Ballard Locks & Theo Chocolate

I wish I could do a brain meld with all my readers and get everyone caught up with posts I want to write.  There are still a few things I want to share from my vacation and that was in late September! I’ve been crafting some cards I’m really happy about and I want to share them. I made a salad adapted from a recipe that I enjoyed on vacation called Emerald City Salad that has kale, chard, fennel, apples and rice in it.  It is a great fall dish and it’s coming soon too, I promise.

So, here we go: Ballard Locks. We really enjoyed our time there and I would recommend it as worth a visit.

As I mentioned in my previous post, this place is officially the Hiram M. Chittenden Locks & Carl S. English, Jr. Botanical Gardens.  Kind of a mouthful!  You can see why it is known as Ballard Locks (the Ballard comes from the neighborhood).  The garden, which I looked at briefly as we strolled through to the locks is nice and probably really stunning in the spring, is not the main attraction for most of the visitors.

Did anyone else used to think of fuschia blossoms as little ballerinas?

I call these “fried egg flowers” but apparently they’re really known as Matilija poppies.

Rem and I rode with Ted while Liz parked elsewhere and rode her bike and met us there.  Luckily Ted had sweatshirts in his car because Rem and I had been pretty blithe about the temperature and by the water it was on the cool side.

There are two locks – a large one and a small one.  They go in opposite directions.  Boats were coming in to the large one and than tying up to rails along one side and tying up to each other, with larger vessels against the side of the lock.

Note the level of the water and the green walls of the lock.  We’ll see these boats later when the water has level has gone up in the lock.

Meanwhile, the small lock filled and emptied several times because it is so much smaller.

This tour boat practically filled the small lock.  In this direction the boat comes in at a high-water level.

Than the lock operators close the gates and the water is drained out, like water out of a giant bathtub and the boats sink down.  They open the gates and the boat or boats go on their way.  Or at least that is what is supposed to happen.

Back at the big lock they were closing the gates.

At the last moment, these three Canadian Geese decided they wanted to go through the gates.

Luckily, no one lost any tail feathers.

The water level started to rise.

The first three boats in line are still tied together. These are the same three as seen in an earlier photo, but taken from a different angle.

The water inside the lock is almost at the same level as the water on the other side of the gate.  They gate starts to open…

The higher water flows into the lock, evening out the difference between the two levels.

The large cabin cruiser, Lexington, started up their motor and havoc ensued.  Apparently, in an effort to save time and get going out of the lock quickly, the people on these front three boats had untied the lines at the bow of each boat, ahead of the signal from the lock workers directing the boat traffic from the sides of the locks.

When Lexington started churning up water with their powerful engine, the two smaller boats, now tied together only at the rear or stern of each boat, started knocking together and turning in the flow of water coming in from the opening gates.

The boats are still tied together, people are yelling at each other.

The water flowing in from the open gate of the lock is pushing the two smaller boats the wrong direction.  They’re now blocking all the other boats from leaving the lock.

It’s a big mess.

A lock worker is shouting directions, telling them to untie the lines.  The Auklet, which started in the middle is now on the outside, facing the wrong direction and the sailboat Kona Wind swings into another boat.

The crowd watching from the side groans in unison. I can imagine the nearby boat captains watching these two boats swirling towards them just wincing as the Kona Wind careens their way.  They can’t take evasive action because they’re still tied to the rails on the side of the lock.  We heard a crunch but when everything was finally set to right, no damage was visible.

In all the hubbub, the cabin cruiser glides out the open gate of the lock.  From my point of view, though they might not have been fully to blame for the problem, when they started their motor, they certainly made things worse.

After all the excitement, Rem and I checked out the fish ladders to one side of the locks (no fish action while we were watching) while Ted and Liz relaxed in the sunshine.

We left Ballard Locks, ate lunch, wandered the Fremont Sunday Street Market and wrapped up our outing with a visit to Theo Chocolate.

There wasn’t time for the factory tour, but the showroom has samples every where you turn.

A few well-chosen books were on display.

But it was mostly chocolate.

I did a lot of tasting and a little shopping.

The chocolate dipped smoked almond sea salt toffee was pretty awesome.

I did both share and enjoy the confections I bought as well as the lovely samples.  It was a wonderful finish to an already full day.

Thank you for coming by.

2 Comments

Filed under Life

2 responses to “Ballard Locks & Theo Chocolate

  1. Chocolate is a good ending most anytime…mkg

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