Posted in Birds and other fun topics

Deserted Sheds = Blazing Graffiti

A side trip I took while searching for Renton old coal mines was to this curious deserted shed building in the middle of a bustling area. It is only a block up from Valley Medical Center. (a large hospital and medical buildings surrounding it)

It seemed odd with this next to not only the built up hospital area but a huge pasture, a boarded up house and well kept older home with barn. What the heck was this before it’s decline?  Was it part of a large farm that urban sprawl has enveloped? When I got closer to it I found the most incredible art work. Come along for a little tour.

Some research finds that the pasture and old house are all owned by the City of Renton and are a wetland area with a creek flowing along the back of it. I think it is part of the Panther Creek watershed. This deserted piece of ground is privately owned but lets say it is not being developed right now or used.

My eye had been caught by this row of sheds many times as I travel up the hill from the valley to the Benson Hill area. I had to park up on Mill Avenue right off the busy Southeast Carr Road. Down I hiked across the field towards my target area. Made a note to myself to walk back up on the sidewalk since it was uneven going in the grass.

Then I was at the driveway to the sheds. Here is a long view of it. They seem to be what you see out in the country next to a barn. The farmer uses them to house their tractors and other equipment plus have space to repair and store parts. Certainly designed for tall and large trucks or equipment.

Down the long driveway to the sheds I go!
Looking back at Carr Road and civilization.

I skirted the gate through a hole that had been cut. Homeless debris was scattered about. That was when I got my mace out and had it cocked and loaded. Good news – I never encountered a person nor had to use my pepper spray.  Phweeee!!

Here is what I approached. As you can see it has 4 open wooden bays, a huge double truck roll up door and a concrete building for even more repair fun.

The Sheds!

Let’s keep working on the sheds and move to the glorious art work last. Save the BEST for last.

Old Wooden Sheds – farm or truck?

This is a common set up and during my 1970’s in rural King County had seen many like this. However, this is in a more urban place that has not been rural for years. Some research says they were built in 1960’s but that just does not seem right. Here is a close up of the interior.  Could be “only” 50 years old I guess.

Shed bay interiors – 50 years old? or more?

Off to the west side of the property was another set of buildings and a portable office trailer drenched in blackberries. It too had some graffiti on it. I circled around with my clippers and managed to get in the back door.  Remember I was dressed for coal mine bramble bushwhacking earlier in the day.  Here is what it looked like from the bigger sheds.

Office area to the west of sheds

Inside the ceiling had collapsed on the front rooms plus some of the floor in the middle was trashed. The back door lead to an area that was still intact but oh my…. it was a mess.

Office building rotting away

It was full of old computers and manuals for them. Last dates were in the mid 1990’s. That calendar had a list of updates to do that day. So, the computer stuff was ancient. Not worth all the bushwhacking but here is what that all looked like.

Inside the old office building – blackberries and critters have ruined it.

Now that we have the lay of the land let us talk about the graffiti and homelessness here. When you approach the front of the sheds this is what you see.

Graffiti on old roll up door

Behind this rollup door it was swept out some. There was a door to the back of the building where the creek ran in a gully about 15 feet deep. More painting on the back wall but this picture does not do it justice in the dark and next to the creek bank.

back of shed with more graffiti – creek was to the right

Outside the door were some buckets so I assume this was the way to get water or perhaps the bathroom area. Yuck!

Back to the front of the building and to the right of the Sener Gravy graffiti on the cinder block wall was this painting.

Graffiti on wall of cinder block part of sheds

Around to the doors of the cinder block area I went. It had a nice cement floor but it was covered in junk from car parts to rotting cardboard. It was a nice inside workshop at one time. This is where the best graffiti was. The first is a set of drippy letters that have faces painted around the window area.

Letters with faces graffiti

Next is a mixture of sharks and Easter Island like figures. The statures are called Moai.  See if you agree.

Shark and Easter Island Moai graffiti

Then we have the evil green demon like guy.

Monster on old shed wall

Ladder to the attic … hmmm wonder what was up there but I was not that brave. However right around the corner from this monster art was the homeless bar.  Or maybe it was a kitchen but it was so swept out in that room I assumed a party was here.  Plus look at what is on the shelf.

