Seattle's Freeway Park water fall

Seattle’s Freeway Park waterfall

There’s nothing like it in the entire world, some say.  That was certainly true when the now famous Seattle Freeway water park (running water as in waterfalls) was envisioned in the mind of Jim Ellis.

Now, because of its popularity, there are many places throughout the world that has ‘copied’ the look of the Seattle “water park” better known as Freeway Park.

Jim Ellis was by many, an activist with a great deal of tenacity to get things done…the right way!

His designs and influences are felt all over the city of Seattle.  From the clean up of the entire Lake Washington back in the 1950’s , to mass transit, a great variety of in-the-city-parks, pools, and many, many more public facilities has the Jim Ellis ‘touch.’

His instrument was the “Forward Thrust” program.  He indeed, did look Forward to the future.

He helped preserve farmlands,  was responsible for the Washington State Convention and Trade Center and made the city more GREEN with his Mountains to Sound Greenway all along the I-90 freeway corridor.

Brutish design?

Brutish design?

Freeway Park Fountain

Freeway Park Fountain

Freeway Path through greenery

Freeway Path through greenery

Freeway Park A Reality

The park designs of Angela Danadjieva and Lawrence Halprin & Assoc. completed the first phase of the 5.5 acre park in 1976.

The park design is termed ‘brutalist and greenery’ suspended in air space over the I-5 freeway.

With the many irregular linked plazas that intertwine in and out of each other along with the  board-formed concrete plant containers, walls, “skyscraper” concrete “buildings” and much more, make this a very unique park in the sky.

Making it a great place to enjoy the Seattle skyline.

Separated Yet … Together 

Within the park you’ll take note of the Central Plaza, the East Plaza and the West Plaza.   All separate yet make up a cohesive “whole” of the park itself.   The type of materials that are shared throughout the park make it consistently cohesive.

Take note of the variety of water features.  These are what make the ‘separation’ of each area from the other.  Each is created to bring about differing moods as you walk, sit, enjoy your lunch or read a book in the park.

Be sure and appreciate the “Fourth” space that is incorporated into Freeway Park.  George Tsutakawa created his sculpture of the Naramore Fountain.  However many do not know that it was actually the first structure and Freeway Park was designed around it.

A “Shady Past” To The Park

Though the park now, is beautiful and safe to walk through, not too long ago it was an overgrown jungle of sorts.  As the trees and shrubs grew to maturity, they  provided many hiding places for drug pushers.

Drug use and drug selling along with the homeless made the park a place to stay away from, especially at night.

It was not until the senseless murder in broad daylight of a blind and deaf homeless woman, did the city wake up to put forth a city-wide effort to revitalize, clean up, and reactivate Freeway Park to what it is today.

Community Involvement

When the Seattle Parks and Recreation Dept. got involved, it shared its community vision which in turn, resulted in the park being better balanced between tranquility and other activities along with attractions that turned the park into a desirable place to enjoy.

The four different “places” in the park needed to be emphasized better, along with some types of anchors in the park that folks could see as they passed by and would want to investigate by stopping at the park.

With areas set up for life size games, outdoor cafes, art exhibits, and even an aviary brought people in from all over the Seattle area and beyond.

Click video below and see how Justin Sweeney and his camera enjoy the park.

Since the community involvement, the Seattle “water park” of Freeway Park has been a tremendous success story.  Why not stop in and enjoy its “brutalist architecture and greenery” designs?

Leave a comment below and be sure to share this with your friends.

Written by :  Tom McDaniel

Images by: charlesbirnbaum,freewaypark,justinsweeney

Alki Point Beach in West Seattle

Alki Point Beach in West Seattle

Is Alki Beach In Seattle?

It almost seems that Alki Beach is a separate entity from the city of Seattle. Located in West Seattle, it most definitely is a highly popular “go to” spot for  great entertainment, people watching, and salty water.

On those beautiful sunny days and warm weather, you’ll want to head over to the 2.5 mile long sandy beach at Alki Point.  Joggers, rollerbladers, volleyball games, beachcombers, sunbathers, bicyclists and families with their children will be out in droves.

With so many activities going on, you’ll be hard pressed as to which one to choose first!

What To Expect

Plenty of parking makes it so pleasant as you arrive.

Want to picnic?  Tables are a-plenty.  Take note of the bathhouse, the art studio, bathrooms and more.  All located at the south end of the beach.  That would be the official “Alki Point” part of the beach.

Ready for a swim?  Remember that Puget (pew-jet) Sound waters  never do get real warm.  About 46-56 F year round.  However, on those warm August days, you’ll find the water is perfect.

Plenty of "people watching" going on.

Plenty of “people watching” makes Alki enjoyable

At the other extreme end of the beach, the North end, you’ll find a bulkhead protecting the beach.  Take note of the cottages that dot the area.  Looking over the Puget Sound waters, you’ll be pleased with the year round snow capped  Olympic Mountains.

Since so much of Seattle is water oriented, keep a sharp eye out for the ferries, sailboats, barges, steamers, and all the other flotilla that you’ll enjoy watching.

Be sure too, to watch out for those SeaFair Pirates that show up from time to time!

SeaFair Pirates invade Alki

SeaFair Pirates invade Alki…you may be taken captive!.

A local Seattlelite taken "Captive?"

A local Seattleite taken “Captive?”   Hmmmm?

Luna Park is one of those areas that you’ll find of interest.  But unless you know a bit about it’s history, it may be something you’ll pass on.

Luna Park and Coney Island 

The years of 1907 to 1913 were glory years for the park.  Lighting up the night skies on the northern tip of West Seattle as you gazed across Elliot Bay.   Those quiet summer nights would also bring to your ears the screams and happy laughter of excited folks enjoying the park.

Luna Park, for it’s time, rivaled the  Disney parks of today.  They were far more than just the week-end carnivals that pop up across the country.  With permanent fixtures to enjoy for decades to come, Luna Park rivaled New York’s Coney Island, but located in the West.

Luna Park early 1900's

Luna Park early 1900’s

Luna Park 1910

Luna Park 1910

With the Figure 8 roller coaster, Merry go round, Chute the chutes, Water slide, Cave of mystery, Canal of Venice, Human ostrich, Joy wheel, Electrobator and many other park-like rides were at your fingertips all night long.   A fun place for folks of all ages to enjoy.

Demise of The Park

Because of political unrest and the communities struggle for morality, the park eventually was shut down.  1913 was the year it closed its doors.  Torn down or sold, the music, happy laughter, screams of joy…ended.

However the Natatorium (salty swims) remained for a couple more decades until an arsonist decided to torch it.  Going up in flames truly ended all the glory days of Luna Park.

The park in flames

The park in flames

If you happen to be at Elliott Bay when the tides fall to their lowest point (which happens about every 10 years) you’ll see the old rows of pilings and other burned and charred timbers that once supported Luna Park.

Similar to the old movie entitled Brigadoon, Luna Park will once more, be covered over by the waves of Elliott Bay for another 10 years or so.

Alki Park Rivals Seattle’s Green Lake

If you enjoy getting outside and enjoying the rare sunny days in the Northwest, then Alki is where you want to be.  On the other hand, Greenlake is also a great place to see and get involved with others in outdoor activities.

Watch for the Sand Model girls on the Point

Watch for the Sand Model girls on the Point

Whether it be watching or joining in, both parks are easy to locate and great place (and unusually safe to be in) to enjoy the great city of Seattle.

Have you enjoyed Alki?  Leave your comments below and share with friends.

Written by :  Tom McDaniel

Images: coastalseattle,alkinews,wikipedia,seattlepi,mynorthwest,pauldorpat,wikimedia,historylink,tunersandmodels

Lynden Wa. Welcomes You

Lynden Wa. Welcomes You

Lynden Wa is another one of those uniques city townships in Washington that constantly draws people from around the country and  around the world.

Located in Whatcom County and established in 1874 on the Squahalish Indian village.  Early beginnings of the location was to establish a place for early pioneers to settle.

Lynden Wa & Northern Neighbor…Canada

Lyden is a mere 5 miles to the Canadian border.  The wide open valley near the Nooksack River certainly does give you feelings of those early pioneer days.

The Nooksack River empties into Bellingham Bay near the city of Bellingham some 15 miles south of the city.

Nooksack Indians (Native Americans) were well established in the area long before the 1860 non-Indian settlers began to arrive.

Nooksack River running wild and very cold...brrrrrrrr

Nooksack River running wild and very cold…brrrrrrrr

Dutch Influence

Today, Lynden is well known for its orderly, conservative, and highly religious community.  The Dutch influence is clearly evident when observing the township.

Up until the early 1900’s the mainstay industry was logging as was much of the state of Washington.  However, because of being such an inviting place, many Dutch settlers moved into the area because of its fertile soil.

Now it was clear that dairy farming was taking over the area.  Quickly it became the dominant industry.   Ideal for vegetables too, such as beans, carrots, beets, barley, oats and hops, the railroad barons could see fortunes being made by exporting these goods.

The only downside to the railroad and to the town, was that the R.R. was 6 miles away in Clearbrook to the northeast of town.

Here Come The Hollanders!

D.J. Zylstra ( a Dutch Hollander) was considered to be one of the early city “fathers” that encouraged other Dutch families to move into the area.  In fact, his home on Front Street  was the first place Dutch families would go to when arriving in Lynden.

The “Hollanders” as the non-Dutch folks would call them, influenced the life and lifestyle of all who lived in Lynden.

Most Hollanders would follow the teachings of John Calvin (Calvinists) and were regarded as very conservative in socially and theological matters.

However, as the community grew with businesses and schools, the next generation grew up speaking English as their first language rather than the Dutch language spoken by their parents and grandparents.

Captivating downtown streets

Captivating downtown streets

Religious Schools Influence the Community

In the fall of 1910 the Lynden Christian School opened.  By 1945 the school grew to offer classes from first through high school.

Because of the Dutch way of thinking when it comes to religion, they would keep business and religion separate.  Not working on Sundays was a normal thing for the Dutch township.

Sometimes though, this proved to be a bit inconvenient for the rest of the non-Dutch businesses.  Restaurants, hardware, sundries stores of all kinds, would be closed.

However, the non-Dutch community learned to live with it because of the pleasant surrounding and living conditions that the Dutch families offered.

Dutch influence is seen

Dutch influence is seen everywhere

World War II

The second WW had displaced many thousands of individuals in  European lands.  Many chose to immigrate to the U.S. to start over.  Lynden was the ideal location.

During the 1950’s the percentage of Dutch families was well past the 50% mark.  Making the city of Lynden a “Dutch” community.

During the 1980’s a Dutch festival started with a two day festival and Dutch theme throughout the city.  Especially was this evident on Front Street with windmills, bakery and restaurants highlighting Dutch themes.

Lynden Today

Though the twenty first century has its influence on Lynden, all in all it remains a Dutch city.  The  ambiance that is found there is enjoyed by all who visit this peaceful, clean, friendly city here in Washington.

One thing you’ll note right away are the uniquely wide streets with pristine lawns on either side.  The story goes that in the early days the streets needed to be wide enough so horse drawn carriages and buggies could turn around anywhere in the streets.

Fair grounds

Northwest Washington Fair grounds

Unusual Entrance To Lynden

Strange but true, Lynden is one of the very few cities in the entire world with the main entrance into town running between two cemeteries.

Lynden also has the world record for having the most churches per square mile and per capita.  That may have a bearing why it has such a low crime rate even though it is a border town to Canada.

During the month of August, the city grows to some 200,000 people as they make their way to the Northwest Washington Fair grounds.

Whatever your reasons are for visiting Lynden, you’ll come away with that “warm and fuzzy feeling” because of the wonderful environment you’ll be immersed in.

Bald Eagles along the Nooksack River

Bald Eagles along the Nooksack River

Why not come and see for yourself? Share this site with your friends…

Written by:  Tom McDaniel

Images by:maggiewilliams,thenowtroopers,sevenstreetfarm,homeaway,livingwilderness

Wenatchee Welcomes You

Wenatchee Welcomes You

The Wenatchee Indians (Native Americans) were the first to occupy the area of Central Washington where the Columbia River and the Wenatchee River confluence.

Wenatchee  is the County Seat of Chelan (she-lan) county.  Surrounded with a mountainous backdrop,  it is ideal for both city and country living.

Early History of Wenatchee

Fur traders of the British Northwest Fur Company (Hudson’s Bay Company) were some of the very first to come into the area.   These non-native settlers were mainly seeking gold.  Their groups were made up of chinese miners, cattlemen and even missionaries.

Growth in the early 1890’s came quickly as the Great Northern Railway chose Wenatchee to be one of their depot’s stopping places, just south of the city.  With that in mind, the city naturally grew to encompass the RailRoad stop.

Ideal Growing Conditions

Being surrounded by mountains did have its challenges.  Being a bit difficult to conduct regular business with the larger cities of Seattle and Spokane (spo-can), a Seattle businessman formed the Wenatchee Improvement Company in 1890 to build a township.

This in turn, would allow the potential agricultural region to grow by leaps and bounds, especially as the apple industry would soon show.

Perfect Location

Perfect Location for Water       (note  Leavenworth)

Apple Capital of the World

Being close to the famous mountain of Mount Rainier (ray-neer) and it’s volcanic soil, plus having plenty of fresh waters from both the Wenatchee and Columbia Rivers, proved to be an exceptional location for growing apples.

Quickly the entire Wenatchee Valley was covered with row upon row of young fruit bearing trees.  Within a short while, apples were being shipped around the world.  As word of this “valley of the apples” spread, more and more people came into the area making Wenatchee the most productive apple-producing region in the world.

Old-fashioned apple orchard harvest

Old-fashioned apple orchard harvest…..Apple Festival

Have a sweet tooth ?  Then you’ll simply love the famous Aplets and Cotlets.

