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

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 My Duwamish Adventure

Forgotten Duwamish Marker

In search of an old sign that talked about the archaeological sites and old Duwamish tribe villages I ran across this marker.

Up-close of marker in T-107 Park
Up-close of marker in T-107 Park

At first glance it looks like a tombstone but that would be very odd since there is no organized graveyard here. It is in a spot that is not in the structured part of T-107 Park.  Remember how after we passed the cement plant the trail turned to the river.  It went through the rabbit hole of two rail cars and followed the course of the Duwamish backwater channel.  On the other side of the trail is a container trailer repair lot.  After a bit the trail turns back to the west and the road. Right where it meets the road and the railroad tracks to the right was this marker.

If my memory is right the history informational sign was on the left.  A lot of the 1980s and early 90s signage has been defaced or just plain destroyed over the years.  Too bad because a lot of it contained valuable history of the area.

Marker commemorating renewal of T-107 Park
Marker commemorating renewal of T-107 Park

When this marker was erected in 1996 the parks to the north were still being used by industry. T-107 is owned by the Port of Seattle and was going to be a Terminal for shipping. It had an auto repair shop and an older neighborhood there pending removal.

1996 marker near reclaimed park area
1996 marker near reclaimed park area

The City of Seattle’s park Herring’s House was the site of one of the oldest sawmills on the Duwamish, Seaport Lumber.  So, I think the marker was where there was park back then however small it was.  Today, the recreational and point of interest is north of here leaving this gem of art to gather moss unnoticed.

Inscription on Marker near Duwamish & Puget Creek
Inscription on Marker near Duwamish & Puget Creek

If you live in Seattle, I challenge you to find it.

top of marker in T-107
top of marker in T-107

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 Longhouse and the Train

The adventure on this leg of my journey started on the Duwamish River Trail that follows along West Marginal Way South across from the Duwamish tribe’s longhouse.

The longhouse has a sign with a large cut out picture of Sealth who the city of Seattle was named after.  It says “Chief Seattle is Watching”.  I did a little research on where this sign came from. Found that it had been part of the demonstration around the Shell Oil Rig that was docked on Harbor Island Terminal 5 earlier this year. The message is suitable for a number of issues including the pollution of the Duwamish River.

Chief Seattle is Watching
Chief Seattle is Watching

This area of the Duwamish holds much history for both the tribe and those that settled the area around the mid 1850s.  On the informational boards I captured a drawing of what the area looked like before it was developed.  It has Mt Rainier in the background of the Duwamish River mouth and is quite stylized but it gives you an idea of why the Chief is watching what we are doing with his land.

Mt Rainier and mouth of Duwamish sketch from 1854 - from signage at T-107 Park.
Mt Rainier and mouth of Duwamish sketch from 1854 – from signage at T-107 Park.

Now back to my adventure.  Here is what it looks like on the trail next to the railroad tracks and a busy 4 lane road.

Duwamish River Trail
Duwamish River Trail

Right after I took these photos of the longhouse and the Sealth sign I looked south and saw a train coming.  Actually I was startled by its loud horn.

Freight train working along the Duwamish River.
Freight train working along the Duwamish River.

The train was so close to the path I pulled the camera out and took this video.

It was exciting as it came towards me and like a little kid I waved at the Engineer.

Train was really close up
Train was really close up

The Port of Seattle has developed what would have been Terminal 107 into a park.  Down by the river I found the remains of the Duwamish Tribe’s ancient village shell midden.  This has been documented during several archaeological digs as Duwamish Number 1 Site or 45KI23 in 1978 & 1986.  The photo below gives you some perspective of how the midden sits on the river.

Beach area with shell midden
Beach area with shell midden

The site is side by side with remnants of more recent building’s foundations. This little beach area has also seen some graffiti activity.

Shell Midden and old building foundations at T-107 Park
Shell Midden and old building foundations at T-107 Park

Next here is a good look at the shell midden.

T-107 Shell Midden
T-107 Shell Midden

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

Kellogg Island – North View

Are you ready for more Duwamish River?

In my adventure along the river, I am now traversing the west bank adjacent to the north end of Kellogg Island.  Last week I did a post around the island and some views of the southern end.  If you wish to brush up on that first here is the link – Kellogg Island – Southern views

The featured picture gives you a good overall view of the island looking south toward its northern end.  The sun came out and highlighted the water and the industry that surrounds this little natural place.

The T-107 park has a few informational signs showing some history of the area.  Here is an 1875 map of the area showing where Kellogg Island sits. It was part of a larger island at the original mouth of the river before Harbor Island was created out of the tidal mud flats with fill.

US Coast & Geodetic Survey Sheet T-1406 - Duwamish Bay, Washington Territory 1874 - courtesy U of WA Burke Museum
US Coast & Geodetic Survey Sheet T-1406 – Duwamish Bay, Washington Territory 1874 – courtesy U of WA Burke Museum

The island is around 1/4 mile long and is a wild place with trees and brambles. Some folks have gone there via boat or slogged through the mud during low tide.  I don’t recommend the latter method since the mud could be quicksand like.  I took the next series of photos of the shore starting with mid island to the north tip.

