Saturday, July 11, 2015

Yet Another Walk in Seattle

Today dawned gloomy and cool, due to another marine push.  It's probably the best the Seattle to Portland riders could have hoped for.  It's not raining and it's not 100 degrees.  The first three years Jim rode STP we had rain and sleet; and yet we went anyway.  We must have been much younger then. 
On the local news last night we heard the news reader say that the Seattle water front had been re-opened for the summer.  We were not really aware of the fact that it had been closed, so we went downtown to have a look.  Businesses had been closed for the reconstruction of the Alaskan Way Seawall.  Temporary sidewalks and bridges have been built to cope with the construction.  The original seawall was constructed between 1916 and 1934 to provide level access to Seattle's piers and to support the Alaskan way Viaduct and surface streets.  It was quite the project.  All of Seattle between the water line and Western Way is built on fill, to include the viaduct, which is that two story high way on the left of the photo.  The original seawall was built with untreated wood pilings.  They are falling prey to the depredations of gribbles.  That's gribbles, not tribbles.  They're interesting creatures, they secrete an enzyme that converts wood and straw into sugars, which they can digest.  The history of Seattle is one of massive earth movement.  Originally there were seven large hills in the city, and all were removed and the dirt dumped into Elliot Bay.  Click here for a wiki that is really very interesting.

The Z shaped metal will face the water.  They're pouring concrete directly into the ground to anchor it.

That's the viaduct.  Sometime in my lifetime (maybe) that structure will be replaced by a highway in a tunnel, which is yet to be drilled by Bertha the drilling machine.

We were bad, and went to Taxi Dog for lunch.  It's at Pike Place.  A cruise ship was in, and there were people everywhere.  I look at these boats and all I can think of is noroviruses.

Political messages were left on the park pavement. 

The tourists were taking photos of each other in the grass.

This was one of the more interesting things we witnessed. The car is stuck on the uneven pavement.  These nice gentlemen pushed him off the asphalt patch, his back wheels were spinning and he was well and truly stuck.

Backing up.

Going back down the hill.  The surface down there isn't much better, hopefully they made it out of Pike Place alive. The question we always have is why on earth anyone would drive through the market.

Looking up the street.

Bike share has come to Seattle.

There is now a downtown Target.  For people who live and work downtown, this was HUGE.  There really was nowhere to shop for toilet paper and stuff like that before Target came. It's a three story building and they put in a cart escalator.  This just tickles the heck out of me.  The carts have a piece  that goes in the slot and they are pulled up and down the stories.

As seen from the top.

Here is a product I did not know about.  Clearly I have lost touch with my food culture.

It was a good day.  We got in almost three hours of walking and we saw a lot of stuff.  Tomorrow we're riding, no matter how gloomy it is.  We must return to being immune to the weather here.


  1. I guess it's not a good idea to have a low slung car in Seattle given the horrible state of their roads!

    It is amazing to me how big cities deal with their ancient infrastructure once they've grown to their current monstrous size. Heck, I guess any city of any size is going to have growing pains as the population explodes. Fortunately you are only living there part of the year and don't have to commute through this construction on a daily basis!

  2. How interesting! Thanks for the background info and all the photos of the present day work. I didn't know the background of the building of the city even though we did spend ten day there. How nice for the locals to have a Target! That is a problem with living in a city. We saw our first multi level Target with the cart escalator in Atlanta. Very cool! I find it interesting that people are still eating Ramen Noodles at all!! Hope you get a bike ride in!!

  3. I'm with you on cruise ships, have no intention on ever trapping myself somewhere with so many people. My mother went on a Disney one a few years ago with her sister, niece and grand niece and the grand niece ended up with impetigo all over her from the water slide. Gross.