City Growth And Hydroelectric Power

Industrial growth came quickly.  It also spearheaded much needed institutions such as, libraries, newspapers, educational systems, churches, theaters and even a highly successful commercial district.

Way back in 1940, the power created by the Grand Coulee Dam (1942) and Rock Island Dam (1932) made power readily available and cheap.  The “free water” source to turn turbines to create power was always at the ready for industry growth.

Alcoa and the Holden Mining Company (copper mine) were instrumental in the cities growth.

A Growing Community 

A beautiful community that invites you to come grow with us

A community that invites you to come grow with us.

Having a very desirable climate year round, more and more businesses are being attracted to the area.  The health community sees it as an ideal place for the Central Washington Hospital, Wenatchee Valley Medical Center and the Columbia Valley Community Health.

If you take up nursing as a profession (highly paid) then you will enjoy the benefits of the Wenatchee Valley community.

Colleges abound in the area along with Technology which is only a short trip over the mountains to the Bellevue Redmond area where the world famous Microsoft Company has always resided.

Enjoy the arts?  Then the Performing Arts Center of Wenatchee will draw you into it’s many local and entertaining events.

On the other hand, perhaps you are one of those that have the entrepreneurial spirit.  Here is the place to be.  In fact, the state of Washington encourages small business, whether home, or a store front type, to come and grow with the community.

Visit Grand Coulee Dam

Visit Nearby Grand Coulee Dam

Seattle itself was developed and has grown into a tremendous city because of self-starter type businesses.   Some are :  Amazon, UPS, Home Depot, and as mentioned above, Microsoft.

Why not come in for a visit to Wenatchee or the Seattle area?  You’ll be pleased that you did.

Written by: Tom McDaniel Be sure to share this site

Enumclaw to Mount Rainier

Enumclaw Wa to Mount Rainier

Enumclaw (ee-numb-claw) is not an evil place as the name implies.  Yet people want to know what Enumclaw is.

The name Enumclaw is translated from the Indian (now Native American) tribe of Salish (say-lish).    It means : place of evil spirits or house of evil spirits.   This is in reference to the mountains surrounding the city itself.

About 6 miles north of the city is the Enumclaw Mountain.  The “evil” that is being referred to is one of two things.    It could be of some evil action or act that took place in the past or of the frequent and sometimes destructive windstorms that blow throughout the region.

Two Native American Brothers

Being familiar with some local tribes, they always have wonderfully told stories of why things happen.  Enumclaw and Kapoonis are no exception.

Enumclaw and Kapoonis were two Native Americans (Indians)  in the early days, whose father turned them into, of all things, Thunder and Lightning.   Knowing that, some refer to the city of Enumclaw as “Thundering Noise” from the two brothers seemingly dominating the city during storms.

Massive Trees Make The City

Trees around Enumclaw in early 1900's

Trees around Enumclaw in early 1900’s needed to be removed

Settlers began back in the 1840’s and 1850’s.  Allen Porter, in 1853 laid claim to some 320 acres near the White River just west of Enumclaw city.  But because of trouble with the local tribes, he left and never returned.

It was not until 1879 that Frank and Mary Stevenson settled in the area, and invited the Northern Pacific Railroad  to cut through their cleared and level land and build a Siding, was the beginnings of the city.

Siding: A siding, in rail terminology, is a low-speed track section distinct from a running line or through route such as a main line or branch line or spur. It may connect to through track or to other sidings at either end.

With great confidence, the Stevensons built a hotel and even gave away lots to be used for a general store along with a local saloon.  This really got the city growing.

However, in order to have cleared and open land, massive trees needed to be felled and transported away…somehow.

Early efforts at logging took place with trees that were as much as 12 feet in diameter.   Think about the effort needed to not only fall a tree like that, but then to try and move it!

Many of the trees remained where they fell and decayed over  decades.  Even to this day you can see 8, 10, 12 foot diameter stumps rising up from the ground to the 10 or 15 foot mark where the loggers began their jobs of sawing and chopping down these huge trees.

Stumps can still be seen from more than 100 years ago logging efforts.

Stumps can still be seen from more than 100 years ago logging efforts.

Stevenson or Enumclaw…Which?

The city was so thankful to the Stevenson family that at first, they wanted to name the city “Stevenson” after them.  Refusing the offer, the name Enumclaw was elected because of its uniqueness.

Recognizing that in order to prosper, business’ needed to be welcomed.  The hop farms sprang up (hops used in beer making) and brought much needed prosperity to Enumclaw.

But, like many other crops, a local infestation of lice destroyed the hop industry which had gotten to the point of being a “hop craze” in the area.   Because of this, the locals needed to change.  Dairy farming now was, and still is, the mainstay of the Enumclaw area.

Gateway City

The tourist trade is well supported by the locals.  The King County Fair is by far, one of the most entertaining and enjoyable fairs to attend, other than the city of  Monroe or Evergreen State Fair.

In 1929 the folks of Yakima (yack-kah-ma) and Enumclaw met to welcome the so-called “wedding” of Yakima Peaches to the groom of Enumclaw Cream.  From that, the city officials proclaimed their city to be “the gateway to Naches Pass and Mount Rainier” (nat-cheece).

And while you are there, why not enjoy some delicious peaches and cream?

After the Boeing company exploded into productivity during WW II,  the city took advantage of their new found “wealth” by Boeing workers and  began the trucking industry.

Helped along by the Mutual of Enumclaw Insurance Company, they expanded their lines and extended services into nearby states.   Along with this growth came the much anticipated merger of the White River Lumber Company with the Weyerhaeuser Corporation.

Enumclaw Today

Enumclaw is a medium sized city with open spaces.

Enumclaw is a medium sized city with open spaces.

The city has been deemed one of the safest cities to live in within the state of Washington.   The schools are some of the best, with locals always being friendly and supportive of city interests.

Being about 25 or 30 miles from Seattle, why not come in for a friendly visit?

Leave your comments below. Be sure to share this site.
Written by:  Tom McDaniel

Images by:eskimo,reddit,washingtonlandscapes

Welcome to the North Cascades National Park

Welcome to the North Cascades National Park

If you enjoy “getting away from it all”, the North Cascade Travel Guide is what you’ll be wanting in order  to locate those enjoyable places that most folks know nothing about.

The Pacific Northwest is known for it’s beautiful wilderness and wild areas.  However, there are many, many places that have wonderful recreation sites also.

Green Lake Falls No. Cascades Park

Green Lake Falls North Cascades Park

The North Cascades National Park draws thousands of visitors to it each year.  Why?

Let’s see what there is to do.

North Cascades National Park

Perhaps one of the first things you’ll want to do is to contact one of the Rangers of the park.  She or he, will answer all your questions and even give you more to think about.

You never know what you'll see

You never know what you’ll see…..Elk

Guided tours or guided ‘talks’ with the Ranger will make for an enjoyable trip.  An outdoor ‘education’ of the park, it’s ecosystem, cultural history, geology, and it’s many carnivores living in the wild will be fascinating for all.

While you are there, don’t overlook the “Lady of the Lake” cruises up Lake Chelan (she-lan) on your way to Stehekin.

Within the park you’ll see and hear animals with fur, feathers, and scales that are scattered throughout.   If you keep a sharp eye out, you may be one of the lucky ones to see the gray wolf, fisher or even the wolverine that wanders through the forests.

For the fisherman

For the fisherman

All along the way you’ll be entertained by the antics of the Douglas squirrels and pikas that are in abundance throughout.

Have you ever see a Dragonfly up close?  Here you will and be able to examine them closely.

Hiker’s Guide

It’s been described as a hiker’s smorgasbord for the huge variety of trails, strolls, scenic, steep, or even grueling hikes that are at your fingertips.  All that is needed is for you to choose which one.

We are here.

We are here.  Top of map.  

With some 400 miles of trails, you’ll be pleased no matter which one you choose.  Deep valleys, dense forested areas, switchbacks, steep pases that lead to the higher ridges dot the entire park.

Be on the lookout for the more than 300 glaciers that protrude from the mountains and some 130 alpine lakes in the valleys below you.

Two Million Acres

Some 94 percent of the entire park has been deemed the Stephen Mather Wilderness and is the central core of more than two million acres of Federally Protected Wilderness.

During the hiking season, usually from April – October, you’ll be met with many others on the trails.  But if you are and intrepid hiker, backpacker or semi-mountain climber, keep in mind that the hiking trails are open year round.

For the serious backpacker

For the serious backpacker

A trip planner schedule should be put into use before you begin your adventure though.

Camping – Bicycling – Fishing – Horse Riding

Bicycling is one of the next best ways to travel through the park. It’s a little bit easier and you can see more than just walking.  Either way, you’ll get a scenic tour.

Come join us.

Come join us.

Perhaps you have little ones or older folks with you, then the North Cascades Highway will be just right for you.

Why not get your horse out for a little change of scenery too?  Many of the trails are horse friendly.

Regardless of which areas you choose, the Park has something for everyone.

Have comments about your favorite park?  Be sure and leave them below.

Written by:  Tom McDaniel

Images by:  shannontech,pinterest,seeyosemite,nationalparkcenterreservations,gonorthwest,truenorthathletics,spokesman

What is night? Beautiful!

What is Anacortes at night? Simply Beautiful!

Anacortes (anna-core-tess) is in the state of Washington.  Located on the north end of Fidalgo Island.  Many ask what is Anacortes?   Some think of it as some type of wild animal.  For instance, a big snake like the Anaconda.

Sorry to disappoint you, but it is not a snake but what it is, is a unique place to live and visit.

The name Anacortes comes from a very early settler to the area named Amos Bowman.

Amos wanted to do something special for his beloved wife, so he named the area Anacortes which comes from his wife’s name of Anna Curtis.  A little “short cut” with her name and up comes Anacortes.

Welcome to Anacortes

Welcome to Anacortes

March Point

My first visit to Anacortes was the March Point area where my family and friends went crabbing.  If you like crab, then you’ve got to check out the fantastic crabbing in the area.

We had a small boat and a couple of crab nets with floats attached to the top so we could find them after tossing the basket nets into the water about 100 feet from the shore.

With a huge fish head wired to the inside of the basket, we waited about 20 or 30 minutes and then went to haul up the net basket.  This had to be done super fast as you can see the basket getting closer to the surface, the crabs literally are jumping out!

The faster you pull, the more you come up with.

What made this crabbing taste so great, is that with a beach campfire, and a large pot of the local salt water, we just cooked them on the spot.  Minutes later, dipping in melted butter, we all had our complete fill of crab.  All 12 of us!


After reading a few of my earlier posts on Seattle, the Seattle Space Needle, the Aquarium, Floating Bridges and Ferry systems, along with the GreenLake Park area, you’ll want to expand your understanding of the state of Washington, Mount Rainier, and the Seattle area to include it’s surroundings.

Directions To Anacortes

From Seattle head north along I-5 till you get to the Mount Vernon area and then head west on West Division Street which will connect you to Hwy. 536 which in turn, connects to I-20 that takes you directly into Anacortes.

On the other hand, if you stay on I-5 northbound a bit further you’ll come to Burlington.  Look for the westbound sign for I-20 which takes you past March Point and right into Anacortes.

“New York of the West”

Similar in nature as La Conner located just south of Anacortes, in the early days, many Indian groups or tribes, dotted the area.

The Samish and Swinomish tribes abounded.

Not having industry to contend with, the entire region was home to some of the largest trees in the U.S.

(Go to “Home” at top of this page and scroll all the way down to the bottom.  You’ll see some of those early trees that grew in the area.)

Old growth Douglas fir absolutely dominated the skyline.

Amos Bowman envisioned a “Western New York” and tried to promote Anacortes as an urban center for all to enjoy.  He failed.

Anacortes Today

Now famous for the Washington State Ferries terminal and docking port, Anacortes serves Lopez Island, Shaw Island and beautiful Orcas Island along with all of the San Juan Islands and up into British Columbia Canada with Victoria and Vancouver Island.

Enjoy a ferry ride for whale watching

Enjoy a ferry ride for whale watching

With ideal surroundings, boaters, fishermen (and women) flock to the area.   Outdoor camping and travel trailers are all welcome.

Enjoy tent or motorhome camping

Enjoy tent or motorhome camping

Being so close to the Strait of Juan de Fuca, whale watching has proven to be a real drawing influence to people from all around the world.

A Scenic Hike

Some 50 miles of mountain biking and hiking trails wind there way throughout the region.  Even for those adventurous souls that  enjoy rock climbing, you’ll be pleased at the many challenges that Anacortes offers you.

Mount Erie is also a challenge if you enjoy hiking.  It’s 1273 foot peak will give you a view that you’ll not soon forget.

Hiking scenery

Hiking scenery you’ll enjoy in Anacortes

On the other hand, if you are not into walking or rock climbing, then don’t forget the long-distance cyclists.  It is sponsored by Adventure Cycling Association “Northern Tier” that will get you started near Anacortes and end in Bar Harbor, Maine.

Don't forget about Anacortes shopping!

Don’t forget about Anacortes shopping!

Fun Stuff

Shipwreck Day , Anacortes Arts Festival, and Oyster Run are events that will bear looking into for young and old alike, and don’t forget to see the “Pirates” of Seattle!

Oyster Run downtown

Oyster Run downtown Anacortes…Come join the Fun!

Why not come in and join us?

Anacortes would welcome your visit. Share this site.

Written by: Tom McDaniel

Leave your comments below…I love to hear from folks!

Images by:anacortes,visitanjuans,activerain,shipharborinn

Seattle Aquarium Pier 59

Seattle Aquarium Pier 59

The Seattle Aquarium will take you “under the water” and give you a “real feel” for the marine life in Puget (pew-jet)  Sound.  Come join us as we stroll through the Under-the-sea,  Seattle Aquarium.