Homeless kitchen or bar area

Then I left. Time to hightail it out of there before the residents come home. I don’t recommend this type of adventure to anyone. In fact I don’t recommend it for myself but exploring the urban world we live in is my thing.

 

 

 

Posted in History and other topics

Seattle Homeless – pending Open Camping Problem

I usually do not use my blog for commentary on issues beyond nature. Today I am compelled to write a bit about the new ordinance that is pending in Seattle. The city council for some reason thinks that homeless should be able to camp on city grounds. That we would not be able to evict them for days or until other shelter is found.

On the surface this seems a logical thing to house the growing homeless population we in Seattle have. This is a real problem in our society. However, I DO NOT AGREE with this.  Here is why in a few pictures.

Trash from homeless in Herring House Park
Trash from homeless in Herring House Park

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I ramble in City parks often going a bit into the unimproved areas to find the best nature moments.  For me that little bit of off the beaten trail peace and quiet feeds my soul. In my rambling I have encountered homelessness and the mess that they generate in our parks.

This is now when it is not legal for them to camp in the parks. Imagine what it would be like if they can legally camp in Lincoln, Westcrest, Fauntleroy, Discovery, Seward Parks? I carry mace due to my concern in general but this would make me more fearful of using the city’s gorgeous parks. They would become trashed and full of people who do not respect nature.  Many of them are trying to beat out a living but a lot are drug addicts and mentally impaired. Do we want our children to encounter that and think of fear when they go to the park?

Please JUST SAY NO to this ordinance.  We need to find another way to help these folks. I leave you with just some of the things I have found. Do we want more of this?

Posted in My Duwamish Adventure

Southern Alki Trail Sights

Around the corner of Harbor Avenue SW and Spokane Street SW there was a number of interesting sights to share with you.

The Alki Trail curves out of the cement bridge jungle onto a tree-lined avenue.  Behind all that pretty area is a rail yard which has steel mill slag, old rail cars, a pile of gravel and what used to be a large recycling company.

You know I like to share my experiences from the past around a particular site. If you look at the red building and how it is right up against the railroad.  That is where in the early 70s I went with a friend of mine from the Pike Place Market where I sold crochet bathing suits.  He had heard that in the road bed was some sort of crystal or rock he wanted to make jewelry out of. There was no fence then and we just went behind the buildings and started digging around in the dirt. Chain link fences now surround all of this area and there is no free style digging these days.

To the north of that intersection I got some views of the river mouth and Seattle. Times have changed at this intersection too. We used to drive from behind the Chelan Café to come out at Harbor Avenue. It was a bit of risky drive since right before you got to the intersection you had to pass through an old lumber mill with railroads and  overhead conveyors.

This is now the Superfund site called Pacific Sound Resources or formerly the Wyckoff West Seattle Wood Treatment Plant that dated back to 1909. From the clean up the Port has created its Terminal 5 and for us a park called Jack Block. The intersection was a busy place when cruising in our cars was hot. The small store was always busy and a boat dealer made a living there for years too.  That has all passed now and most have forgotten that you could cut through what now looks like a driveway.

US Coast Guard ship
US Coast Guard ship

 

City view from west side of Duwamish mouth
City view from west side of Duwamish mouth

From that area near the entrance to Jack Block Park I turned around and went back the way I had come. Along this corridor that most people think is pretty and use for exercise both biking and running I found more homelessness.

Clothing along trail
Clothing along trail
Homeless RV's on Harbor Avenue
Homeless RV’s on Harbor Avenue
Homeless park across from King Co Water Bldg
Homeless park across from King Co Water Bldg

See the building behind the RV?  That is King County Waste Water.  They had some really good art on it.

Art on King Co Waste Water Building
Art on King Co Waste Water Building
Art in cement on King Co Water Building
Art in cement on King Co Water Building

A relic of anther time caught my eye as I walked back.  It was an old tow yard abandoned.  It was surrounded with chain link fencing to keep the towed cars safe. A hole in the fence gave access to a phone booth.  That is a dying breed of communication.

