Posted in My Duwamish Adventure

Our Only River – The Duwamish

My adventure to walk the Duwamish River ended at Jack Block Park. Here we are at the mouth of the river at last. It is a bittersweet moment for me. We expect a river to be beautiful and dreamy. I think my video will tell the story of how Seattle’s only River is not so magical as it was 150 years ago.

I encourage everyone to walk the trails in our city. What I learned being on the street instead of driving on the street was tremendous. One will learn history, talk to your neighbors, and find new parks and restaurants to visit.

Bicycling is another option but I have to say I was passed by many cyclist who were in nothing but a hurry to get somewhere.

It is a skill to dawdle and saunter in this day of instant everything. The phrase “Stop and smell the Roses” is more true than ever.

See you out there Seattle!! Put down your technology and look, listen and learn life.

To see all 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 My Duwamish Adventure

T-105 Port of Seattle Park

Terminal 105 Park was reclaimed by the Port of Seattle into a park from industrial land on the Duwamish. They began this process in 1995 a few years before they worked on T-107 and the City of Seattle created Herring’s House Park.

This park is a little ways north of the twin parks.  It is a narrow piece of land that gives the public access to the river.  You can park at the entrance area and walk down the road next to the reclaimed slough or you can park at the picnic area.  There is limited turn around or parking at that end so be careful if you go.

Restored Slough area with CalPortland looming
Restored Slough area with CalPortland looming

They have reclaimed the land to include a slough like tidal area.  This is on the south side of the road to the river.  On the north side is a fence and row of trees that shield us from a gravel and rock plant.  When I left a truck was loading medium size boulders onto a dump truck.

Industry next to T-105 Park
Industry next to T-105 Park

Once you get down to the river there is a picnic area, pier and landscaped grass area.  The pier seems to have some structural issues since I last was here.  They have it chain link fenced off.  Wonder if a boat or barge hit it?

Pier at T-105 is closed due to unsafe structure
Pier at T-105 is closed due to unsafe structure

Here are a few shots of the nice covered picnic area.

T-105 Picnic area & garden
T-105 Picnic area & garden
Picnic time at T-105
Picnic time at T-105

While I was there several water craft came by.  Here is one I captured next to the barges being unloaded at the gravel plant.

Duwamish Boat Traffic from T-105
Duwamish Boat Traffic from T-105

Off to the south end of the park area is a grassy area where I discovered a Duwamish Revealed art installation.  Here is a link to that.  Art at T-105

There is also a small boat launch off to the south of this grass area and I was able to get down on the beach to take some pictures of birds, pilings, the river and best of all Mt Rainier.

Duwamish & Mt Rainier from T-105
Duwamish & Mt Rainier from T-105

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 My Duwamish Adventure

Underpinning and Beacon at T-105

Duwamish Revealed has been active this last year. When I went to T-105 Park guess what I found?  Another art installation!

This time it is two wooden sculptures designed by Jay Lazerwitz – Underpinning and Beacon.

When you arrive at this small grass area in the park you first see Underpinning.

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Underpinning - Jay Lazerwitz part of Duwamish Revealed
Underpinning – Jay Lazerwitz part of Duwamish Revealed

A little to the right and closer to the small boat launch is Beacon.

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Beacon - Jay Lazerwitz part of Duwamish Revealed
Beacon – Jay Lazerwitz part of Duwamish Revealed

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 My Duwamish Adventure

Growing to Sea – Duwamish Revealed Art

T-107 has a Duwamish Revealed art installation called Growing to Sea.  A little twist of words on Going to Sea and made of natural materials.  Be interesting to see what it looks like when spring comes and the perennials come to life.

Duwamish Revealed Art at T-107 Park
Duwamish Revealed Art at T-107 Park

Want to see more Duwamish Revealed Art?  Here is their website plus two more encounters with this creative celebration of the river I had on my Duwamish adventure .