In fact, you ‘otter’ come and visit the  sea otter during feeding times.  These little balls of fun and fur will touch your hearts as you watch their antics.

Joe...Joe...wake up! People are here and it's time to eat...again!

Joe…Joe…wake up! People are here and it’s time to eat……..again!

The Tide Pool

One of the most popular exhibit is the tide pool where you’ll be able to have that “real feel” of these animals.  Why not come and see for yourself?

Join us at  the waterfront off Alaskan Way and look for the Giant Wheel.  After finding the Wheel, you can’t miss the Seattle Aquarium with it’s view and dock, extending out into the Sound on Pier 59.

Need an address?  1483 Alaskan Way Seattle , Wa.  98101  or just call (206) 386-4300 and you’ll be able to find all the information you’ll need to make your visit in Seattle enjoyable.

Seattle's Wheel and nearby Aquarium

Seattle’s Aquarium and nearby Wheel

An Enjoyable Short History Lesson

Being located on the waterfront, it was only a matter of time before Seattle created the Seattle Aquarium.  Initially it was owned and operated by the Department of Parks and Recreation beginning in 1977.  However, in 2010, the nonprofit Seattle Aquarium Society took over management.

The Aquarium averages some 800,000 visitors annually.  With conservation and instructions for future marine interests, students and visitors alike, come to learn about their impacts on local marine life.

The gift store and cafe are handy for a little break and a memorabilia of the aquarium so you can remember your visit to Seattle’s waterfront Aquarium.  🙂

The Window On Washington Waters

One exhibit you’ll enjoy is the 120,000 gallon tank that was designed and built in 2007.   It’s purpose is to duplicate the waters off the coast of Washington.  It has a variety of  local marine life.  Keep an eye open for the Sea anemones, salmon and even some rockfish.

Oh, and don’t forget to wave at the divers in this huge water tank as they entertain visitors during the day!

Come See The Crashing Waves Exhibit

If you enjoy watching and/or hearing the soothing sounds of the ocean waves on a beautiful beach, then the Crashing Waves Exhibit will really give you that peaceful, restful atmosphere.

The tidepool exhibit will give you that “up close and personal” experience.  You’ll get the “feel” of it very quickly.

The Tidepool

The Tide pool & Life on the Edge Exhibit

Life of a Drifter features a large glass “donut” where you’ll quickly be surrounded by ‘moon jellies’ and  giant Pacific octopus along with the nearby and very handy, 13 foot touch-tank.

The Pacific Coral Reef keeps us informed about the local marine life that surrounds the reefs.  It will give us a peek into coral reef life.

Strange But True

Oddities that live in and around the Puget (pew-jet) Sound and Elliott Bay waterfront, can give us much enjoyment along with many ‘oohs and aahs’ when we see the pinecone fish, the cowfish, flying gurnards, potbellied seahorses and even the short dragonfish.

Harbor seals, Northern fur seals, sea otters and river otters can be seen also.

The Marine Mammals and “Killer Whales”

The Orca Family Activity Center a.k.a. Killer Whale exhibit, will help us to understand these highly intelligent  creatures.   Being social, you’ll learn how they stay together and see how their hunting techniques and vocal behaviors are passed on to succeeding generation.

Often times we can see these magnificent animals in the wild when on the ferry boats.

Viewed as a threatened or endangered animal because of habitat loss, pollution or capture for marine mammal parks along with conflicts with some local fisheries, you’ll want to see how you can help.

Feels like you can reach out and touch them

Feels like you can reach out and touch them

The Underwater Dome

As you enter this underwater room with it’s 400,000 gallon water tank, you’ll be transfixed by the clarity of the water and the glass.  Sharks, salmon, Lingcod, sturgeon, skates along with more rockfish will be seen here.

Still want to reach out ?

Still want to reach out ?

The “Other Zoos”

The Seattle Aquarium has so much to see that you may not be able to see it all in one day.  However, don’t let that stop you from a return visit.

But what about all the other animals and interesting sites of Seattle and it’s surroundings ?

The Woodland Park Zoo is located nearby for those of us who enjoy getting out of doors.

If you’re up for a short drive and would like to see a real frontier Fort along with more animals,  then the Point Defiance Zoo would be another great place to visit.

It's nap time

It’s nap time.  Thanks for stopping by.      🙂

Written by:  Tom McDaniel SHARE this site 🙂

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City of Leavenworth Washington

The City of Leavenworth Washington Welcomes YOU!

After Bob and Ted purchased the small restaurant named Coles Corner Cafe and renamed it The Squirrel Tree, the transformation to a Bavarian Alpine theme for the city of Leavenworth was underway!

Leavenworth at night

Leavenworth at night

Today, most folks no longer ask “what is Leavenworth Washington” without getting a response from anyone that has been there such as:  ” It is a wonderful, almost euphoric atmosphere that permeates the entire city.”   (see part 1)

Major Changes With Immediate Success

With the final touches on the newly named Squirrel Tree Restaurant now in place, the two business men realized that they had a highly successful operation.  In fact, about one year later, the two built the The Squirrel Tree Chalet Motel.


The Squirrel Tree Lodge

The Squirrel Tree Lodge  (Chalet)

It too, became an overnight success.  Flushed with so much success, both Ted and Bob had plans for extending their Alpine – Bavarian theme by creating an authentic style “Old Bavarian Village” that would be next to the restaurant.

However, because of difficulties, that project was never fulfilled.

One of the main attractions that caught everyone’s attention while dining at the Squirrel Tree was the wild bears that would come to the restaurant for food scraps.

Soon, they became so “friendly” that they would take scraps of food out of the hands and sometimes, the mouth, of those working in the restaurant!

Penny Ells with Ole George

Penny Ells with “Ole George”

But all had to beware…because after all, these animals were still wild.

Leavenworth Takes On Bavaria

With the city of Leavenworth only a few miles away, the city officials began to rethink their own success.   Ted, too, came in touch with the city officials to further the Bavarian theme throughout the city.

With the help of the University of Washington (a.k.a. the “U” District)  Ted spearheaded the L.I.F.E. project.

L = Leavenworth

I  = Improvement

F  = For

E  = Everyone

It began by encouraging tourism to the area.  As travelers slowly began to drift into Leavenworth, Ted quickly realized that the  Old Bavarian Village that he originally wanted, could be fulfilled right there throughout the small city of Leavenworth.

However, it had to be more than storefronts with Alpine – Bavarian style facades.  To be successful, the entire city needed to have a makeover, along with the local residents.

With many “bumps” in their way, Ted and the city officials, began in earnest to have this dream fulfilled.

A Struggle To Become Successful

For many years after the Great Depression, the small town of Leavenworth was considered to be a ‘welfare town’ that would never amount to anything worthwhile.

Having their little school building condemned and needing a new one, there was difficulties to overcome.  After all, both Ted and Bob were “outsiders” from Seattle and were not to be trusted.

On the other hand, those that realized the potential of an Alpine – Bavarian Village, undertook the challenge.  Many had to go into deep debt to have their storefronts and interiors totally changed over.

Being a very risky venture, almost all of the business owners would have to make huge sacrifices and risk all of their futures on this venture.

Massive changes needed to be made if they were to survive.

Even their everyday dress attire had to be in the Bavarian styles.  It was all so different to the locals!

Leavenworth "Official" dress code

Leavenworth “Official” dress code

Project Alpine Gets Underway

Only a few of the longtime residents (at first) would give both Ted Price and Bob Rodgers any support.  That was back in the early/middle 1960’s.

However, with the early support of Owen and Pauline Watson, LaVern Peterson, Vern and Ann Herrett,  the project got underway.  These early pioneers into the then, unknown, would soon realize that their venture would quickly pay off.

With the purchase of several of the local storefronts in very bad condition, Bob and Ted set out to renovate all of them.   Often on the verge of bankruptcy, they pushed ahead.

Leavenworth Today

Leavenworth Today

Leavenworth Today

It did not take long for others to join in with the facelift of their small city.   Total remodels were the thing of the future.

Needed changes in the city building codes  were needed.  Once done, it allowed the changes to the realism of the Bavarian theme by the steep slopes in the shapes and styles of the roof tops of each building.

Now with the Bavarian roofs, ironworks, balconies, and the burying of all telephone and power lines, the city began to take on the Alpine-Bavarian township look that was most desirable.

In order to promote tourism, both Ted and Bob instituted the Four Seasons Events…the Autumn Leaf Festival…the Christmas Lighting…the Mai Fest…and finally the Art In The Park.

Mai Fest

Mai Fest held in Leavenworth Washington

Leavenworth Waterfront Park was also promoted in the early 1970’s and now draws thousands of tourists to the town’s frontage area located on the Wenatchee (wee-nat-chee) River.

Wenatchee River

Wenatchee River


Why Not Come Join Us?

Leavenworth Washington has undergone some major changes over the past 100 years.  It will continue to do so…but in the Alpine – Bavarian style.  Why not come see for yourselves?

If you are intrigued, then the first seasonal fest would be the Oktober Fest beginning the last week of September.  Each year it draws thousands to its festive atmosphere, beer gardens, food courts, Bavarian style dances and much, much more.

Leave your comments below if you’ve enjoyed your “mountain visit” to Leavenworth.

Written by :   Tom McDaniel Share this site

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What Is Lake Chelan Washington...An Adventure!

What Is Lake Chelan Washington…An Adventure!


Lake Chelan (pronounced as :  (shee-lan) is one of those great places that once you’ve visited, you’ll be wanting to come back.  Many do, year after year.

Chelan, as the locals refer to it, is a unique community that is tourist oriented.  This is especially true in spring, summer, and autumn.

Though much activity goes on during winter (skiing mostly), it does slow down somewhat.

From Seattle To Lake Chelan

It’s a pleasant drive from Seattle eastbound on I-90.  You’ll note the steep climb as you leave Issaquah (pronounced as : (iz-ah-quaw NOT isss-ah-quaw) heading for North Bend.

Keep an eye out for “stump lake” on your right hand side as you cross over the top of the pass on your descent down the east side.  You may want to take a few photos as you pass it by.  It is unique in itself.

The time spent looking over the mountain terrain will make the time seem to fly by as you head over on your drive.  If traffic is good, then you should make it in under 3 hours easily.

What To Do In Lake Chelan

Enjoy water sports?  Then Chelan is the right place for you.  Only be aware that the lake is glacier fed.  In other words, the water is clear and COLD.

However, if you are an official Washingtonion, then you’ll get used to it very quickly.  Water skiing, jet boats, fishing, jet skis, scuba, snorkeling,  and just plain swimming, all happen on this beautiful lake.

The Water park for the kids and adults is a great alternative to the lake itself.  You’ll want to give it a look-see while you are in Chelan.

The "Big One" that never got away!

The “Big One” that never got away!

Not a swimmer?  

You’ll enjoy the 4 hours boat ride of the entire lake.  Be sure and take advantage of that.  Glaciers are interesting when you get almost next to them. Remember, lots of pictures will be good memories for years to come.

You’ll also have the opportunities to enjoy the golf courses that are in the area.  Many to choose from each set in surroundings that will keep you amazed as you walk/ride through to each hole.

Lake Chelan and snow waters.

Lake Chelan and snowy waters.

Not a golfer?

Don’t forget that since this is a small community, catering to the tourist industry, you’ll find loads of interesting small shop, eateries, and interesting folks that are more than willing to help you.

On the other hand, perhaps you just enjoy getting outside and enjoying the scenery.  Then take advantage of ‘hiking the Butte’ along with friends and family members.

Be sure and take along your Nordic walking poles for a fantastic experience.

Spring-Summer-Perfect for hiking

Spring-Summer-Perfect for hiking

But where do I stay?

You’ll have lots of places to choose from.  Just to name a few of the top rental places to pick from…how about The Downtown 4 Bedroom Penthouse?  It’s located at the waterfront and mere minutes from the downtown area.

Or you can choose from the Oasis Cove with it’s 6 bedrooms that you can fill up with friends, family, or simply share the rental expense with others.  Fifeteen people would feel right at home here.

Perhaps you’ve got children in your group?  Then you’ll love the Royal View with it’s 3 bedroom, 2 baths, and plenty of room for up to 10 people.  A great, flat yard is handy for the kids to romp in.

The water is fine...come on in!

The water is fine…come on in!

But…What About The Outdoor Camping?

Follow along here and we’ll see the great camping sites and we’ll climb the “Butte of Chelan” together.  Just wait till you see the mighty Columbia River from the top of the Butte!

Have an experience you want to share?  Leave your comments below.

Written by :  Tom McDaniel Share this information

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1200 foot Zip Line

1200 foot Zip Line

Since there are so many definitions for the term “zip line” we will not attempt to comment on all of them.  However, when most people ask What is a zip line for, usually a cable and a seated platform come to mind.

There are very basic zip lines, then, there are those that are set up by ski resorts that can be hundreds of feet in length.  Other zip line set ups can be used as a sightseeing guide through jungles (see image above), high in the trees, crossing rivers, lakes, or huge canyons that would take days to tramp through.

Set Up Is Easy

Often times these lines are put into place for the kids to have fun with.  And it’s true, it keeps them entertained over and over again.  Most times, the longer the cable, the more the enjoyable it becomes.  Adults too, will get a kick out of one of these when they are set up correctly.

A Place To Get Started

Northwest Trek, Eatonville Washington, has a superb zip line course that you will thoroughly enjoy.

Northwest Trek image

Northwest Trek image


The Folks at Northwest Trek have a challenge set up for you also.  It’s their ‘Adventure Course’ that will set the pace and get you ready for ‘the line.’

You’ll be climbing up a 30 foot “climbing wall” in order to get to ‘the line’, then, to test your balance, you’ll be crossing over several suspended bridges to test your agility.

How about a cargo net?  Yes, there is one of those also.  You’ll have to climb between two suspended platforms.

