Posted in My Duwamish Adventure

Georgetown Power Plant Pump House

I couldn’t help myself yesterday to go find the Pump House for the steam plant. I was driving down East Marginal Way on my way between Estate Sales and took this small detour in the rain.  8th Avenue South was not as easy to find as I thought.  It angles off of East Marginal and now I know why I couldn’t find it using Google Maps.

South side Georgetown Steam Plant pump house
South side Georgetown Steam Plant pump house
North side Georgetown Steam Plant pump house
North side Georgetown Steam Plant pump house

Here is the view back to the West side of the river and the park commemorating the old 8th Street bridge.  The post with details can be found at Bridge & Steam Plant History.

Want more on Georgetown Steam Plant?  Georgetown Steam Plant Directory

8th Street South Park commemorating old bridge
8th Street South Park commemorating old bridge

The pump house is not in the best repair with paint of different shades on it covering up graffiti and tags.  Not surprised when you look at the sad state of this little river access park.  I searched to see who the park belongs to on both Seattle and Port of Seattle web sites. Neither mention it but it must belong to someone.  There is a sign holder, a bench and art.  The sign holder is not plain either.  It has two fish in the design.

Who's park is this? We have a sign holder but no info.
Who’s park is this? We have a sign holder but no info.
Duwamish access end 8th Ave So - East bank
Duwamish access end 8th Ave So – East bank
Battered Park - East side Duwamish - 8th St South
Battered Park – East side Duwamish – 8th St South

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

Posted in Green River Trail, My Duwamish Adventure

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

Posted in Green River Trail, My Duwamish Adventure

1st Avenue South Bridge Underskirts

Yesterday I walked from the 14th Avenue South Bridge to under the 1st Avenue South Bridge. Walking the trails has revealed many bridge underskirts and this one did not disappoint.  For those that live in Seattle, this is also Highway 99 and is where Hwy 509 & 599 join up to cross the Duwamish River.

 

In my study of the river’s original course I learned that the river had a bend here and on both sides of the bridge are small inlets that are remnants of those bends.  I got a few photos of one of those that a container company borders.  I will post them in a separate post later, but here is a tickler to get your imagination going on what this place looked like more than 100 years ago.  (river was dredged in 1913).

Remnants of Duwamish River original course
Remnants of Duwamish River original course

Under the bridge is a maze of road, ramps, river and industry.  At the end of my hike I came to where the container company resides.  If you look carefully at the end of the video there is a small building by parked cars.  That borders the inlet above.

A car inside the chain link fence came out and the motorized gate opened for them.  They then drove off as I was taking a short 360 degree video you can see below.  Guess they worried I would try to trespass because they came back and waited for it to close.

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

Posted in Georgetown Steam Plant, My Duwamish Adventure

Duwamish – Bridge & Steam Plant History

Before the 14th Avenue South and 1st Avenue South Bridges across the Duwamish a Trolley Bridge gave access to Southpark.  It was at the end of 8th Avenue South and Portland Avenue.

It was erected in 1914 and demolished in 1937.  This small park has an art installation commemorating this piece of history.  This is part of Duwamish Revealed’s 2015 project to bring art and a celebration of Seattle’s only river.  Here is a close up of the information and credits of the artist.

Details on trolley bridge over Duwamish River
Details on trolley bridge over Duwamish River

This small park is surrounded by industry and small houses.  It was carved out of a corner that touches the river.

To my delight I found a small treasure that is related to the Georgetown Steam Plant.  I did an extensive visit and series of posts around this historical wonder of old electricity production.

Follow this link to learn more – Georgetown Steam Plant

Look across the Duwamish River and there is the pump house that fed the steam plant after they straightened the river.  Before it was dredged and they drained the curves out of the river the steam plant was next to the river.  Once the curves were gone it was stranded until this pump house a mile away was built.  Bonus to the photo is how it has Seattle’s skyscrapers contrasted to the 100 year old cutting edge technology of electricity generated by steam. Times change!

Pump Station for Georgetown Steam Plant - after course of Duwamish was changed
Pump Station for Georgetown Steam Plant – after course of Duwamish was changed

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

Posted in Green River Trail, My Duwamish Adventure

Duwamish Adventure Begins

To finish my Green River Trail journey, I went back to the Cecil Moses Memorial Park.  This was the place I started from and went south along the trail.  This time I went North to where I had heard there was an end or is it a beginning of the Green River Trail?

My route was more off trail in that I wanted to follow the river.  Then I would circle around on the formal trail.  Here is what I saw and found.

First I walked behind the US Postal Service Center.  That means I walked along the river bank between chain link fence and blackberries.  I walked quickly by a homeless encampment that was erected inside the brambles. Gladly on the other side of the fence a trucker was walking and we chatted for a few minutes. Having folks see me on the other side of the fence and with mace in hand I moved along.

To my surprise as I moved a little deeper into the brush and trees I found a set of stairs going into a canyon type area.  Did I go there?  Of course I did.

Stairs in the forest
Stairs in the forest

Once I was in the area I call “the moat” I climbed over small branches and debris.  It was fairly easy-going and at one point I got up on the river side bank and looked at the river through the brambles.  For all you worried about the homeless, I never encountered anyone.  Here are a few photos looking back at the stairs and moving to the north.

