Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Walking in Seattle

The heat is moderating somewhat.  I took this picture of Jim on his birthday, when he officially became older than he was.  We did the three mile walk early enough that it wasn't stifling.  Yesterday we hiked in the woods and it was just unbearable.  Today we totally flaked on aerobic exercise and went downtown to see what we would see.  It was actually pleasant near the water.

This is Westlake.  It used to be a car free pedestrian area, but Nordstrom blackmailed the city into putting the cars back.  I think it was a stupid thing to do.  There is nowhere to park on that street and traffic is terrible.  It was pleasant to walk in the middle of the road, but no more.  We had lunch at Dog in the Park hotdogs, they are now our favorite place for the treat of hotdogs.  They grill cabbage and onions and put them on the dogs, and it was surprisingly good.  It would never occur to me to do that.

A wall of water.  It makes a nice noise to sort of drown out the city.

We walked down to the market.  Look behind the Public Market sign.  That is the Arleigh-Burke destroyer, USS Momsen.  They are here for Seafair weekend.  If you have a lot of patience for lines, you can tour the boats.

There she is, moving north in the bay, with a fire boat behind, spraying water in welcome.

We walked down the road at Pike Place Market, wondering as we always do, why do people drive here and why do people queue for Piroshky?  The hot dog stand three doors down would be better.

We headed down the water front to see how the sea wall replacement was doing.  We were last there in October of 2015 and construction was in full cry.  You can read about it here.  They're done!  It's unreal, a project has been completed.  Next the state plans to re-do the ferry terminal and the docks, which should totally paralyze the ferry system for years.

This is the Alaskan Way Viaduct.  Soon it will be gone.  The tunnel that replaces it is nearing completion.  I will be sorry to see it go.  There was nothing finer than driving north bound (the top deck) on a clear winter day, seeing the snow on the distant mountain tops, and the ferries moving across the water.  It really was special. 

We walked through the ferry terminal to see what was happening.  This is the walk on line for Bainbridge Island.  As a native, I don't get this.  You take the ferry to Bainbridge, get off, walk up to Winslow which has become a complete tourist trap and then walk back and take a return ferry.  It's kind of sad about Winslow, it used to be a functioning town with a barber, drug store, department store and stuff you needed for daily life.  No more - art galleries and tee shirt shops.

More waiting for Bainbridge.

Seattle as seen from the ferry terminal.

The other boat we saw was the USS Somerset.  There is a lot of zoom with this picture.  Look to the right of the cruise ship, you can see her docked at Pier 91.

Here is a picture from the internet.  The USS Somerset is an amphibious transport.  Wikipedia tells us:
An amphibious transport dock, also called a landing platform/dock (LPD), is an amphibious warfare ship, a warship that embarks, transports, and lands elements of a landing force for expeditionary warfare missions. Several navies currently operate this kind of ship. The ships are generally designed to transport troops into a war zone by sea, primarily using landing craft, although invariably they also have the capability to operate transport helicopters.

The two vertical structures are advanced enclosed mast/sensors.  They're 93 feet high are constructed of a multi layer frequency selective composite material.  So now you know.    

Here is a cutaway drawing of the boat.  It's pretty amazing how much it can carry.  Another wiki is here which discusses it further.

Interestingly enough, the skippers of both ships were recently removed of duty for loss of confidence in their ability to command.  For the captain of the USS Momsen, it was worse than that, he was convicted of rape and assault and was sent to jail as well as forfeiting his pension.  You have to wonder after all those years of working so hard to make captain, why would you screw up so spectacularly.

We still wonder what is that industrial looking thing in the middle of the downtown condos.  It's in use and releasing vapor in to the air.  One wonders if it impacts the people living around it.

We wandered in to the market on the way back to the truck.  Over there on the left is the fish seller who throws the fish.  The tourists love it.  We didn't stay, too many people.

It was a nice walk.  We saw much and there were hotdogs!


  1. Mmmmmm, I like the idea of grilled cabbage and onions on a dog!

    It's been super humid in San Diego this summer, seems worse than I remember in years past. Thank goodness for places to walk near the water!

  2. We are thinking about staying a couple nights near Bainbridge Island when we leave Portland on Aug 12th so we can take the ferry to Seattle, since we've never been. After seeing the crowds we may have to rethink that idea!

  3. Happy belated to Jim. He's looking great, and I know he's been through a lot, health-wise, in the past few years. Seattle is just far too crowded for us. We enjoyed riding our bikes there from Pacific that one day in 2014, a true adventure, but I have no real desire to return. I still enjoy wearing my Top Pot Donuts t-shirt, as that was one of the highlights for us.