Since you are already an “expert” at balance, you’ll next be walking over the tightrope high-wire some 55 feet in the air.  This is not for those that are nervous about heights though.

More Zips are awaiting you.  All total, you’ll be whizzing your way through the air on 6 or 7 different zip lines located throughout the ‘Adventure Course.’


Just a few things to keep in mind.  Reservations are required.  Need the phone number?  Get it here.

For children under 17 they must have adults with them.

Must be 10 years old and older with a minimum of 4 foot 7 inches in height.

Maximum weight limits if 275 lbs.

Also, Northwest Trek requires proper sporting or hiking boots/shoes.

Much More To See In The Pacific Northwest

This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to seeing and doing things in the Pacific Northwest.


Tip of the Iceberg --- Image by © Ralph A. Clevenger/CORBIS

Tip of the Iceberg  –  10% above water with 90% below

There are hiking trails through the mountains.

Seeing the sights of downtown Seattle from the top of the Space Needle.

Enjoying a leisurely  walk around Greenlake.

Join me taking a hike with my family up Mount Rainier.

You’ll learn how to “walk” with a walking pole.

Read about the history of G.O.L.F. and the first woman that played.

Visit the “Fish that Fly” at the Seattle Pike Place Market.

Enjoy the festive atmosphere of the Seattle Seafair … and it’s pirates !

Walk through one of the many Seattle zoo’s.

Before your walk, see which boot/shoe is best for you.

Believe it or not, there is a correct way to ‘tie your shoes’.

But before making plans, check out the weather report.

Don’t forget about the White Dragon.

Want to learn about Balloons that save lives?

All this activity has given you an appetite.  Where do we eat?

Tired of walking?  Try the “new and improved” bicycle.

Tired of Driving?   …   have you tried walking on water?

Perhaps a ferry boat trip with the ocean breezes in your face sounds exciting.

Want to see a real “live ” mummy up close?

Pacific Northwest

With so much outdoor activities throughout the state, it’s little wonder that when many people come to visit, they choose to stay here.   Even business’ and working jobs in the Seattle area are plentiful.

Unsure of what you want to do, then why not start your own business?  It’s easy when you are surrounded with entrepreneurs with like minds in a state that encourages small business’.

A Lifetime Of Memories

It’s little wonder that many who come for a visit to the Pacific Northwest choose to stay.  But, on the other hand, if you can not do so, then why not remember your adventure with pictures or a video?

These will last you a lifetime. Share this.

Written by :  Tom McDaniel

Images by :  northwesttrek,ralphaclevenger,ecsubbroad


Seattle’s Flying Fish Video

Main Entrance

Main Entrance…Take Note of  where the Clock is Located

Come see the Flying Fish in the Pike Place Fish Market Video!   See them, touch them, taste them, film them and meet the “Flying Fish Guys…and Girls” that are responsible for this feat.

I can recall the very first time I came to the Pike Place Market near the waterfront in Seattle.  I was just a little kid.  Even then, watching the “flying fish” go sailing through through the air to it’s catcher, some 20 feet away, was mesmerizing.

Here it comes!

Here it comes!

Will she catch it? What do you think?

Will she catch it? What do you think?







People from all walks of life come to watch.  Without the fishguys, the market probably would not be quite as popular.  Want to see them?  Here’s the link, but be sure and come back. 🙂

What Else Is At The Market?

As you enter the market, be sure and stop to visit Rachel the Pig at the entrance.  Yes, Rachel is one of the largest, if not THE largest piggy bank in the world.  Every so often, she is unloaded of her catch of coins that generous folks drop into her.

Pike Place Fish Market Video was taken directly behind Rachel the Pig

Pike Place Fish Market Video was taken directly behind Rachel the Pig

She was created by Georgia Gerber from Whidbey Island.  Sculpting this 550 pound pig was not only interesting to make, but also an inspiration of the “Pigs on Parade” fundraiser throughout downtown Seattle.

Rachel the Piggy Bank

Rachel the Piggy Bank

However, the Seattle city fathers felt Rachel was “lonely” so they decided to bring in her “cousin”, Billie the Pig.  You can see her at the bottom of the Hillclimb on Western Ave.  Western Ave. is just a street down towards the waterfront.

Restaurants Near Pike Place Market

This is a fun fact to keep in mind if you are searching for those seemingly, hard to find, restaurants near the Market.  Since you’ve already entered the Market area, why not continue on?  You’ll be amazed at the local and even foreign foods that are made handy for you to sample and purchase.  The smells are wonderful and all the items look so tasty.

Scattered throughout the Market, you’ll be treated to more than 30 uniquely different types of cuisine.  It’s the best of the Northwest, right under your nose, most of which, offer you a beautiful scenic view of Elliott Bay.

Pike Place Fish Market Video Area

Some of the Pike Place Market Stores Located on Main Walkway in Market

Yes, there are other restaurants in the local area.   Just walk up to 1st ave. or use your Segway, or another “Segway Type” of personal transport, then  go either North or South to locate unique restaurants.  Lenora, Virginia, Stewart, Pine, Pike, or Union Streets, can also be used to locate great restaurants.  It’s your choice.

If you choose to leave the Market area, you’ll also be leaving a 9 acre district of foodies within the Market itself.   You’ll find professional chefs, wonderful home cooked meals, bakeries, cafes, bistros, fine dining and casual restaurants.  And not to be overlooked, are those counters for take-out and quick bites.

 Pike Place Market Stores

These are not your typical stores.  With more than 225 specialized craftspeople, along with some 200 owner operated service oriented and unique shops to choose from, you’ll not only be enchanted but entertained by the folks that frequent these shops.

One of the easiest ways to navigate through the Market is to  have a Pike Place Market map.  It will give you a ‘bird’s eye view’ of the entire area.   This way, your visit will always be pleasant.

Pike Place Market Map

Pike Place Market Map

Where to get your Market Map?    Look for the Information booth on Pike, which would be about 100 feet in front of the large Public Market  Clock.

Parking Pike Place Market

In many large cities, parking can be a real nightmare.  However, seeing that Seattle is always a friendly city to visitors, they make is fairly simple for everyone to find a parking area.   On the other hand, the superb bus system (Metro Bus) can take to right up to the “door” of the Market.

The average cost per hour is about $3.00.  More hours, the cost per hour will drop in some privately owned parking lots.  Parking garages are handy and keep your vehicles safe and dry.

However, one of the most convenient places to park is The Public Market Parking Garage that is found directly behind the Western side of the Market.  It’s address is :  1531 Western Ave. Seattle, Washington.

Would you rather have Valet Parking?  It too, is available.  Just look for the large Clock at the Market.  Valet parking is located under it.  But keep in mind that it is limited  from 6 pm till midnight, Thursday through Saturday nights only.

One more thing you can take a look at is the Pike Place Market Twitter results.  You’ll only find good comments about the market.  One in particular is the Market Spice Tea.

Market Spice Cinnamon-Orange Tea

Being right by the Fish Market area,  take just a few minutes and visit the tea shop just to the left of the fish area.  It’s located in a little corner shop where you can smell the spices coming from within.  You can’t help but stop in and get a sample of this tea.

What is so intriguing about this tea is that it has NO SUGAR in it!  What it does have in it is :   Black tea, cinnamon along with orange flavorings and many spices.  Yummy!  You just have to get some!

It goes back a number of years.  In fact, for the average Seattleite, it was known as “hippy-tea” from back in the 60’s and early 70’s.  Why so?  Because the hippies were the one’s that really made it popular.  They would gather around the concrete walled area, singing, dancing, and putting on entertaining little skits for all who were passing by, hoping to gain a few dollars from generous people.

The tea was promoted among them and from there, word just spread.

Three Levels To The Market

Be sure and go through the entire market.  Look for the ‘ramp’ that will take you down to the lower level where you’ll find many more “old timey” shops and turn of the century (early 1900’s) tools, clothes, and much more.  You can not miss it.  Just look for the giant hand with it’s first finger pointing down the ramp.

What will you find here?  Art galleries/studios, Bath & Body, Candy and Chocolates, Florists, Collectibles, Imports and Trade items, Jewelry shops, and even Toy shops for the kids.  Many of these items are “homemade” by the shop owner or their workers.

As you continue to meander through the lower levels, you’ll come across another access that will take you to the 3rd and last level of the Market.

It is interesting, but not a level to continue to return to.  However, at this level, you can also descend the back steps to drop down towards Alaskan Way and the waterfront.    If you choose to go this way, then when you cross over Alaskan Way, you just have to visit Ivar’s Seafood Bar.

The lower level entrance or exit to Alaskan Way

The lower level entrance or exit to Alaskan Way

It’s a walk-up outdoor type eatery.  It’s usually easy to find because there always seems to be people gathered around it, waiting for their orders to be filled.  From there, you can sit at the outdoor tables, or just continue to walk along the waterfront and enjoy the view.

Keep in mind though, that the litter laws are highly enforced.  Seattle does have some litter, but all in all, the vast majority of people will make good use of the many refuse barrels located through out the city.

More From The Market

The Market is open every day of the year except Christmas Day.  Yes, it is open on New Year’s Day.    The Market offers Breakfast at 6 am, the Flying Fish market opens at 7 am and the entire Market officially opens at 9 am.  In fact, the Market is open to the general public some 19 1/2 hours each day.

Have you ever considered a cooking class?  The Market offers one.    How about the other end of the cooking class?  You know, it’s the eating part!   Yes, the Market also offers you the unique opportunity to attend a tasting course.

The Infamous Gum Wall

Back in the early 1990’s, movie goers were always leaving behind popcorn bags, tubs, candy wrappers, spilled popcorn and more…….inside the locale theaters.  However, they chose not to rid themselves of their mouth full of chewing gum… until they left the movie theater.  The deposited it on the now, infamous, “wall of gum” at Post Alley in the Pike Place Market area.

Disgusting you say?  Maybe so, but it is considered to be one of Seattle’s “unplanned visitor attractions” that not only draws people to see it, but to also to add their bit of “flavor” to the wall.

Gum wall with "flavor" added

Gum wall with “flavor” added

Infamous gum wall

Infamous gum wall

Gum wall again

Gum wall again

                           Seattle Hotels Near Pike Place Market

So you enjoyed your visit to the Market so much that you lost track of time.  Now you find out that you need/want to stay for the night.  So, where do we go from here?

Here are a few just for you.

Seattle Marriott Waterfront  2100 Alaskan Way  Seattle, Wa  206-443-3600

Inn at the Market  86 Pine Street, Seattle, Wa.  206-443-3600

Hotel Five  2200 5th Ave.  Seattle, Wa.  206-441-9785

Hotel Andra  2000 4th Ave.  Seattle Wa.  206-448-8600

Seattle People Have A Unique View Of Life

So many well known business’ have had their start in the Seattle area, it would only be fair to name a few.

Microsoft, UPS, Costco, Boeing Air, Amazon, and Starbucks Coffee.  There are many others that have their roots located in Seattle.  So you may be asking why?

It’s mainly because of the entrepreneur spirit that totally dominates the entire western part of the state.  Have you ever had the desire to “be your own boss?”

Most of us have.  But how do we start?  If you want to learn how to have your own online, stay at home, business, then just click the image below and see for your self how to can get started for a 100% free 7 day trial run.

You also get two free websites to practice on.  Think it may be too intimidating?  Not to worry.  You’ll be taken by the hand and given training by videos that will show you EXACTLY what to do and in what order to implement these techniques to be the best online marketer you can be.

Read more and be informed first.  Wealthy Affiliate.

Give it a go.  It’s free.  No credit card is even asked for.

Have You Been To Seattle?

Leave me your comments below.  I’d  love to hear your Seattle stories.

Be sure to share this site…

Written by :  Tom McDaniel

Nordstrom Department Stores


Nordstrom Today

Nordstrom Department Stores Today

Nordstrom Department Stores have evolved into one of the finest stores in the country.  Quality is what they specialize in.  The sales staff in each of the departments are second to none.  Professional, polite, knowledgeable, and friendly.

Each employee still retains John Nordstrom’s original standards towards customer retention.  What are those standards?  Or better known as rules?   Each newly hired person must live by this rule……

Welcome to Nordstrom
We’re glad to have you with our Company. Our number one goal is to provide outstanding customer service. Set both your personal and professional goals high. We have great confidence in your ability to achieve them.
Nordstrom Rules: Rule #1: Use best judgment in all situations. There will be no additional rules.
Please feel free to ask your department manager, store manager, or division general manager any question at any time.

Use your best judgement…That is still in affect if you’ve ever had the opportunity to visit any on the many, many Nordstrom Department Stores scattered throughout the United States and Canada.

 How Did This Company Start ?

Nordstrom stores all had their beginnings in the Seattle, Washington area.   John W. Nordstrom immigrated from Sweden to England, then to the U.S. in the 1890’s.  He, like many  others who come to this country, was determined to make something of himself.

Because of his working background, that is, of an individual that had back breaking jobs, he realized that there had to be a better way to make something of himself.  However, from these physically demanding jobs, he had gained ambition and drive to make things happen.

Having left Sweden at the age of 16, leaving behind 4 siblings, including his mother and a buried father, he, along with two friends, left England, bound for New York, USA.  Starting as a “grunt” in the iron trade, it did not take long for him to realize that was not what he wanted to do.  He wanted to go west.

After going through states such as, Iowa, Colorado, California and Washington, he finally made his home in Arlington, Washington,  just north of the city of Seattle.  There he began a potato farm, and at that same time, began courting Hilda Carlson, a beautiful Swedish woman whom he had met.

Nordstrom’s career as a potato farmer was short lived.  In the 1900’s there was a huge gold strike in Dawson, Canada.  Quickly, he realized the potential and headed to Alaska and the gold fields.  Starting out on foot from Seattle, then to a freighter heading for Valdez, and finally another 1000 miles on horseback and again, on foot.