Tow Yard old phone booth obsolete
Tow Yard old phone booth obsolete

Right at the busy intersection of Harbor and Spokane there was a homeless tent. Most folks just zip by and probably don’t even notice.

traffic zooms by homeless tent
traffic zooms by homeless tent
Homeless tent at intersection of Harbor and Spokane SW
Homeless tent at intersection of Harbor and Spokane SW

There is also a private kitty shelter that helps find homes for homeless cats.

Kitty adoption place
Kitty adoption place

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

Riverside and West Seattle Bridges

Follow my meandering around the old community of Riverside next to the West Seattle Bridge. Let us start with some of the buildings that have survived.  Several of them are now abandoned or being worked on while others are freshly painted and loved.

This building faced onto West Marginal Way SW and must have been a business from how the front facade is shaped.  The back was built to accommodate the proprietor of either a store or saloon.  I found it was built in 1914 but now has a rollup garage door in the front and tattered curtains in the windows out back.

Front of old 1914 store or saloon.
Front of old 1914 store or saloon.
1914 store or saloon with house on back
1914 store or saloon with house on back
this was someones home and business over 100 yrs ago
this was someones home and business over 100 yrs ago

The other building that really stood out to me was this office for Global Diving. It dates back to the 1920s and must have been something special. They have treated her well and she is clean, repaired and showing her stuff.

Lovely building built in the 1920s on West Marginal Way SW
Lovely building built in the 1920s on West Marginal Way SW
1920's Building embellishment
1920’s Building embellishment

Here is a street view of Riverside so you can see how close the Duwamish with the railroad bridge as a landmark.

BNSF train bridge from Riverside
BNSF train bridge from Riverside
Streets of Riverside
Streets of Riverside

This community has seen many West Seattle Bridges come and go.  Currently there are a pair of them.  One is a highrise that never has to close for boat traffic which was the demise of the prior bridge.  The lower one is a swivel bridge that opens for taller marine traffic.  Here are a few photos of the two.

If you have been following my Duwamish Adventure, you will know that under bridges are those less fortunate.  The West Seattle Bridge has a combination of old RVs, a Seafarers center and some restoration of the marsh under her.

I found a few odd little things too.

Lock randomly latched to fence in T-105
Lock randomly latched to fence in T-105

 

Fairy wings caught in tree
Fairy wings caught in tree

To my surprise under the bridges I found that the Duwamish Trail ends there and two new trails begin.

Deadend under West Seattle Bridge
Deadend under West Seattle Bridge
Underskirt of upper West Seattle Bridge at Riverside
Underskirt of upper West Seattle Bridge at Riverside
Duwamish Trail ends here under W Sea Bridge
Duwamish Trail ends here under W Sea Bridge

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

Duwamish Twin Parks – T-107 & Herring’s House (Tualtwx)

These two parks are side by side on the west side of the Duwamish River.  I have been coming here for many years and this week arrived here on my quest to walk the river.  It was forged from an area that had been a lumber mill, an old neighborhood dating back to 1890, shipbuilders, auto repair and bootleggers during prohibition.

On my walk I saw all kinds of things.  Let us start with the nature pieces.  This first picture looks back at Kellogg Island.  As I was taking pictures the sun broke through the mist and created this photo opportunity with a reflection of the sky.

Duwamish from Herring's House Park
Duwamish from Herring’s House Park

Next as one looks north from T-107 there was a view of the river and the city in the clouds. She (the river) in this photo shows her underskirts of industry, barges, containers and worn out boats.  The West Seattle Bridge seems small against the skyscrapers of Seattle.

Duwamish River, West Seattle Bridge and Seattle in distance
Duwamish River, West Seattle Bridge and Seattle in distance

This shot shows you the south side of Herring’s House Park. It is carved out of this industrial land and provides homes for birds and fish like the pre-straightened Duwamish River.

Herring's House Park in shadow of West Seattle Bridge
Herring’s House Park in shadow of West Seattle Bridge

Several log booms are at the north end of Kellogg Island make good resting places for birds. The cormorants have taken over one of them with a few gulls. The cormorants were drying and stretching their wings giving me a show.