I finally got to the end of the moat area and climbed out.  There was a bunny there but he ran away faster than my camera skills.  Then I saw the transition

Out of the rabbit hole moat
Out of the rabbit hole moat

Right over a small mound and the brambles was a lawn and groomed trail.  I was now at the southern end of Boeing’s Oxbow parking lot and behind the Oxbow Recreation Center.

As I walked along the river I took photos of the east bank of the river.  It was low tide and it had exposed old pilings, pavement pushed in, drainage pipes of various size, trees and stumps.

Not only do I have the river in pictures but also the bridges and parking lot area.

Oxbow Bridge
Oxbow Bridge
trail goes under Oxbow bridge
trail goes under Oxbow bridge
Underneath Oxbow Bridge
Underneath Oxbow Bridge
Turquoise pipes in storage
Turquoise pipes in storage
Storage area in the Oxbow Parking Lot
Storage area in the Oxbow Parking Lot

The adventure not only found bridges and man’s abuse of the river but also some birds.  I encountered blue herons, a kingfisher, ducks and crows.  Check out the herons and my crow friends next to Hwy 599.  The fence has been ran into by someone here and you can see how far the car came onto the Green River Trail.

Green River Trail between trucks
Green River Trail between trucks & accident site

Then there was the most incrediable boat.  Not sure who it belongs to but it is one sleek baby.  See the city profile behind it.  The Duwamish has so many surprises.

Spectacular Boat and Seattle on Duwamish
Spectacular Boat and Seattle on Duwamish

This view of the boat was from a surprise staircase I found.  That is right, if you walk around and poke into things you find mystery staircases.  That was two of them on this trip.  Wow.

Hidden stairs to marsh
Hidden stairs to marsh

There was a small amount of solid ground when I got to the river bank.  To my right was a forest of grass and the tide had gone out.  I daintily walked around in there and at one point sunk my right boot into the muck.  It looked like black oil on it.  David would be proud of me that I took my boots off in the car and drove home in my stockings.

At last I made it to the beginning of the Green River Trail.  Some might call it the end and it is pretty abrupt. Next journey will be down the perimeter road of Hwy 599 into Southpark. I am now on the Duwamish.  See how much of the river bank I can follow.

Green River Trail ends here (or begins)
Green River Trail ends here (or begins)
Green River Trail - first or last sign
Green River Trail – first or last sign

 

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

Posted in Green River Trail

Green River Trail Ends

My quest began back in May to hike the Green River Trail.   Some 50 miles of walking later I made it to where the trail meets the Interurban Trail.  Don’t forget each trip I made I walked as far as I could.  Then would turn around and walk back to my car.

In the picture above you can see both trail signs showing the way. This is either the beginning or the end of the road. For this girl it was the finish line.  In the spirit of how I have been documenting the quest let’s go back to the beginning of the day’s hike.  It started where I left off at the Meeker River Bridge and the golf course there.

River, Golf Driving Range and the trail
River, Golf Driving Range and the trail

This fence is huge that surrounds the driving range overshadowing a lovely golden tree which you can see in the center of the photo above.

Golden leaves glow from the light
Golden leaves glow from the light

This photo I took by laying on my back in the grass.  The light coupled with the form of the trees branches has the power to transport you  into fall.  Next you can see the tree as I walk away.

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Signs old and new abound along the trail.

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This section of the trail is similar to all the others.  It is a combination of paved trail and road that follows the river.  The sights I see are all serendipitous.  I am going to organize them in two groups.   They are bridges which have been a great subject this quest and pastoral views along the way.

First the pastoral views:

I have come to love the view of bridges new and old along the trail.  This last piece did not disappoint.

At Foster Park there was a great map of the Kent Park Departments piece of the river trails. They have created several routes that are round trips.  Good information if you are going to follow my quest.

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Then I had a perfect finale to my trip down the Green River Trail.  When I got into my car a small family of crows came over and gave me the “where are the peanuts?” eyeball.  Last time I was at that parking lot I fed them and they never forget a face.  Of course I fed them and here is a happy guy.

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Posted in Green River Trail

Golf, Bridges & Green River Trail

The Green River Trail winds through Kent, Washington sandwiched between the river and a large golf course.  Weeks ago I left off my walk down the trail at where the eagles raised their two babies.  Today, I walked a piece south of the nest that borders the Riverbend Golf Complex.

Signs warn the walkers and bikers to watch for errant balls and there are a few tall black fences to protect us.

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The last time I was in this area not only did I get some good shots of the eaglet but also of a baby swallow.  This time I captured this Flicker atop the fence.

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As you know from my prior posts of the trail, I am fascinated by the bridges that crisscross the river and the trail.  This area did not disappoint me.  Where Meeker Avenue crossed the river there was the old green metal car bridge and a pedestrian / golf cart bridge too.

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The salmon season was on and the river bank was lined by many fisherman.  Wonder how many really got a fish?

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I am always looking for local history and there next to the fisherman is the remnants of the original bridge’s footings.