Gold Fields In Dawson

Gold Fields In Dawson

Alaskan Claim Jumping!

Leaving Seattle 1897

Leaving Seattle 1897


1899 Resting Place

1899 Resting Place


Nordstrom carried 2000 lbs more than 1 mile up Chilkoot Pass 1897-1898

Nordstrom carried 2000 lbs more than 1 mile up Chilkoot Pass 1897-1898

Having the background of hard work, he slaved at finding gold for a solid two years before he ever found any type of paydirt.  Being well aware that claim jumping was running rampant, his claim was no exception.  Another miner that had not been so successful, claimed his (Nordstroms) mine as his own.

Commemorating the Gold Rush

Commemorating the Gold Rush

What to do?  Nordstrom, rather than fight for his claim in an already corrupt arbitration process, he simply sold his share to the other miner and returned home to Seattle with some $13,000. dollars in his pockets.  A small fortune in those days.

Shortly after returning home, in 1900, he and Hilda were married and within a few years, had a little family.  There was:  Everett, Elmer, Lloyd, Mabel and finally, Ester.

Nordstrom was tired of working so hard, physically.  But what was he to do?

A friend (also Swedish) that he had met in the goldfields, wanted to open a shoe store in the Seattle area.  The two friends had caught the “Entrepreneur Spirit” that permeates Seattle.

After investing $5000. in the business along with another $3,500. more in inventory of quality shoes, the two entrepreneurs opened their 20 foot wide storefront.  Both were nervous and scared to death!  Why?  Neither spoke very good english.  So how were they to communicate with their customers?!

First Sale…A Funny Story

Opening day arrived and with quality shoes selling at a whopping $1.95 to as high as $4.95 per pair, the two friends waited…..

Noon time arrived without a single customer coming into the store.  His friend and business partner decided it was time for him to get a bite to eat and so he left John to mind the store.  During his absence, and according to the newspaper article in the Seattle P.I. quoting John W. Nordstrom’s memoir, he wrote :

“Opening day, we had not had a customer by noon, so my partner went to lunch.  He had not been gone but a few minutes when our first customer, a woman, came in for a pair of shoes she had seen in the window.  I was nervous and could not find the style she had picked out in our stock.  I was just about ready to give up when I decided to try  the pair from the window, the only pair we had of that style.”   The customer bought the shoes.   He writes later that he never knew whether or not the shoes fit the woman.

That first day sale was $12.50.  The two were ecstatic!

Word spread quickly about the new shoe store in town.  Within weeks, Saturday sales topped $100.00.   Within 3 years of the store’s opening, annual sales were some $47,000.  That same year the two decided to expand.  Buying a second shoe store, along with a new location, they began to thrive.

At a young age, both Everett and Elmer began working as stock boys in the store. In 1928, the two partners decided to go separate ways.  Nordstrom sold his partnership to his two sons.   A year later, 1929, Carl F Wallin (John’s partner) sold his interests in the shoe store to the two Nordstrom sons.  Now the store was officially named “Nordstrom”.   Lloyd Nordstrom joined the company in 1933.

Not the first Nordstrom store but early 1930's

Not the first Nordstrom store but early 1930’s

The stock market crash of 1929 and extending through the Depression of the 1930’s was a trying time for the Nordstroms.  To keep the store operating, they had to sell double the amount of shoes at greatly reduced prices.

Knowing that leather was in short supply, the sons had to travel far and wide in order to keep their inventory going.  After all, with shoes being rationed to no more than 3 pair per person per year, (using ration cards issued by the government) along with the bulk of leather going to the military, it became a challenge indeed, just to keep one’s head above water, financially speaking.

After The Depression

Having gained the reputation of “The Nordstrom Way”, that is, a very high quality of business for customers and suppliers, it paved the way for the Nordstrom Department Store to “explode” onto the retail scene.

An odd thing though, about the highly successful Nordstrom stores is that the absolute WORST sales people were the brothers and their father.

That was according to Lloyd Nordstrom.

However, realizing that to be true, the brothers made sure that those whom they hired as sales people, knew their business.  Each salesperson was customer orientated and provided superb service to each and every person who entered their doors.   The very same is true even today.

With the  3 son’s expert handing (after all, they were all college graduates) of business affairs, by the 1960’s, Nordstrom became the largest privately owned shoe chain store in the U.S.  Eight stores were now open in Washington and Oregon along with a minimum of 13 departments areas that were leased in other retail stores.

Nordstrom’s 4 story building was then known as the largest shoe store in the United States, totalling an astronomical sales volume in 1961 of $12 million!

With the sweet taste of success, the Nordstrom boy’s began to diversify into other areas.  They purchased  Best’s Apparel Inc. in 1961.  Best’s Apparel was a highly fashionable women’s clothing store.  Now the store had a new name.  “Nordstrom Best” became a household word for quality.  By 1967 the sales volume now reached $40 million, half of which consisted of shoe sales.

First In Commissions

Another milestone for the Nordstrom Department Stores were the incentives given to it’s sales staff.  They were the first major store to pay out meaningful commissions to it’s people.   Thinking that cash incentives motivated sales folks to work harder and make more sales, they began a system that paid out more money to more people.  The results?  The merchandise sales went through the roof!

At one time, Everett, Elmer and Lloyd entertained the notion of selling the business.  However, their son’s convinced them not to.  In fact, with the next generation of Nordstrom’s now at the helm, they made a bold and extremely risky move.  They chose to go public along with an expansion to the East Coast of the United States, always keeping in mind that they were only known in the Pacific Northwest.

Their venture paid off.  The name Nordstrom is well known for quality merchandise throughout the U.S.

Seattle Seahawks And Lloyd Nordstrom…What Is The Connection?

Left to Right : Lloyd Nordstrom, NFL Commissioner Pete Rozelle, Herman Sarkowsky...1974

Left to Right :
Lloyd Nordstrom, NFL Commissioner Pete Rozelle, Herman Sarkowsky…1974

In 1970, the NFL began to plan and expand it’s teams.  In 1972, a wealthy group of Seattle investors decided to purchase an NFL franchise for Seattle.  In June of that year, Seattle was granted the franchise.   The major purchasing family was the Lloyd Nordstrom family.  The Nordstrom’s now owned the majority part of the newly formed football team.  However, as of yet, they had no team name.

Soon after the the acceptance of a new expansion team in the Pacific Northwest, a contest was held.  Everyone could participate. The contest was:  Name the newly formed Seattle football team.  The name:  Seattle Seahawks was the winning pick.

Though Lloyd Nordstrom was the one best known for his signing of the agreement for the Seattle Seahawks expansion team, he never got a chance to see them in action.  He died of a massive heart attack soon after the signing took place.  🙁

Seattle And Guinness World Records

Seattle’s fans have been known collectively by the term of the “12th Man” or perhaps the “12th Fan”.  Why so?  Twice, the Seattle Seahawks’ fans have set records for being the loudest fans at a sporting event in the world!    This was on Sept. 15, 2013 (Seahawks Vs. San Francisco 49ers) at 136.6 db.   Then they bested that db reading on Dec. 2, 2013 (Seahawks Vs. New Orleans Saints) with a db reading of 137.6.

Loudest Fans in the world !

Loudest Fans in the world !

Why so loud?  The volume of the fans was ONLY when the the opposing team had the football!  It was done so that the opposing team could not hear what the quarterback said to his team mates.  In that way, they would (hopefully) hear the wrong play being called.  On the other hand, when Seattle had the ball, you could “hear a pin drop” because of how quiet the entire stadium had become.   🙂

Seattle was also credited with what we now know as “The Wave”.   First started with Seattle Mariner Baseball, then with the Seattle SuperSonics basketball fans, and finally perfected with the Seattle Seahawks football fans.

New Owners

Back in 1996, Seahawks owner Ken Behring told the press he was going to be moving his franchise (the Seattle Seahawks football team)  to L.A. California.    Behring claimed that the Kingdome was unsafe because of potential earthquakes in the area.  Yet he was choosing to move to earthquake prone, Los Angeles, California?  No one could understand that type of “reasoning”.

What Stopped The Move?

When Ken Behring found out that the Seahawks were legally locked in by legal contract and would be using the Kingdome until 2005, his lawyers suggested he sell the team.

With that as a backdrop……in steps the Seattle Seahawks savior, Microsoft’s Paul Allen.  Allen agreed to the purchase but only if there was a state wide election for financing a brand new stadium for the Hawks.

It passed.

Seattle Seahawks brand new stadium !

Seattle Seahawks brand new stadium !


What are your thoughts on the Nordstrom family?  Do you like the Seattle Seahawks?  What about the Super Bowl outcome?

Give me your thoughts because everyone has a voice. Be sure to share this site.

Written by :   Tom McDaniel

The Seattle Seahawks

This says it all !!!

This says it all !!!







The Seattle Seahawks surprised everyone at the Super Bowl.  A winning team if I ever saw one.  Yet there were some that were screaming “foul” at the end of the Broncos/Seahawks Super Bowl game.

(Did you note their newly designed uniforms? )

(Women Loved them!)

How so?  I heard a number of people say  Denver just plain and simple, “laid down” during the entire game. But really, is that a true comment? Or just one made by those that were disappointed that the Broncos did not win?

According to the New York Times and Wall Street Journal newspapers the day after the Super Bowl game, that Denver just got “out played by a better and hungrier team” throughout the entire  game.  Both papers had quite extensive coverage along with comments about the tremendous win by the Seattle Seahawks.

So,What Was It That They Said?

Putting things in a much shorter form here in this blog, both papers had to agree that the Hawks were not viewed seriously by the NFL.  In fact, according to both papers, the entire team was made up of the so-called “rejects” by the other NFL teams.  They were viewed as not being good enough for their team.

On the other hand, a final score of :  Seattle Seahawks 43, Denver Broncos 8, must say something about the unique “steam engine” team known as the Seahawks.


Now think about this.  Since the main body of the team were “rejects”, how would you feel if that was you?  Mad? Angry?  More than likely it would.  That is what both papers brought out.  Because everyone on the Hawks team were hungry for a Super Bowl Ring, they, as a body, went after it and did whatever it took…to win that game, the ring, the respect, and the the cup.  Much to the chagrin of many, many people.

Much of the history of the Hawks is so misconstrued, one wonders how they could have gotten things sorted out.

A Brief History of The Seattle Seahawks

For all you Seattle Seahawks lovers out there, you’ll find this very interesting.  In fact, you can show off to your friends with this bit of trivia.  The Hawks came into existence back in 1976 as an expansion team.  Purchased by  Lloyd Nordstrom.  Yep, the famous owner of the Nordstrom store and now the famous Nordstrom Rack in downtown Seattle.

Today the Seattle Seahawks are owned by Microsoft billionaire, Paul Allen.  I just have to add this about Mr. Allen.  Both he and Bill Gates have added so much to the local community that they are viewed as true “friends” of the Seattle area.  Though never having met them personally, I have always (as many others have) viewed them as “regular folks”.

Sad to say though, that Nordstrom did not ever see his newly acquired team play.  He was struck down by a massive heart attack back in January, 1976 while he was on vacation in Mexico.

His first team coach was Jack Patera.  I can recall when the team first got started.  The entire western half of the state was as “happy as a clam at high tide”.   Then the team acquired quarterback Jim Zorn which was a real boost to everyone.

Being a new expansion team, the Seahawks had to make adjustments over many years in order to really have a foothold along with the earned respect of the rest of the NFL.  Yes indeed, they did have a number of seasons that started out great, only to end in disaster by the time the last game ended.   🙁

After the first coach (Jack Patera), many more were acquired and fired and/or retired.

1976-82    Jack Patera

1982          Mike McCormack

1983-91    Chuck Knox

1992-94    Tom Flores

1995-98    Dennis Erickson

1999-08    Mike Holmgren

2009          Jim Mora

2010-        till today  Pete Carroll

Do you remember the 1987 season?  If you do, leave me your thoughts below.  I like to hear from everyone.  In case you do not remember…then perhaps you remember the name of  Brian Bosworth?

Before the season began, the Hawks won the lottery  and the right to pick a linebacker.  They chose Brian Bosworth in the supplemental draft.  But before anyone could really see what Bosworth could do, there were problems.

Teams went “on strike” and games were played by  non-professionals.   They played “ok” but had much to be desired.  When the regulars came back to play, Steve Largent made history by breaking the record of career receptions.  The Hawks won their first 5 regular games.  Looking good or what?

Ban The Boz !

But lets get back to Brian Bosworth.  Though the Hawks paid “a pretty penny” for this linebacker, he never did really make that big of a difference in the score board.  According to the local news media, The Boz (as he was known) was plagued with bad knees.  In fact, it was said that he knew he had bad knees and took up with Seattle to finally finish out his career.  Bad for Seattle.

However, The Boz had that spirit that infests the Seattle mentality.  That is, being and entrepreneur.  How so?  Let me explain, even though his entrepreneur thinking did not help The Hawks, it certainly did help The Boz.

The Seattle Seahawks came up against the “hated” team of the Denver Broncos.  The Boz had an idea.  Since Seattle was the “dreaded enemy” of the Broncos, and especially The Boz, he made for himself, 100’s of Tee shirts with the logo stamped on the front saying :  BAN THE BOZ

These shirts went flying off the shelves, especially at the entrance gates where the fans came in.  They  were selling at that time for $15.00.  Throughout the game, you could see Boz standing up, looking up into the Bronco fans area, and counting…1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and so on.  Each BAN THE BOZ was more money in his pocket !   Needless to say, when the Broncos fans found this out, the shirts were pretty much destroyed.  The Boz, on the other had, made a small fortune.

Soon after that, The Boz was gone from Seattle.