Birds on the Duwamish River
Birds on the Duwamish River
Wing stretching time
Wing stretching time

A flock of geese swim towards the main channel of the river and containers stored on the east shore.

Geese surrounded by container land
Geese surrounded by container land

Birds were not the only movement on the river.  While I was visiting the twin parks I captured some boat traffic.  First it was a cabin cruiser headed out towards Elliott Bay.

Boat & Birds
Boat & Birds
Cabin Cruiser on Duwamish
Cabin Cruiser on Duwamish

A little later along came a tug pushing a barge up river.  To my surprise as it passed by the barge had two piles of gravel on it and another tug at the back-end.

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There is a mix of human use of the parks.  Homeless have used this area for years especially on the derelict pier with old box cars.  This pier is wedged between the park and an industrial recycling company. This trip I didn’t encounter any homeless folks but I did find their possessions.

Near this area of homeless debris I encountered several men wandering the trails. Several years ago I was curious about this odd group I would run into every time I went to Herring’s House. Turns out this park is a hot spot for gay men to cruise and find some love. Their presence kind of freaked me out at first but now that I know about them I am actually happy to have them there. Their numbers make it safer for me to traipse around in the hidden corners of the park looking for birds and nature moments.

Back in one of these corners is the marsh that was created when Seaboard Lumber was removed and this park reclaimed.  Ducks, sparrows and finches were using the shore to feed and groom.

Reclaimed Marsh on Duwamish
Reclaimed Marsh on Duwamish
tidal marsh created at Herring's House
tidal marsh created at Herring’s House
Two finches in the low tide debris
Two finches in the low tide debris

Right when I was having a nature moment I looked towards the river and there were the cranes adding to the tree line.

Look up and nature has cranes
Look up and nature has cranes

The T-107 park has a nicely done art and historical installation.  It is a 5/8 scale of a North Pacific Halibut schooner sitting up high with the informational signs below.

North Pacific Halibut Schooner replica at T-107
North Pacific Halibut Schooner replica at T-107

Learned a lot about the area from this set of signage.  They explain the schooner replica and how the area was used for shipbuilding.  They also document the original inhabitants who had villages here for hundreds if not thousands of years.

Lastly, a map of the houses built here over the years before the Port of Seattle reclaimed this for a shipping terminal.  Then it discovered the Duwamish archeological sites in the mid 70s.  That plus an economic downturn doomed the terminal.  The Tribe and the Port worked together to develop the site to the park it is today.

Down by the river bank not only did I find the Shell Midden (see my blog – Duwamish Longhouse – Shell Midden ) but remnants of the houses and business that populated this area.  The most photogenic is a red brick wall.

I leave you with a brief walk to the north I took.  It is back to fences and industrial use of the shoreline that keeps us away from our city’s river.

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Heavy duty Recycling next to the Duwamish
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Duwamish River Trail headed north towards the West Seattle Bridge

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

If you thirst for more about the twin parks – here are a few links to past blog posts.

Crows of Herring’s House

Nature & Derelicts on Duwamish

Ring Around the Duwamish

Osprey Nest on Duwamish

Posted in My Duwamish Adventure

River View Park – under bridge

Today I started the next leg of My Duwamish Adventure under the 1st Avenue South Bridge. A couple weeks ago I left off to the south of the bridge.  To my surprise on the north side is a small park – River View Park.

View Point Park under 1st Ave So Bridge
View Point Park under 1st Ave So Bridge

I noticed that a couple homeless motor homes were parked down at the park but with mace in hand I marched down to the small park. As usual, I am ok and took a few pictures of the river.

View from View Point Park
View from View Point Park
Duwamish River - north view with W Seattle Bridge in distance
Duwamish River – north view with W Seattle Bridge in distance
High tide on Duwamish by 1st Ave So Bridge
High tide on Duwamish by 1st Ave So Bridge

I also took a few photos of the poor folks motor homes at the little park and further down the road. At the corner of West Marginal Way and Michigan Avenue I talked to a girl panhandling.  She told me she lived in the blue RV with bicycles on the top.  Her husband is an Electrician and was starting a new job on Monday. The bicycles she has collected are to start a shop and her having that RV was a step up from the tent she was living in recently.

under 1st Ave So Bridge
under 1st Ave So Bridge
Homeless near 1st Ave So Brigdge
Homeless near 1st Ave So Bridge
Homeless by Michigan Ave & 1st Ave So Bridge
Homeless by Michigan Ave & 1st Ave So Bridge

I am now getting a bit of a distance from the river. There is no access to the river along this stretch of the west side. A large container shipping yard and cement plant are along West Marginal Way between the trail and the Duwamish.