Duwamish Revealed website

Mirror Art in Southpark

Old Bridge Art Installation

One final note –  I didn’t see the fly on the signage until I got home reviewing my pictures. Guess he wanted to be part of the blog too.

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 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 Revealed Mirror Art

Duwamish Revealed placed different art around the river and yesterday during my walk through Southpark I discovered this gem.  Here is the info on who and what it is:

Duwamish Revealed Art - Alone. Standing, in the middle of Darkness. Invisible. - by Ben Zamora
Duwamish Revealed Art – Alone. Standing, in the middle of Darkness. Invisible. – by Ben Zamora

Check out how the photo is not what you think it is.   Plus you get to see me in my walking garb with camera in action.

Enjoy the art and river views.

An illusion of the river
An illusion of the river
See the edges of reality?
See the edges of reality?
14th Ave So Bridge and Duwamish River reflection plus me.
14th Ave So Bridge and Duwamish River reflection plus me.
Mirror Art - 12th Ave So & Elmgrove - Seattle
Mirror Art – 12th Ave So & Elmgrove – Seattle
Duwamish River and Crow Stalker with camera
Duwamish River and Crow Stalker with camera

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

My Duwamish Adventure

The Duwamish River has mystery around it.   There is a conundrum of industry and nature along its banks.  Please go with me on an adventure trekking the length of her.  We will start at a place I consider her transformation from the Green River to the Duwamish.  This place has a large rock at low tide and at one time my senses tell me it was the end of large vessel navigation.

This quest is not as easy as my Green River Trail project.  The path along the river bank does not exist in a continuous groomed manner on the Duwamish.  You will hear me refer to the sign that is the end or beginning of the Green River Trail.  That is the place where following the river becomes more of an adventure.

Along the way I learned more about how the River was straightened.  With a few maps I realized that there are several remnants of the old river.  They appear to be places to park boats but in reality they are where the river bends intersected the man-made channel.  Here are two pictures I found that show this.

Here is a listing of my blog posts.  As I traverse the only river in Seattle I will add to this list, so do come back to use this as a guide.  Do be kind to the river and then she will be kind to you!   Join in her revitalization by joining any of the groups helping restore her glory.

Duwamish Adventure Begins – Duwamish Adventure – Chapter 1

This is the kickoff post of my adventure.  It traverses the river from the Cecil Moses Park to the south side of Turning Basin #3.  You will see some hidden stairs, the back of the USPS center, Oxbow Boeing bridge and walking trail plus my getting stuck in the muck.

Duwamish River’s Rich and Homeless – Duwamish Adventure – Chapter 2

This last couple of weeks I walked several times from the Turning Basin #3 up through Southpark to the 14th Avenue South Bridge.  I was struck by the mixture of use the river has on it.  The Green River Trail was mostly natural with a splattering of warehouses and homes.  The Duwamish is so different.  Check out the spectacular yachts right next to those less fortunate.

Duwamish River Electrified – Duwamish Adventure – Chapter 3

Got your attention!  This article is not about the river being live with electricity but rather about a City Light substation wedged between the river and freeway.  Remember how I stated I had to be inventive on my quest to get to the river bank?  This article not only will show you the massive wires and transformers but also how I got to the bank.

Duwamish Industry and Houses Southpark – Duwamish Adventure – Chapter 4

As I traipsed along the river I collected a collection of photos of the mixed use the river has.  This article gives you a glimpse of that variety. In some places I only could get a glimpse of the river but then others I gloried in her nearness.

Southpark Bridge across Duwamish River – Duwamish Adventure – Chapter 5

The Duwamish River has had a bridge at 14th Avenue South for many years.  Recently, the old one was closed due to disrepair.  After a lot of politics the money was raised to build a new bridge. On my walk along the river, I came upon this lovely new bridge and a well designed and informative park built under and around it.

Sights in Southpark – Duwamish Adventure – Chapter 6

When I walk I often find fun things that I have to share.  This chapter is more about the town of Southpark and some quirky things found while seeking out the river bank.