Remember Dave Krieg?  In 1990 he shined against the Kansas City Chiefs, even though he was sacked by Derrick Thomas a total of 7 times in a single game.  Krieg won the game, 17 – 16.

Dan McGwire (brother to baseball’s Mark McGwire) was supposed to be the future quarterback for the Hawks now.  But again, it was a  disappointment to the team. That was in 1991.

Rick Mire from Notre Dame came on the scene the next year.  Again, a great disappointment.

The Seagals Are Always Here !

Not to be overlooked are the Seattle Seagals and their unique style of supporting the Hawks along with all the “crazy” fans in the bleachers!

Seagal Calendar

Seagal Calendar

More Seagals

More Seagals

Seagals Doing Their 'Thing'

Seagals Doing Their ‘Thing’

 And Those Fans?   Here are a few pictures.

Victory Parade

Victory Parade

Hmmmm...No Comment

Hmmmm…No Comment

More welcome home Fans

More welcome home


Falling Tile…..Yikes!

I can recall in 1994 when it hit the sports news that a ceiling tile had fallen from inside the Kingdome.  Since the Kingdome was “home” to the Seahawks, some folks were concerned.  However, the news media did not seem to make an issue of it, so no one really viewed it as a big deal.  The Dome’s maintenance crew glued it back to the ceiling.

Soon after that though, several more of the tiles had fallen, not onto the field as the first one had done, but into the stands where fans would be.  I can recall seeing the  news on TV showing the damage to the seats.  At first, I was thinking, “what’s the big deal?  just glue the thing back to the ceiling”.  Then I saw the damage. Yikes !  It was tremendous !  Most folks did not know that these “tiles” were made of concrete and weighted from 200 pounds to as much as 500 pounds…each!

BOOM !   Goes The Dome


Kingdome when it was new


Seattle Seahawks brand new stadium !

Seattle Seahawks brand new stadium !

Imploding the Dome

Imploding the Dome


After that, the Dome was viewed as it’s life span was at an end.  Though it took a while, finally it was imploded.  Wow, what a dust cloud it made!

With the Dome gone, the Hawks now had to play in Husky Stadium at the University of Washington college.   No one liked that.  However, one good thing did come about.  The Seattle Seahawks got their very own football stadium.  And man O man is it a beaut !!!

The roller coaster ride for the Hawks continued.  We can not leave out Matt Hasselbeck as a great quarterback.  And what about wide receiver Jerry Rice who came from the Oakland Raiders?  Never forget that Shaun Alexander won both the offensive player of the year award and the NFL, MVP in 2005.

Then there was that  frustrating Super Bowl XL that the Hawks played against the Pittsburgh Steelers back in 2005.  The “enemy” of the Steelers, Seattle, was viewed as a team that could possibly take away the “Story Book Ending”  of Steelers running back, Jerome Bettis, all in front of his hometown.  Needless to say, and as was shown in the game video playbacks, there were many, many calls by the officials that highly favored the Steelers.  Officials calling “foul” against the Hawks when, after watching the videos after the game, the officials were clearly in the wrong.  It’s no wonder the Hawks went home, extremely upset.

Final score :  Steelers 21      Seahawks 10

End Of An Era

In 2008, Mike Holmgren made the announcement that this was his final year.  He would be retiring at the end of the season…….    🙁        With that announcement, it just seemed to take all the “wind out of everyone’s sales”,  including the entire team.  That year was a huge disappointment.  Why?  Because it just seemed that it was the end of an era for the team.

Jim Mora, then Pete Carroll would replace Mike Holmgren.

The Seattle Seahawks continued to battle on.  They even went so far as to command a newly designed logo, uniforms, jackets and many, many more unique items to the joy of all the Hawks fans.

Original Uniforms

Original Uniforms


New Uniforms worn by the Seattle Seahawks

New Uniforms worn by the Seattle Seahawks








Did the change of the uniforms make a difference in the team moral?  No one really knows for sure, except that those were the colors and uniforms that were worn in the 2014 Super Bowl XLVIII where the Seahawks TOTALLY STOMPED THE DENVER BRONCOS !

Nothing more needs to be said !!!  Yay !!!

Winners "Snow Angel"

Winners “Snow Angel”

Have a comment about this article or the Seahawks?  Then leave it in the comments section below this blog.   Good or bad, I want to hear from you.

Written by :   Tom McDaniel Be sure to share this site

Seattle Restaurants Downtown – Take Your Choice


Seattle Restaurants Downtown

Seattle Restaurants Downtown

The huge number of Seattle restaurants downtown can be daunting to say the least.  Depending on your taste and atmosphere that you desire, you’ll easily be accommodated here in the downtown area.  Let’s take a look at what you’ll be able to find.  First of all, be aware that since there is such a variety of the Seattle restaurants downtown, that I am not about to try to cover all of them.  What I will do though is to give you, the reader, several to choose from.

What we’ll be looking at is not only the food, but what is popular with the folks that go there.  In other words,  How do others view this restaurant?  Did they like it?  Was the food good?  How about the atmosphere?   How popular is this dining place within the downtown area?  Did I get my money’s worth?

My first choice is  Lola Restaurant.  It is mainly a breakfast and brunch type of eatery.  It specializes  in Greek food.  OK, now don’t close off your thinking.  “Greek food? What am I getting into?”   Lola happens to be one of the most popular restaurants with an excellent track record not only for the locals but for many that travel through Seattle.

Eggs Benedict at Lola

Eggs Benedict at Lola

As you enter you’ll note the high ceilings, giving you a sense of “open spaces” even within the hotel portion.  With painted art on the walls, you’ll have plenty of ‘eye candy’ to take note of.  Located at  2000 4th Ave, Seattle, Wa.  98121  (206) 441-1430

But how is the service?  

Trust me when I say that you’ll not have a waiter/waitress with any type of ‘attitude.’   Even when others join your already seated party, they will be most welcomed.  Here is just one tasty little snack that catches everyone’s eye.   Eggs Benedict.

Not in the mood for Greek?  Then how about Japanese?  The Japonessa Restaurant and sushi bar, located at 1400 1st Ave Seattle, Wa.  98101   (206)  971-7979 will fulfill all your desires for Japanese food.  You’ll love it.

So, what should expect?  Many who eat at Japonessa enjoy the “Super Bad Boy” roll.  You will too.  Oh, and do not forget about the “happy hour” where your dollars will purchase more.   Want something more?  Then try the Tempura Brie.  It will be something that will be remembered, and savored, for many days to come.

Japonessa Casanova & Tango de Mango Rolls

Japonessa Casanova & Tango de Mango Rolls

Do you like salads instead of a large meal?  Then you’ll want to try the Sashimi Salad.  It gets a ‘thumbs up’ in my book!

If you are considering dining here, you may want to call ahead and reserve a seating place.  Why?  First of all, the waiting area is just a wee bit cramped.  Also, another thing I noticed, was the dining area itself.  It would be nice to be able to “stretch out” just a bit more while eating.  If you are a very large person, you may find it just a bit tight in the dining areas.

But check out this tasty dish!

But…Where’s The Beef ?!

The above downtown Seattle restaurants are all well and good.  However, there are many of us that just like the “meat and potatoes” type of eating.  Right?  How about steak?  Then you’ll love this next stopping spot.

The Brooklyn Seafood, Steak & Oyster House is the place we’ll be going to next.                                                                   1212 2nd Ave.  Seattle, Wa. 98101  (206) 224-7000

Here is a great suggestion.  Just as soon as you are seated, order the clam chowder with just a hint of truffle oil dribbled on it.  It will get the “juices flowing” for the next course.    Would you prefer oysters?  Then check out the Cajun fried oysters and calamari.  Prefer lobster?  mmmmmm……I can taste it now!

BSS&OHouse Filet Mignon

Brooklyn Seafood, Steak & Oyster House Filet Mignon

Being a steak and seafood restaurant, you can’t overlook the fantastic King Crab fresh from Alaska or the Dungeoness Crab.  How about the house speciality of halibut?   or even the Wild Alaskan King Salmon dish?

Tomahawk Ribeye steak is next on the menu.  Or on the other hand, the Filet Mignon would be just perfect.   But where are the potatoes that goes with the “meat and potatoes” menu?   Then order the Oscar with cheesy potatoes.  You can’t go wrong there.

Next  is the fun part…if you’ve still got room for it.   Dessert!

Another Steak House

The Capital Grille located at 1301 4th Ave. Seattle, Wa  98101 (206) 382-0900 is another place that you’d do well to consider for a great meal.

Go for the 22 oz. Delmonico Steak.

As you enter, you’ll notice the Old style of  decor with great service to each customer.  Oh, yes, and did I mention the VALET SERVICE for FREE ?  When you get tired of searching for a place to park, then the Capital Grille is the place to go to for that well deserved meal.

Beth’s Cafe – I Saved The Best For Last

Beth's Care from the outside

Beth’s Care from the outside…a “hidden” treasure !

The last on my list is Beth’s Cafe.  Why would I even consider a so-called “out-of-the-way” type restaurant as good?  To be honest…because it IS good !   In fact, I would consider it the best of all of the above mentioned restaurants. Why do I say that?  Let me give you my own experience the first time I and 3 other friends, had breakfast at Beth’s Cafe.

Located at : 7311 Aurora Ave.  North  Seattle, Wa  98103

Phone number :  (206) 282-5588

It was early Saturday morning (about 6:30 or so, and very cold), the four of us had finished up our work in the downtown area.  Now it was either time to head back to the barn (home) or go and grab a bite to eat.  Well, Wenn, (one of us guys) decided he wanted to treat the other 3 of us.  So off we went.  Instead of heading towards one of the more local and nearby restaurants or a quick ‘grab-n-go’ burger joint, he headed towards the Green Lake area out by the U-District.

So here we are, parked on the street and heading toward Beth’s.  As we walk up, I’m thinking, ” is this  a real restaurant that has good food?”  Why would I ask that?  Because it just looked like a well worn store front.  Ok, so we get inside.  Now remember, this is my own personal experience, I’m not sure if it is still this way because I’ve not had the opportunity to return for some time.  Anyway, back to what I saw.

The first thing I noticed was the absolutely BLASTING hard rock music coming from the kitchen area.  Wow! It really caught me off guard.  The guy washing the dishes had hair down to his belt and was really rocking out to the music.  Even so, as I looked around, I could see that it was a very well worn place.  However, it was quite clean and inviting.  After we found an empty booth, we got the menu’s and began to look them over.

Wenn took all of the menu’s out our hands  and said he was ordering the same thing for all of us and that none of us needed the menu…..We took his advice and just sat and waited.   Having a good morning so far, we enjoyed telling stories and other light hearted conversation while our breakfast was being prepared.

After about 15 minutes, here comes a guy pushing a cart with piles of trays stacked on it.  When I say trays, I do mean trays, not plates, but trays!  He stopped at our table and each of us got a PLATTER so stuffed with food that not one of us could finish our platter plate!

You’ll Never Believe What Came On Our Platters !

One of the great folks that work at Beths

One of the great guys that work at Beths

Why not finish it?

Well, here is what was on this platter plate.  On the bottom layer, was probably 2 or maybe 3 freshly shredded hash-brown style potatoes. Then came the eggs on top.  It began with 12 or 13 eggs for each of us.  Mixed in were green onions, garlic, bits of tomato, some black olives, cheese, and several other tasty bits of flavors that I can not remember.  Along with toasted and buttered bread with jelly.  A cup of coffee, or orange juice.  All of that was for under $6.00 each!   Now remember, that was my very first time at Beth’s , many, many years ago.  So I’m sure prices have gone up…like everything else has.   🙁

What I do remember is that it was fantastic!

This is a real "down to earth" restaurant. Note the great wall decorations !

This is a real “down to earth” restaurant. Note the great wall decorations !

Wenn told us that he had came across this place by accident.  But I’ll tell you what, it’s no accident that they are still in business!  After eating as much as any of us dared to do, we were given aluminum foil to take away the left overs.   When I finally did get home, my wife and son finished it off and wanted more.

Sorry, but that was all there was.

But you know what?  That left an open door for me to treat my family to another one of Beth’s fantastic breakfast meals.  Yum !   I can hardly wait !

Beth's Cafe 12 egg omelette

Beth’s Cafe 12 or 13  egg omelet

If you are not the “prim and proper” type of person, then you’ll love Beth’s Cafe even though it is not one of those  fancy-dancy Seattle restaurants downtown where you have to be a bit on the formal side.

The reviews and rants and raves for this little restaurant is fantastic.  In fact, some years back I was in Arizona and my wife and I met another woman that was also from the Seattle area.  She was complaining about the prices of food and how little you got for the money.  Then she told us about a wonderful little “hole-in-the-wall ” restaurant in Seattle called Beth’s Cafe and how great their food was.

Needless to say, after that, our conversations turned a completely different corner!  It was great!

So, are you intrigued?  If you want a different type of atmosphere where you can just be yourself,  go and check out Beth’s Cafe.  I know you’ll love it.

Liked this little review of the Seattle Restaurants Downtown?

Be sure and leave me a comment because I’d love to hear from you.

Have you been to Beth’s?  Be sure and let me know your thoughts.

Written by :   Tom McDaniel

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photo credit: <a href=””>Werner Kunz</a> via <a href=””>photopin</a> <a href=””>cc</a>

Mount Rainier National Park – The Trip Continues

OK, now that I’ve “dried out”, we’ll continue up the mountain road, leaving Reflection Lake behind us.  One thing to keep in mind within the Mount Rainier National Park, is that all along the way up the mountain, you’ll be able to pull off the road and use your camera/video devices to be able to take in all the surrounding scenery.

Driving Towards Mount Rainier National Park...What you'll see on approaching

Driving Towards Mount Rainier National Park…What you’ll see on approaching

At the same time, you’ll meet up with others doing the same thing and perhaps be asked to take a photo of them on their way up the mountain, just as you are.  Don’t hesitate, just join in.  You may be surprised at where others are from and what they have to share with you.  I know you’ll love it, just as my family and I always do!

