rail car with graffiti on it that I snapped a photo of.  Then I turned around and took a snap of the security gate area.

I was using the small pocket Canon instead of my bigger Nikon that today was on a tripod for stability.  My instincts often tell me to put the big camera away so I don’t get robbed or noticed as much.

As I started to exit the parking lot and walk back towards the mega intersection on West Marginal I heard this faint voice.  It was a security guard chasing me down.  She asked me what I was doing there and was telling me in no uncertain terms I should not be there.  Even accuse me of trespassing.  Technically I was since I was in their parking lot but it is a public street down here.  Here is a look at where I was.  You can see I was in public right-aways.  The red x is the security gate and the blue x is where I was.

Map of T-5 Security area
Map of T-5 Security area

She was not happy with me. So, I told her I had just taken some pictures of the crow up on the light pole and the trains.  She wanted to see the pictures to make sure I didn’t leave with photos of T-5.  As if they aren’t already out there in the internet.  That was when I pulled out my little camera and showed her the following pictures of the T-5 Sign, the train and the crow.

Then there was the picture of the security gate and building I had taken.  I was forced to delete it. As I said the funny part is there are pictures out there of this area.  Just do a google street view and you will get the following picture.  Plus when I walked further up the Alki Trail that parallels Spokane street I got another picture.

Google picture of T-5 Security like my deleted photo
Google picture of T-5 Security like my deleted photo
Terminal Security from distance
Terminal Security from distance

To keep peace I deleted it with a smile.  Talked to her a few more minutes and in that time realized how jumpy she was.  They assumed I was one of the environmental groups getting info on them.  When I tried to flip her badges over to see who she was and what her rights to interrogate me was.. she got even more defensive and said don’t touch me.  In hind sight I should haven’t have done that.

Told her I was leaving and walked away.  She watched me for a long time.  As I was getting back onto “free land” next to the cafe and West Marginal I saw a van out of the corner of my eye coming from the gate.  I rounded the bend to where the cafe has a fenced in smoking area for the bar.  There were three guys smoking cigars.  I told them my story and they were shocked.  It was then we turned around and there was the security van with lights on watching to be sure I really left the premises.  That includes the public street back there.  Uggg I figured they would be touchy but never like that.

But the best part was she didn’t even realize that I had my Nikon in my cloth bag with lots of photos of the pier and ships on the dock.  I am sure they would have been gone too if I had not had the instinct to hide that camera. Here are a few of those saved photos.  I will use more of them in future posts too.

Cranes and Space Needle in background
Cranes and Space Needle in background
Ships moored at T-5 on Duwamish waterway
Ships moored at T-5 on Duwamish waterway

After I left the back of the cafe, I got some more photos of T-5 from the bike trail. Last week I had done some reconnaissance on the area and noticed an open gate to the railroad that paralleled the terminal. Yes I was thinking of using that open gate to get access.  Guess what?  After that security shakedown and looking at the how the train guys were active there I decided it would not be a good idea to go inside that open gate.  Not at all!!

Open gate to BNSF railroad yard at T-5
Open gate to BNSF railroad yard at T-5

You can see there is a fence I would have encountered after risking life and limb crossing the railroad.  Wise decision I think to stay on the trail.

T-5 truck check in between rail cars
T-5 truck check in between rail cars

The next picture gives you an idea of the size of this area.  If I could get to the river it would have been a lot of walking.

T-5 from distance
T-5 from distance

That is my story today of trouble at Terminal 5.

I am still excited that I got down to the Duwamish and am now very close to the end of my adventure.  Stay tuned for a few more posts with the other sights I saw today.  In the weeks to come Jack Block Park is my next walk. That is at the tip of T-5 and next to the mouth of the river.  Then I can say mission completed!!

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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