Duwamish Revealed Mirror Art – Duwamish Adventure – Chapter 7

In Southpark at 12th Avenue South and Elmgrove one can stumble upon this mirror cube and the illusions of the river.

Duwamish – Bridge & Steam Plant History – Duwamish Adventure – Chapter 8

A bridge was built over the newly straightened Duwamish in 1914 and this Duwamish Revealed Art installation commemorates that site.  It also points out the pump house for the Georgetown Steam Plant that saved it when the river’s course was re-directed.

1st Avenue South Bridge Underskirts – Duwamish Adventure – Chapter 9

Check out what the bridge looks like under the roadway and next to the Duwamish river with a 360 degree video.

Duwamish meanderings in Southpark – Duwamish Adventure – Chapter 10

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.  Add a few surprises in there too!

West side Duwamish 8th Avenue South and steam plant pump house – Duwamish Adventure – Chapter 11

Went to the small neglected park on the west side of the Duwamish end of 8th Avenue. Photos of the pump house and gritty park where the bridge over 100 years ago crossed the river.

River View Park – under 1st Avenue South Bridge – Duwamish Adventure – Chapter 12

This is the north side of the bridge where a small neglected park harbors some of our neglected citizens.

Shipping Container Yards and Cement Plant on River – Duwamish Adventure – Chapter 13

Follow West Marginal Way between the forested bank and industry.  One cannot follow the river bank in this section due to the security these industrial endeavors have. (rightfully so do they protect cargo)

Crows of Shipping Container Land – Duwamish Adventure – Chapter 14

Everywhere I go I meet Crow Families.  This one is making its way in a shipping container maintenance and storage yard next to the Duwamish.

Kellogg Island & old Duwamish river – Duwamish Adventure – Chapter 15

The southern end of Kellogg Island which was part of Edwards Island before the river was dredged.  Also a view of the West Seattle Bridge and Seattle.

Kellogg Island – North View – Duwamish Adventure – Chapter 16

More views including the West bank, north tip and how industry surrounds this last wild piece of the river.

Duwamish Tribe Longhouse and the Train – Duwamish Adventure – Chapter 17

Up on the Duwamish Trail path you will see the longhouse with a Chief Seattle sign.  Then along came a train so close and loud I had to take a video of it.

Duwamish Mystery Marker – Duwamish Adventure – Chapter 18

Found this little marker from 1996 when the park didn’t exist or wasn’t very developed.  It is now off the beaten path since the usable areas are to the north of it.  I challenge you to find this marker too.

Going to Sea –  Duwamish Adventure – Chapter 19

Duwamish Revealed art installation at T-107 Park.

Twin Parks – T107 & Herring’s House – Duwamish Adventure – Chapter 20

Long post all about my recent visit to these two parks along the Duwamish River.  Lot to see and experience.  History, birds, boats, homeless, and THE River!

BNSF Railroad Bridge over Duwamish River – Duwamish Adventure – Chapter 21

To the south of the West Seattle Bridge is this 1928 railroad bridge.  The Duwamish continues to hold history for those that seek it.

T-105 Duwamish Revealed Art Installation – Duwamish Adventure – Chapter 22

Two sculptures installed during the 2015 Duwamish Revealed at the T-105 Park owned by the Port of Seattle.

Port of Seattle T-105 Park – Duwamish Adventure – Chapter 23

1995 was the year the Port decided to develop this small park so the public could have access to the Duwamish River.

Video of train working along the Duwamish  – Duwamish Adventure – Chapter 24

Took this little train video outside the gate of T-105.  Look for the Engineer waving back at me.

Riverside and West Seattle Bridge – Duwamish Adventure – Chapter 25

Follow my meandering around this old community next to the West Seattle Bridge.

Trouble at Terminal 5 – Duwamish Adventure – Chapter 26

Talk about trouble – my day around security at Terminal 5 how I had to delete a photo.

