Monday, September 5, 2011

Burke Gilman Trail & Ballard Locks

Monday, September 5, 2011

Today Joe and I gave our legs a workout after working our arms hard kayaking the day before. We went for a ride on the Burke Gilman Trail, a popular recreational trail for walkers, runners, cyclists, skaters and commuters.

We parked near Gasworks Park and headed west toward Fremont. We past under the Aurora Bridge (99) and snapped a shot looking back at Lake Union.
We continued along the Fremont Cut past the Fremont drawbridge, the busiest drawbridge in the U.S. Built in 1917, it is on the National Register of Historic Places and a city landmark. Due to only 30 feet of clearance, the Fremont Bridge opens an average of 35 times a day. Marine traffic has the right of way except during rush hours.

We rode about somewhere around 2 miles before the clearly defined trail starts to breakdown in Ballard. We chose to head back, hit a brewery and drive over to the Ballard Locks.
 
It was a gorgeous day to ride along the waterfront.

We went to Brouwer’s CafĂ© which has 64 beers on tap. It was a great bar with great local and European selections.

Next we went to the Hiram M. Chittenden Locks. We watched the boats untie and head out of the locks.

 
More boats wait beneath the railroad bridge for their turn to enter one of the two locks. The small lock is 30x150 feet and the large lock 80x825 feet. The railroad bridge is usually in the open position to allow tall masts to pass except for when a train is scheduled.
 
The coolest part is the fish ladder next to the dam which separates the saltwater Puget Sound and the freshwater of Salmon Bay, Lake Union and Lake Washington.
On our way down to the fish ladder, we saw a smart seal probably awaiting a mid-afternoon snack of salmon.

There is an underground viewing area to watch the salmon swim through the fish ladder.
Boats tie off on cleat and wait for the lock to close and gravity to raise the water level. It took only a few minutes for the water to rise. There were even kayakers traveling through the locks.
We were hungry so we headed to the Wallingford Dick’s Drive-In.

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