Kellogg Island West shore with Cement Plant in distance
Kellogg Island West shore with Cement Plant in distance
Shoreline of Island in Duwamish River
Shoreline of Island in Duwamish River
Cranes and mist over Kellogg Island
Cranes and mist over Kellogg Island
Kellogg Island looking East at north end
Kellogg Island looking East at north end
Cranes and barges at northern tip of Kellogg Island, Duwamish River
Cranes and barges at northern tip of Kellogg Island, Duwamish River

I leave you with a close up of the northern end of the island.  The natural elements are overshadowed by the industry that surrounds this area.

Northern tip of Kellogg Island - birds & barges
Northern tip of Kellogg Island – birds & barges

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 River – Kellogg Island

This is a special place on the Duwamish River.  It is the only remaining piece of the original river before it was dredged and made the industrial waterway it is today.

Kellogg Island is really the tip of the much larger Edwards Island. The river had several salt marsh islands in the tide flats that stretched into Elliott Bay that sustained both man, fowl and beast.

On My Duwamish Adventure I finally got to the southern tip of the island and the backwater that goes around it.  This is to the north of Lafarge Cement and to the south of Herring’s House Park.  The Duwamish Trail until this point follows along West Marginal Way between the road and the industrial businesses that border the river.  After one passes the cement plant it turns towards the river.  Kind of unusual how there are two railroad cars parked to either side of the trail as it crosses the tracks.  Like going down the rabbit hole.

trail disappears between these two railroad cars
trail disappears between these two railroad cars
weird - they parked the cars around the trail entrance.
weird – they parked the cars around the trail entrance.

When you pass between the cars you go into a natural setting vs the mankind type.  It gave me a good view of the southern end of the island and how the backwater has barges and tugs tied up there.

South end of Kellogg Island - Duwamish
South end of Kellogg Island – Duwamish

You can see the cement plant on the right and the edge of Kellogg Island on the left. Straight ahead is the main Duwamish River Waterway where you see the Matson barges and cranes. While I was standing there I caught a tug chugging towards the bay.  Behind all this stuff is the Georgetown Reach.  That is another inlet left over from the straightening process.  Maybe once I get done walking the west side of the river I can get some photos of it.

Duwamish River tug at south end of Kellogg Island
Duwamish River tug at south end of Kellogg Island

Back to the moored barges and tugs between Lafarge and the island.  Wonder if they belong to the plant or someone else is just parking them there since it is out of the way of boat traffic and easy to get to. I have seen the backwater almost void of water at really low tides, so wonder if this end is deeper than the rest?

Barge docked in south backwater of Kellogg Island
Barges docked in south backwater of Kellogg Island
Tugs nestled near Lafarge cememt plant
Tugs nestled near Lafarge cement plant

Back here in the wonderland behind the rabbit hole entrance (two rail cars), is a paved path more like what I encountered down the Green River Trail.  On one side was the river with madrona trees and other brush.  The other side is a chain link fence with stacked container trailers.

Trailers stacked beside Duwamish River Trail across from Kellogg Island
Trailers stacked beside Duwamish River Trail across from Kellogg Island

Down a ways from this shot I found a little landing where there used to be a homeless home dug into the bank.  Now it makes a good site to take a few pictures of the water and island. The island is a natural place not much changed from when it was chopped off from the larger island. The north end is tidal flat like and floods at high tide but the southern end is high enough that it is a true island with trees, brambles and grass.  Crows, Kingfishers, Herons, several species of ducks, gulls and cormorants all inhabit this place wedged between man and nature.

Kellogg Island looking north to West Seattle Bridge
Kellogg Island looking north to West Seattle Bridge

Looming in the north is the high-rise West Seattle Bridge.  That bridge has a history of its own and here is a little excerpt from Wiki.

The high-level West Seattle Bridge, officially the Jeanette Williams Memorial Bridge, is a cantilevered segmental bridge that serves as the primary connection between West Seattle and the rest of the city. It was built between 1981 and 1984 after the previous bascule bridge was deemed inoperable as a result of being struck by the freighter Antonio Chavez in 1978

West Seattle Bridge
West Seattle Bridge

If you look real close you can see the Seattle skyline and the Space Needle.  I zoomed in a little more so you can see it in the next picture.  What a combination of man and nature.

Space Needle & Seattle from Kellogg Island on Duwamish
Space Needle & Seattle from Kellogg Island on Duwamish

I leave you with a float that is a bird hang out. Next visit will be to the northern end of Kellogg Island and the parks along the Duwamish there.  And when I say the north end of the island, I won’t be setting foot on the island. That would take a boat I don’t have and swimming in the river during the winter is not an option either.

Row of birds on float in Duwamish off Kellogg Island
Row of birds on float in Duwamish off Kellogg Island

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

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