Under the West Seattle Freeway – Duwamish Adventure – Chapter 27

A maze of concrete bridges and some history too.

Northern Duwamish Waterway – Duwamish Adventure – Chapter 28

A look at the very north end of the Duwamish River before it flows into Elliott Bay.  A tug video shows how narrow it is.

Alki Trail Sights – Duwamish Adventure – Chapter 29

Some good and some sad things around the intersection of Harbor Avenue and Spokane Street.

Port of Seattle T-5 from Park – Duwamish Adventure – Chapter 30

Get some good views of the big area Terminal 5. See a few ships docked there and understand the security in place there.

Harbor Avenue Crows – Duwamish Adventure – Chapter 31

The murder here at the north end of the Port of Seattle’s T-5 recognized me and we had a little play time together.

Jack Block Park – Duwamish Adventure – Chapter 32

Wander around the park and see how it is a combination of green park, beach, view tower and old remnants of industry of old.

Going Rogue seeking the Duwamish – Duwamish Adventure – Chapter 33

Here I go off trail to attempt to get to the river mouth. Who will win? Me? or the Port of Seattle?

Our only River – The Duwamish – Duwamish Adventure – Final Chapter

This is the finale of My Duwamish Adventure. Enjoy a short video of the river’s mouth and how I encourage everyone to get out and walk without your technology. Enjoy the serendipity of life!

Hope you enjoy my adventure.

Check out the Green River Trail Quest series of posts.  You will find it a combination of history, nature and man-made finds that follows this trail from beginning in Seattle to south Kent.

Green River Trail Quest Directory

 

Posted in Georgetown Steam Plant

Georgetown Steam Plant

Tucked away at the north end of Boeing Field sits a building that looks like it is out-of-place.  It has 1906 on the header and old windows looking out of an early reinforced concrete construction with neo-classical ornamentation.

1906 caught my eye from the road
1906 caught my eye from the road
Number 1 Steam Plant in Seattle
Number 1 Steam Plant in Seattle

What is this place I wondered several years ago while looking for an estate sale in Georgetown.  I found that it is the Seattle Electric Company’s  first Steam Plant.  It was built on 18 acres near the Duwamish River and provided both direct and alternating current to it’s customers.  The main ones being the Interurban Railway streetcar and the city of Georgetown (before it was annexed into Seattle).

Old front doors of Steam Plant in Seattle
Old front doors of Steam Plant in Seattle

The coolest thing is this Steam Plant is the last working example of vertical Curtis Turbines manufactured by General Electric in 1907.  This is described as the beginning of the end of reciprocating steam engine dominance in electrical power generation.

DSCN6929
Seattle Steam Plant Generators

The building was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1984 joining famous places like the Brooklyn Bridge and the USS Constitution. It is also designated by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers as a National Historic Mechanical Engineering Landmark (see placque below).  Plus the building is a Seattle City Landmark and is on the Washington State Register of Historic Places.

National Historic Mechnical Engeneering Landmark Placque
National Historic Mechnical Engeneering Landmark Placque

Duwamish Revealed, a series of art installations that celebrate Seattle’s only river which I subscribe to due to my love of the Duwamish hosted an event at the Steam Plant.  I jumped at the opportunity to get inside the building.  They had a dance troop performing there.  Sorry to say art people, but I was so busy taking photos that I missed the performance. I took so many pictures that I am going to break my blog posts into several. Just too much for one post. By the way I took over 180 pictures in 2 hours. That is a lot of shutter time.

Here is a directory of the posts:

  • General Information – this post Georgetown Steam Plant
  • Stairs – Seattle Electric Company Plant Stairways  – Stairs
  • Gauges – Seattle Steam Plant Gauges of time –   Gauges
  • Pipes – Georgetown Steam Plant Pipes –  Pipes
  • Georgetown Steam Plant Building of time gone by – time gone by
  • Flock of Starlings arrive on Steam Plant –  Starlings
  • Haunted Georgetown Steam Plant –   Haunted?