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 River’s Rich and Homeless

My Duwamish Adventure has continued in the last couple of weeks.  I am now to the north of the Green River end/beginning point.  This has not been near as easy as walking the Green River Trail.  I have had to investigate areas that are not developed, walk around industry and be rather adventurous to get to the river bank. My last two trips have yielded a lot of material so I am going to divide it up by topics rather than a plain old time line.  This will give you a good feel for all the diversity of terrain I have found while still working our way north.

This article is about how I found there are two sides to the track (or river).  My Duwamish Adventure Begins posting touched on this with a picture of the spectacular ship being built at Delta Marine.  I now know its name is “Albatross”.  While getting closer to the shipyard I captured a wide range of eclectic yachts, barges and boats on the water.

Yacht being built
Yacht being built
Albatross is her name
Albatross is her name

First lets look at Delta Marine and some high-end ships only the rich could afford. On Delta’s website they state they began as a builder of fishing boats but now concentrate on private yachts.  The fishing industry is not as lucrative so they morphed into a new product to survive.

Ship builder behind river's brush
Ship builder behind river’s brush

Look close at the feature image at the top.  You will see on the left the yacht Albatross and on the right a fishing boat pulling in their nets.  In the middle is a barge with a crane, some manufacturing buildings that I assume are Boeing related and an old water tower.

Fishing on the Duwamish with a 747 and barges.
Fishing on the Duwamish by a 747 and barges.
Old Water Tower - could this be from Kenworth Factory?
Old Water Tower – could this be from Kenworth Factory?
Barges in the turning inlet behind fishermen.
Barges in the turning inlet behind fishermen.

Let us continue to the other side of the tracks (river).  Just to the north of the Green River trail head is a small park that holds junk from a homeless encampment and/or a little party time.  While ducking into the river brush I also saw a pair of Stellar Jays dancing around in the branches. I swear I saw a white belly of a Western Scrub Jay but only captured this guy.

Green River Trail ended or began here
Green River Trail ended or began here

As I walked along the perimeter road in a small trail behind the guard rail, I came upon a place where two RVs had parked.  Last time I was here they were still there and I ended my day’s hike to the south of them.  They have been evicted by the police now.  I know this because a friend of mine told me she saw it happening on the way to work one day.  They left a bit of trash behind.

The Duwamish has long been a place for all.  Years ago the Duwamish tribe made it their home and harvested the bounty of the natural river.  Then modern man came to town and built his industry alongside mother nature.  Some of us have been rewarded well in this world and some are falling behind.  The river showed us this today.

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 Birds and other fun topics

Tubb Lake Adventure

My quest today was to go to SeaTac Park and watch for Crows building nests.  I got distracted by trying to get to Tubb Lake.  This is more a small pond surrounded by bog.   It is one of the last true bogs left in the Seattle area and I got fascinated by it when I went blackberry picking last year.

I scored lots of blackberries but got the bejesus scared out of myself by running into homeless people trash.   I split so fast, I was huffing & puffing when I got to the main trail and road.

Today, I started out circling the forest/brambles that hide this little lake.  I went to the east side thinking I might see it from the high point there.  Alas, that wasn’t possible because the brush was so thick.   So, what did I do?  I went down the trail to see if I could get closer.

Here is a slide show of what I found.  Most of it isn’t pretty nor was it really safe.  I had my mace in hand most of the time.  Even took the safety off at one point.  Never saw anyone though but I am sure these poor souls were there.

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Lets end on a light note here.   Saw this little bunny and he scampered into the brush.  Can you see him?  Also,this gives you an idea of how dense it is around a bog.

See the Bunny?
See the Bunny?