Motorcycle Your Way To The Top

Oh, yes, and if you happen to be riding motorcycles, it’s even better.  You can take your bikes into places where cars/trucks just can not go.  However, keep in mind also, that even though you may want to go to the top of this 14,410 foot high mountain, most choose to not do so, even if you are on a mountain bike.  (ha ha just kidding)

Mount Rainier National Park Motorcycle Riders

Mount Rainier National Park Motorcycle Riders

Winding your way up the mountain, you’ll be tempted to stop at the rivers and water falls coming from the snow and ice melting.  If you choose to do so, just make sure that you are off the paved surface.

Nisqually River

Nisqually River

I hate to say it, but there are some, who after many times up and down the mountain, choose to not obey the speed limit.  Because of that, some will “fly” up the mountain or down it.  So, be careful, especially on those sharp blind curves.

One of the many sights you’ll love is the Mount Rainier National Park Canyon Bridge.

Approaching Canyon Bridge-Tunnel

Approaching Canyon Bridge-Tunnel


You’ll know it when you see it.   If you are from another part of the U.S. or perhaps another country and have never see miles and miles of forests, then this is where you can see it first hand.  In fact, because of the miles of trees, many Hollywood studios have chosen to make movies/films that require an outdoor setting.  So, between Washington and Vancouver, B.C., there are ideal settings.

Australia At It’s Best ?

For instance, a number of years back a movie was made about a young man coming of age in the wilds of Australia.  The movie was called :   The Man From Snowy River.  If you’ve see it, then you’ve seen the scene where young Craig is riding his mountain horse and chasing after the wild horses and his run-away horse that was coaxed into joining the wild stallion.  Remember where all the other men stopped short, because of the steep mountain?   Then, Craig and his mountain horse continued right on down the mountain side, even jumping over logs and fallen trees on the way down?

Well, that scene was filmed in and area in Washington because it fit exactly what the movie makers were wanting.  If memory serves me correctly, it was in the Roslyn area.  So, it’s scenes like that, that made the movie one of the best films made that year.  Have not seen it?  Then put that on your “bucket list” of things to do.

Man From Snowy River Scene...Note Background

Man From Snowy River Scene…Note Background

Anyway, back to out drive up the mountain.  So you may be asking :  what am I going to see when I get to the end of this road?

At Road’s End…What Now?

Answer :   the Paradise Lodge.    Oh, and don’t forget the Rainier Rest Station, it’s also at the end of the road.  After all, it’s a nice slow drive up and all those cups of coffee and other liquids will be taking it’s toll.   🙂

The Rest Station (aka bathrooms)

The Rest Station (aka bathrooms)

The Paradise Lodge is one of those places that you’ll just fall in love with when you go inside.  It’s all open beamed, with extremely high ceilings along with massive open spaces.  You’ll also see in one section, a 3-D relief of the entire Mount Rainier Nation Park and all the surrounding areas.

Paradise Lodge

Paradise Lodge

Take your time here.  Locate the Paradise Lodge area, then locate the place where you are staying.  Now…notice how the mountain side (the west and southwest) have “slid”  into Puget (pew-jet) Sound and even out into the Tacoma area and Olympia?   You’ll be made aware that is where at one time, the mountain erupted and slid into the water.

Just a little bit of trivia for you.  After Mount St. Helens erupted (May 18, 1980), there were a few rumblings noticed around the Rainier area.  Needless to say, a few professionals were a bit nervous about Rainier also “popping off ” and the huge damage it would cause if it did so.  Happily, nothing happened.

FYI :  I’ll also put together a blog dealing with Mount St. Helens and how my I, my wife and son, were caught in the ash.  It was very nerve wracking to say the least.  We’ll save that for another time though.

Within the Paradise Lodge, you’ll be able to grab a bite to eat or a light snack for the kids.  You’ll also find loads of plaques on the walls and floor stands that will give you a brief but concise, education of Mount Rainier and the National Park.

The wildlife and carpets of flowers over the mountain sides will dazzle your eyes!

Up The Mountain Side

Wild Flowers

Wild Flowers

Now, onward and outward !   It’s time to walk up the mountain.  Don’t panic though, the lower trails are all paved and fairly easy to navigate.  However, keep in mind that you WILL be out of breath, especially on the initial walk/hike up to the little resting bench on the upper right hand side of the trail.  Believe me, you’ll be glad it’s there.

Wild Flowers

Wild Flowers

Wild Flowers

Wild Flowers


Now, on the other hand, if you are one of those folks that really enjoy a brisk hike, then this is the place for you.  Even in the summer, it’s not too hot or cold to do so.  Jim Whittaker is one of those professional climbers to have gone to the top of Rainier on many occasions.  Not only that, but he has been a guide to a number of others who also wanted to climb the mountain.  On the other hand, there have been groups, on their own, have scaled the mountain to the summit.

The Pros Know How To Do It

But, keep in mind, that unless you really know what you are doing, climbing to the top of Rainier can, at times, be deadly.  Many of professional mountain climber has lost his or her life, trying to get to the top. Why?  Because like any other mountain covered in snow, snow and ice, are totally unpredictable.  Anything can happen.

Mountain Climbers Heading For The Summit Some 14,410 Feet Up

Mountain Climbers Heading For The Summit Some 14,410 Feet Up

See my blog on avalanche…you’ll see why and how ice and snow reacts.

OK, so enough for this blog.  We’ll get to the very pleasant hiking trails in next blog.  I’ll connect them together so you can continue.

Like this little trip?  Please be sure and leave me a comment below because  I always enjoy hearing from others.

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Posted by :   Tom McDaniel

Always Something Interesting – The Sights In Downtown Seattle

People watching at the Pike Place Market

People watching at the Pike Place Market

Have you ever been a “people watcher?”  What’s that?  You do not know what “people watching” is?   It is very simple.  You just stand, sit, or walk along and be observant of others around you.  It’s that simple!Even though people watching can be rather interesting, see people from all over, rushing, walking, talking or just strolling by, you do not really learn anything from them.  Everyone seems to always be in a hurry to get somewhere.

But how about you?  Are you in a hurry also?  Hopefully you are not.

I’m now going to introduce you to just a few of the wonderful sights in downtown Seattle.  Now, depending on where your starting point is, it can be different things that will catch your attention.  But, for sake of argument, let’s start down by the water…say…just off Alaskan Way.

Looking North on Alaskan Way

Looking North on Alaskan Way

In the photo on the left, looking north, you will notice the raised parking lot.  The waterfront is directly behind it!  Strolling down the sidewalk you will be at the waters edge.

The seagulls…the vendors selling their foodstuffs…the Old Curiosity Shop (where you will see a real “live” mummy)…the Ivar’s walk-up seafood bar along with all types of other entertaining sights. But what will really catch your attention is the Seattle Great Wheel!

What About The Great Wheel of Seattle?

The Wheel was built in 2012 on Pier 57 by Hal Griffith.

Hal has always wanted to have a Great Wheel in Seattle, but did not know exactly where he could build it and get the attention it deserved.  Then he came upon the idea of building right on his own pier.

So Pier 57 is now the home of the Seattle Great Wheel.

Pier 59 & Seattle Big Wheel

Pier 59 & Seattle Big Wheel










Seattle’s Skyline Is Always Changing

The Seattle skyline is always on the move.   As you enjoy your walk along the water front, you’ll note the old Alaskan Way Viaduct with the traffic flowing north and south…but not for much longer!   Soon the newly dug underground tunnel will be taking its place.  This will change the Seattle waterfront forever…but in a good way.

Freeing up needed space and allowing traffic to avoid any back-ups. However, this is only one of many, many changes and attractions in the downtown area.

Ride The Duck?

Within just a few blocks you can visit the Seattle Aquarium (1483 Alaskan Way),  the Pacific Science Center (200 2nd Ave N) , the EMP Museum ( 325 5th Ave N) , the Olympic Sculpture Park ( 2901 Western Ave) ,  or you could even Ride The Ducks (516 Broad St) which will give you a ride of a lifetime!  The Duck tours will take you through downtown Seattle allowing you to  see many more attractions, winding up right in the middle of Elliott Bay!

Land and Sea...the Duck will take you there!

Land and Sea…the Duck will take you there!

Don’t worry though, your “duck” is water proof!

 A Fun Way To See Seattle

Something that is quite popular in Seattle that really caught my eye years ago, were these little personal transportation devices on wheels.

A great way to get around downtown Seattle, especially around the water front.

A great way to get around downtown Seattle, especially around the water front

They have become so popular that many have chosen to have their own and use them in their downtown sightseeing and/or commute within the city limits!   Even Bill Gates at the Microsoft headquarters has invited his staff to feel free to use them in his huge office complexes. With these little devices, you can go where you want to and just park it while you enjoy your sights and sounds of Seattle.


A handy bit of transportation at your fingertips!

A handy bit of transportation at your fingertips!

 Pike Place Market   

Now, don’t forget to go to the Seattle Pike Place Market.  It is a fascinating place.  With all the variety of people coming from all over the world to see the market, along with their arts, entertainment, and customs.  It makes the market a favorite place to catch up on your “people watching” skills.

Underground Seattle

Oh, yes, and one more thing that is a real MUST SEE is the Seattle Underground Tours!  You’ll be fascinated with the history and some of the actual “old Seattle” that is still in existence. You’ll be able to look up through the “skylights” that were built into the Seattle sidewalks.

Seattle underground tours getting ready to start in the evening.

Seattle underground tours getting ready to start in the evening.

Do you see them?

Who, you may be asking.  The people that are walking right over the top of you!

You’ll love the tour

. I’ll be writing a new blog post in the not too distant future highlighting the Pike Place Market.

You’ll love it. Hope you enjoyed your “tour” of downtown Seattle.

Be sure and leave me a comment below and share with others.                       Written by: Tom McDaniel


Seattle Parks Recreation

It’s true for many of us that when we get outside and away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, we always enjoy just being alive!  The Seattle Parks Recreation areas around the King County and city of  Seattle  are so unique and different.

Have you been to them?  I’ve been to most of them myself, and they’re great!

Green Lake surrounded by Seattle in the Fall - flickr

Green Lake surrounded by Seattle in the Fall – flickr

Let me name just a few for you.  There is Waterfall Garden Park, Boreal Songbird Initiative Park, Myrtle Edwards Park, Frink Park, Volunteer Park, Kinnear Park, Gasworks Park, Woodland Park,  and finally, Green Lake Park.

Since there are so many more than the above mentioned parks, we will not be looking at all of them.  So let’s take a closer look at one or two.  We’ll start with Green Lake Park (or as many call it: Greenlake Park).

Green Lake at it's best. courtneycooperphoto

Green Lake at it’s best.

A Brief History

Green Lake has a long history, extending way back to around 1855 when it was first “discovered” and surveyed by David Phillips.  Phillips is given credit for the name “Green Lake” because of the naturally occurring green algae growth in the lake.  Seattle Parks and Recreation have taken many steps to see to it that this algae is regularly cleaned from the lake, making it quite inviting to all visitors.

What makes this lake so inviting today?  Many things.  First it is large enough for small, unpowered boats, sailboats, and a variety of human propelled water crafts to be on the lake at the same time with room to spare.

Averaging about 13 feet deep with a few places around 30 feet deep, it is considered a fair sized lake.

Lake Side Path for All

Green Lake also has generous grassy lawns extending around the entire lake.  Plenty  of room for those baseball games, picnics, frisbee throwing, running your dog, and just plain having fun with friends or family.

Having a running track around the entire lake, makes it ideal for those who like to start their day with a 2.8 mile jog around the lake while taking in all the sights, smells, and sounds.  Speaking about smells, it’s also a great place to have the whole family and friends together to have a little outdoor barbeque!

Plenty of room for all on the 2.8 mile path around the lake.

Plenty of room for all on the 2.8 mile path around the lake.        photoS.Bagshaw

Don’t like to jog?  Well, not to worry.  There is plenty of room for inline skaters, bicycles, and walking pedestrians all at the same time.  Just be aware though, if you hear from behind you something like,  “coming around on your right (or left)”, don’t get excited.

Also don’t jump to the side either.  Why not?  Because that comment is from someone either on a bicycle, skate board, or roller blades that is about to pass around you.   Just be forewarned!  🙂

I remember when my wife and I were going around the path and the first time we heard “coming around”, it shook us up a bit.  So, of course, we did the dumb thing of stopping, turning around and moving to one side.  Yikes!   The guy on the bike almost “nailed” us!

Be smarter than we were.

What About Duck Island?

As you take your  jog or stroll around the lake, you’ll notice a small island.  It originally was named Swan Island because of the many attempts at making a swan sanctuary there from the swans that were donated to the city of Seattle by the kind folks of Vancouver, British Columbia.

Needless to say, after a number of attempts, the swan sanctuary (or wildlife sanctuary) was abandoned.  This small island was created back in 1936 by using large rocks and gravel for fill,  and is now known as Duck Island.

Duck Island photobyetsy

Duck Island           photobyetsy

Keep in mind also, that even though this small island is easy to get to, it is still off limits to the public.  Mainly because of the influence of the Bald Eagles that have been known to visit it.  Safety is another reason for people to keep off this island.

However, from time to time, it has been the home to rope swings, beer cans, pop bottles and other litter, showing that people still visit it from time to time.  Sorry to say, they always seem to leave a “trash trail” behind each visit.  🙁

Don’t ask me why people go out to the island, because there is really not much there. (?)

The Geese Have Arrived!

Even though Duck Island is off limits, there is no shortage of wildlife.  Each year, hundreds, if not thousands, of Canada Geese come to Green Lake.  These “honkers” are absolutely beautiful!