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Next to the parking area for the trail I noticed a retired guy with a huge white beard selling found golf balls in egg cartons.  While I was down in the brush by the river to get a good river photo and yes I must confess taking a pee… I found a golf ball.  I picked it up and when I came back by gave it to him

He proceeded to tell me that he couldn’t sell it do to a ding in it.  However, he saves the ones he finds that are flawed and donate them to the golf course.  They in turn give them to kids who are learning to play.  Then I found out that all the sales he makes he gives to his neighbor’s daughter.  They are not so well off and that is used to buy her school supplies and other things she needs.   This conversation made my day.

I leave you with my favorite photo of the day.  It is the car bridge mirrored in the Green River.  Hope everyone is inspired to get out and enjoy the world!

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Posted in Green River Trail, History and other topics

Bridged Nature

This week’s Green River Trail adventure took me under many bridges that span the river at Southcenter.  Starting just south of Fort Dent where I had left off my last trail walk, I wove my way to 180th and back north on the Interurban trail.

This section of the trail gives one the most unique view of bridge after bridge from an angle you never see from your moving car.  It is a meeting of nature and highways.  Hence – Nature Bridged.

The beginning of my walk today was through an area where at least 4 bridges cross the Green River.  This first picture shows Hwy 181 or West Valley Hwy/Interurban.  Check out the other bridge in the distance.

West Valley Hwy/Interurban way Bridge over Green River & I405 ramp
West Valley Hwy/Interurban way Bridge over Green River & I-405 ramp

Next comes ramps to I-405 and Southcenter Blvd.

Bridges over Green River - I 405 & Southcenter Blvd
Bridges over Green River – I 405 & Southcenter Blvd
Green River under Southcenter Blvd
Green River under Southcenter Blvd

When you emerge from under that bridge there was I-405 rumbling by on its bridge.

Trail goes under I-405
Trail goes under I-405
Pillar of bridge over Green River under I-405
Pillar of bridge over Green River under I-405
I-405 Bridge from down under
I-405 Bridge from down under

Hanging in the brush is a remnant of an old car wreck.  Did this just get thrown off the bridge or did the whole car come over?

Car Part survives on Green River
Car Part survives on Green River

A reminder that bicycle traffic is brisk on the trail.  I was in the minority walking and had to watch my back all the time.  No one tickled a bell at me the whole time, but then I walk on the left so I can see who is coming.  Then the bike traffic going my way doesn’t run over me either.

Green River Trail Sign
Green River Trail Sign

I round the next bend and came upon old pilings in the river surrounded by hotels.  There is a historical marker there that tells us what they are but alas someone ripped off the informational plate.  Dang!  Does anyone know what these are?  note: I did more research and found this is Nelson Landing. The farmhouse is still there on West Valley and is a protected trust historical site. Those pilings are the boat landing before freeways.  Mystery solved buts sad the plaque was stolen.

Old Pilings - what did they support? Old bridge?
Old Pilings – what did they support? Old bridge?
What did this historic marker say?
What did this historic marker say?

After a bit of walking along, I came to Strander Blvd and it’s bridge.  Under we went.

Strander Blvd Bridge over Green River
Strander Blvd Bridge over Green River
Under Strander Blvd
Under Strander Blvd
Trail dives under Strander
Trail dives under Strander

The best bridge was the old railroad trestle.  It was the oldest by far and looked to still be in use.  I got another view of it on my return trip.  I walked back on the Interurban trail which is on the other side of the river and follows the route of the old Interurban rails and the modern railroad tracks.  These tracks are the main lines out of Seattle.

Lastly came the 180th South Bridge which meets up with West Valley Highway.

180th South Bridge at West Valley
180th South Bridge at West Valley

 

180th Bridge over Green River at Orilla
180th Bridge over Green River at Orilla

From here I hiked back to the car along the Interurban Trail.  Not as nearly pretty but I did see a mother Downy Woodpecker feed her baby.

Interurban trail sign
Interurban trail sign
Power lines create optic illusion on Interurban trail
Power lines create optic illusion on Interurban trail

And the adventure ended with another bridge.  Not as pretty as all the Green River bridges. Hope you enjoyed the under belly of bridges from the trails.

Bridge over West Valley Highway - not that pretty
Bridge over West Valley Highway – not that pretty
Posted in Green River Trail, History and other topics

Riverton Bridge – new & old

Last week I walked down the Green River Trail and showed you a photo looking down the river to the Riverton Bridge.   Today, I started where I left off on the trail, which is right across from the new and old bridge site.

http://wp.me/p1d1cX-15q – this is the link to last week’s post.

The old bridge has been gone almost 100 years and the new one isn’t a spring chicken either.  I found a photo on Historylink.org that they had up from the King County Archives.

Riverton Draw Bridge - King County Archives photo & History Link
Riverton Draw Bridge – King County Archives photo & History Link

Next here is a good look at the old mid river island that held the old draw bridge up.

Riverton Bridge - island and pilings all left
Riverton Bridge – island and pilings all that is left

Just a tad bit to the south and in a much better location here is the mid-century steel bridge.

New Bridge down from old Riverton Bridge
New Bridge down from old Riverton Bridge