On my last day of the vacation, tdjohnson
took me off to Ballard to see the Hiram M. Chittenden Locks. These locks allow large and small boats to switch from salt water to inland fresh water via a mechanism of increasing and diminishing elevations of water levels. It's neat to see it in action.
Fans of boats will appreciate the variety of ships that come through here: tugboats, yachts, pleasure boats, etc. Fans of the guys on those boats will find a wide variety of seafarers to admire: stocky guys in Carhartts, slim guys in thermals, and of course the burly lock attendants. Those who enjoy marine life will enjoy seeing how the variety of fish in the area adapt to the presence of the lock as adolescent fish will pass through one side to reach the salt water, while adults will try to return to the freshwater to spawn. You can often see little fish being sucked (mostly harmlessly) through the powerful tubes which keep the waters balanced.
Should you decide that you've had enough of the salty air, you can head over to the Botanical Gardens and adore the variety of trees and plants which come from many countries. I eyed the Japanese and Chinese ones, naturally, but that's not all to see.
Afterward, we zipped over to Fremont to view the curious collection of artisan shops and soak in the local feel of the place. It strongly reminded me of Boulder, but without all the pretention and college kids. There's a rocket planted atop the entrance of a shop that has this lengthy and comical history that you can find under the following link. I'm told that it lights up and blows smoke at a certain time of the evening as if were lifting off, which makes for a great tourist event. http://www.fremontseattle.com/storyrocket.html
We wander around a bit more when we wind up under a rather tall bridge. I notice that the road is called Troll Lane, and I chuckle that this area would indeed be perfect for a troll to live. Actually, one does...
Oh, to see my own face light up with glee as R & T give me this final surprise, facing down one of America's own bakemono
made real. I was instantly giddy, and my two infinitely patient hosts snapped a pic or two of the gentle giant while I performed my own version of Shadow of the Colossus
We're home now, and I'm finishing up my packing for the evening while reviewing my itinerary for my return trip home to the guys. This has been a completely awesome vacation, and I thank everyone who offered me a hand or a place to stay during my travels.
Now let's see what I can't do about finding a career...