However, PLEASE do not feed them!

Why not?

Let me explain.  Some years back, because of the droppings left by the geese, the local folks that lived around the lake began to complain.  After so much complaining, the city officials decided it was time to have the geese “removed” to a different area.

Canada Geese on the lake.

Canada Geese on the lake.

However, if you know anything about geese, then know this, that once they have created a flight path, also a landing place, it is taught to each generation of geese.

Because of that, it is pretty much impossible to stop the geese from returning to their familiar resting places.   OK, so, with that in mind, here is what the city tried.

They came up with the idea that a loud noise like a siren, whistle, or boom like a rifle shot, would keep the geese away.  It did…..for a few minutes. After circling the lake, sure enough, they would land once again.

Honking to each other and leaving more droppings.  Next, the city hired people to shoo the geese away.  Nope.  Did not work.  Then the idea of having dogs chase them away was tried.  Again, that too failed.   So what was left?

Don’t Feed The Geese

This is the sad part.  The final result was to start on an early Sunday morning , and kill the geese!  That is exactly what they did.  Hundreds of geese were slaughtered there at Green Lake.

So many people were upset by this that it was never tried again.  However, the aftermath of this “great goose slaughter” is still fresh in the minds of those of us who are aware of it. So, now you see why we do not want anyone to feed the geese.

Stopping at the lake is a natural stop.  They can forage for themselves and do just fine.  However, when people begin to feed them, it seems that “word gets out to the other geese” and they come into the lake in tremendous numbers.

Please do not feed the geese.

Stuffed Full of Fish

Green Lake is a great place for the fish also.   It seems to be stuffed full of fish everywhere!  Rainbow trout, largemouth bass, carp, yellow perch, bluegill, channel catfish and yellow bullhead to name a few.

There is also a tremendous amount of unnamed fish that inhabit the lake.   Perhaps you are not a fishing person but you love fish.

Then why not enjoy them fresh from the Pike Place Market (another blog page I’ve written) and then either smoke your own or enjoy them in other ways?

The Seasons Say It All

Just a final note about Green Lake.  Since there are four distinct seasons in the Seattle area, and the Seattle Parks Recreation Dept. want everyone to enjoy the lake and it’s beauty, be sure and come to visit in the spring.

Autumn season around the lake

Autumn season around the lake

Spring season around the lake

Spring season around the lake

In full foliage and bloom, all around the lake you will find yourself in a virtual field of “snow balled” trees!

Makes you feel great!   White and pink flowering cherry trees line the lake.  These were a gift from the Japanese Association of North America way back in 1931/1932.

Enjoy the natural wonders of this lake, sponsored by the Seattle Parks Recreation, surrounded by the city of Seattle!  Oh, and don’t leave out the pets.  As long as they are on a leash and you have your “clean up” bags, they’ll love it too.  Yay!

Be sure to  share.  Thanks, and come again.

Written by:  Tom McDaniel

Seattle Floating Bridges –  Do They Really Float?

Can a concrete and steel bridge really float on water?  The Seattle Floating Bridges have done so for decades! You say:  ” But it just does not seem possible!”  Let’s take a quick look at why and how it is possible, OK?  You’ll enjoy this little “trip” down the memory lane of Seattle Floating Bridges.  🙂 Why would the city fathers ever consider building Seattle floating bridges in the first place?  Let’s look back at the reason and a brief history.

I recommend that you read my blog about the Seattle Ferry Boats to give you an idea of their history as the two of them are related to each other.  Makes interesting reading too.

Now, in your mind’s eye, go back to the late 1800’s when there were no paved roads, no large bridges, no cars or trucks.  People and goods were transported either by ship, boat, or ferry over the water.  On land it was by carts, or large wagons.

The rather small island of Mercer Island (see map as it looks like today)  was in need of regular transportation to and from the island to the center business area of Seattle.  It was mainly accomplished by canoe or rowboats, carrying other types of goods and if you were fortunate, you could “hitch” a ride.

Seattle on Left Mercer Island in Center Bellevue-Kirkland-Redmond on Right

Seattle on Left Mercer Island in Center Bellevue-Kirkland-Redmond on Right…click for larger view

One man by the name of James Mortie came to the area with it’s first powered vessel way back in 1890.    Because of his success, others jumped on the “power vessel” wagon and made small fortunes by carrying goods and passengers over Lake Washington.

Typical circa 1900 steamer between Seattle & Mercer Island

Typical steamer used between Seattle & Mercer Island Circa 1900…click for larger view

Seattle’s Entrepreneur Spirit


Anderson was a real entrepreneur,  a spirit which still dominates the Seattle population.  He began shipbuilding  in Kirkland.  His first vessel was his famous 95 foot “Atlanta.”

Within the next few years, he became very successful, especially when the year 1909  came around and the Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition came to the area that is now called “The University of Washington” or known by the locals as :  The U District.

However, Anderson was quick to recognize that his great fortunes came about by sightseeing and cruise tours, not ferrying passengers.   He decided to concentrate only on cruises.

Since progress continued on land as well as on sea, roads were being built throughout Seattle and all over Mercer Island.  So the idea of building a bridge from Mercer Island to Seattle began to take shape.

It was short lived though, when in 1929, the stock market crashed, sending all hopes of a bridge to the bottom of Lake Washington. However, 10 years later in 1939, the bridge idea once again was revived and in 1940 the Mercer Island floating bridge was officially opened for traffic.

Seattle Floating Bridges to Mercer Island Opening Day July 3, 1940 Some chose to wear life vests as they crossed!

Seattle Floating Bridges to Mercer Island Opening Day July 3, 1940 Some chose to wear life vests as they crossed!…click for larger view

Opening Day 1940

Opening Day 1940…click for larger view

How Was It Built ?

Originally named Lacey V. Murrow Bridge, it was the longest and largest floating bridge ever built.  Way back in 1922 it was deemed necessary as the traffic coming through Snoqualmie Pass (snow qual me) over what is now I-90, was the only road that was open year round.

It was loaded with heavy traffic that needed to get to downtown Seattle and the shipping docks.  Detours were set up to re-route traffic through  city streets and residential areas.   From the North Bend area, to Seattle was about 42 miles.  Fourteen of which went through city streets. A bridge needed to be built and quickly!

At first there were ideas thrown around about a suspension bridge.  But the cost was staggering.  Then Homer Hadley, a designer, proposed a floating bridge made of concrete and steel.  It’s cost?  It was a mere  1/5 th of the cost of a suspension bridge. But how to keep it stable was an issue that now surfaced.  An anchor system of concrete and cable ties to the underside of the bridge was considered.

Will It Float Away?


However, because of the soft lake floor, it did not sit well with anyone.  From the water surface to the lake floor was some 400 feet with another 150 or more feet going through the soft lake mud to the more firmer soil.

That idea was discarded in favor of building concrete pontoons for the roadway to ride on.   Once the contractor was decided upon, the pontoons were built on Harbor Island.  As each section of the pontoons were completed, they were towed across Elliott Bay through the Ballard Locks and into position on Lake Washington.

Each section was some 350 feet long, 60 feet wide and more than 14 feet deep, allowing the road surface to rise just above the water level.  Each had 8 separate “cells” in 12 watertight compartments with  6 to 8 inches of roadway surface on top. In order to accommodate ships, it had a draw span section that was successfully used until  the early 1990,s  when the draw span was replaced with fixed-in-place, pontoons.

Each end of the floating bridge was raised and restructured high enough,  to allow marine traffic to pass underneath.

But What About the Open Water “Bulge?”

Note the "ramp" that can take you up & into the open hole.

Note the “ramp” that can take you up & into the open hole. museumofhistory&art

What of the bulge?  I can recall as I was growing up living in Bellevue, that my dad would from time to time, take the family across the bridge into Seattle.  Just as we began to cross the bridge from the Bellevue side, there was this “ramp” looking area that, if a driver was not paying attention to, could drive up and over right into the lake itself!  Each time we went by it, it scared the stuffing out of me.  🙁 Needless to say, no one ever  knew whether or not anyone ever went up and over it…..down into the deep, cold, dark  200 or 300 feet deep waters under the end of the  bridge.  NOT a pleasant thought!

A Very Sad Note.

It was not until years later (around the early 1980’s) when the above mentioned renovation of the bridge began.   As  one of the dredging companies working on the bridge project began it’s work, a car that had been missing for more than 20 years, was pulled to the surface. It’s occupant?……….A young teenage girl coming home at night after her high school prom dance.  She was still inside the vehicle.   🙁

Today’s Seattle Floating Bridges

Today, though, the Seattle Floating Bridges are unique in themselves.  In fact, because of it’s success, the Evergreen Floating was built just north of the Mercer Island Floating Bridge. Take a trip across it, the view is great as you are practically “walking on water” as you ride along!

Splish Splash I Was Taking A Bath…..All On A Saturday Night

Having made the “crossing” literally thousands of times, it never ceases to amaze me when my wife and I cross on a stormy day. Because of the bridge design, it’s laying flat in the water, it acts much like a windbreak where you can see and feel the spray from the windward side of the bridge with the lake water splashing and blowing up against your car, and at times, watching as  waves cross over the entire bridge!  And at the same time on the opposite side of the bridge, it is almost as smooth as glass! It is something you’ll love to experience!

Are you a brave one?  Then try driving the bridge with your windows down during that same windy crossing!  You’ll love it!

What the bridge looks like today.

What the bridge looks like today. JoshuaTrujilloPhotoP.I.   …click for larger view

It's like "walking" on water!

It’s like “walking” on water! JoshuaTrujilloPhotoP.I.   …click for larger view


Like this little bit of trivia?  Leave a comment below.  🙂

Be sure to share this information  🙂


Seattle's Famous Space Needle & Restaurant

Seattle’s Famous Space Needle & Restaurant

The Seattle Space Needle Restaurant is one of those eye catching buildings that all visitors instantly recognize.  It is usually one of the first things people see and think of when the name, Seattle, is mentioned.

Why can we say that?  Because in almost any picture, postcard, TV episode or movie that is featuring Seattle, the Seattle Space Needle is prominently displayed.

It’s revolving restaurant is one of it’s main attractions that people from all over enjoy.  Taking about 60 minutes to make the 180 degree (a full circle) visual trip around the Seattle area while you are enjoying your meal.  Off in the distance, you can see Mount Rainier (ray near) along with the Puget Sound (pew jet) area where ships from around the world come and dock to load or unload their goods.

Enjoy The View!

The Needle is one of the easiest sites to see and find.  It towers above the surrounding buildings in it’s area.  But keep in mind that if you are one who is just a wee bit nervous about heights, then the Needle may not be for you.  At it’s highest point, that is, the top of the aircraft warning beacon, you are at the 605 foot mark.  On the other hand, since no one is allowed there except maintenance crews to change the lights and check the wires, you do not have to be concerned.  (see picture)

Enjoy yourself with your date, family, friends, and everyone else that walks the observation deck at the 520 foot level.  You will absolutely LOVE the view!

Towering Into The Sky

Many of us can recall when the Needle was first started back in 1961.  It was being covered by all the local news media.  Because of it’s shape, location and time constraints, it’s builders were to have it completed within 540 days, or 18 months.  Why so?  Because in the spring of 1962, the Seattle World’s Fair was to be opened.  The Space Needle was to be one of many attractions.  Did they succeed?  Yes indeed!  In fact, from the time construction began, it took a mere 400 days to be completed.


1961 putting up the needle

The Mighty Mississippi River and the Seattle Space Needle

Because of it’s location and year it was built, it had the distinction of being the tallest building west of the Mississippi River, overshadowing the former glory of the Seattle Smith Tower and it’s “tallest building west of the Mississippi” status.  The Smith Tower is still located in downtown Seattle, but, by comparison to other buildings around it, it looks rather small.  Also, even the Seattle Space Needle is viewed as just an average height when it comes to modern day buildings.

Progress keeps moving forward…..and upwards!

The Safety Issue…Is It Needed?

Even though the Needle is now decades old, it was built with more than double the amount of safety standards that were in place in 1962.  Even by today’s tough safety standards, it passes with flying colors.  So, rest assured that when you enjoy your 10 mph or 800 feet per minute or 43 second trip up the Needle’s elevator, you will step out at the top, safe and sound.

Famous People And The Needle

However,  have  you ever wondered who has been to the Needle’s top platform and restaurant?  Just to name a few, had you been there at the right time, you would have seen:

Elvis Presley, Bill Gates at the age of 11, John Travolta, Vanna White, Michael Douglas, and Demi Moore along with a host of other famous people.

In a different line of thought, no one can ever accuse the Seattle people (Seattle-ites) of not having a good sense of humor.  How so?

The Seattle Space Needle Has Fallen Down!!!

One of the local Television News Stations had made a sensational news report that the Seattle Space Needle had fallen over!  Again, many of us can remember that report and wondered how that could have happened!  Needless to say, it was quite shocking to all.  In fact, more than 700 people called into the local station to find out what happened and if they could volunteer to help rescue people and clean up.

Finally, it had to be admitted that it was an April Fool’s prank.   🙂

Just a few more not well know facts about the Needle:

Blowing Up The Space Needle!  Yikes!

When it was first built, it was slated to be torn down at the end of the World’s Fair.  However, so many people were up-in-arms when that information was made known to the general public, that it was deemed to remain and become a permanent part of the Seattle skyline.

And a final note.

A Message From Space?

When the saucer shape of the observation platform and restaurant were first made, along with the tall airplane tower with the light atop it,  it was claimed to be used to send and receive signals to “outer space people” with the hopes of a return message.

Who was responsible for this action?

It was the Committee Hoping for Extra-terrestrial Encounters to Save the Earth.  In other words, it was the CHEESE committee.  Ha Ha……….funny but TRUE!

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The Green CHEESE Men From Outer Space? What Do You Think?