Shell Oil Products Harbor Island

Here are water lines for firefighting, along the perimeter fence of Shell Oil Products on Harbor Island.

This was an EPA Superfund site! Surface soil around here was contaminated with lead and arsenic from a previous smelting operation. That's been cleaned up, as has the petroleum hydrocarbon contamination occurring from more recent use of the site as a tank farm.

Backyard BBQ

I like cooking with fire. It's a great use of carbon! Others may choose to feel guilty, but I just enjoy the flavor.

Green peppers, eggplant, and burgers go well together.

Manning Park - Heather Trail

Last Monday I spent the day with Mum & Pops in Manning Park. We hiked the Heather Trail along a ridge from a microwave telecoms tower through to the first of the Three Brothers.

Good lupins, good views, but terrible mosquitoes. I pity the poor souls trying to camp up there.

Granite Mountain

I popped up Granite Mountain today. "This one is a thigh burner!" says the Washington Trails Association, and they were right.

3800 vertical feet was tough in the 93°F / 34°C temperatures today. The bugs weren't bad, as compared to Manning Park a week ago. The views were stunning.


Visiting the farm where N grew up, we were shown an incubator of ducklings.

The farm is on L'Isle-aux-Allumettes, on the Quebec side of the Ottawa river.

New Table Set

Walking back from a coffee at Top Pot Doughnuts, we came across a front yard sale, offering numerous hardwood tables and chairs. We inquired as to their provenance, and were told they were all from a decommissioned coffeeshop.

Although we picked chairs that did not match the table, I am very pleased with the result. The table has two leaves which increase its length by 2/3rds.

I think it's all oak.

Delicious Waffles

There is only one real way to make waffles, and that's with separated egg whites. And butter, not oil.

Other techniques don't even approach the same fluffiness or ability to hold maple syrup.

Main Street Skytrain

I had an Amtrak voucher requiring ticketing in person, and walked to Vancouver's Pacific Central Station to purchase the ticket.

Nearby, I took this picture of the elevated SkyTrain tracks, looking eastward from the Main Street station.

Amtrak Superliner

Amtrak Superliners are beautiful double-height passenger rail cars that are still in use on some routes. The coach seating is similar to short-haul business class on many airlines.

The last time I was on a Superliner was on segments between Toronto and Port Huron on the now-discontinued International Limited. But yesterday, I had the good fortune to have Superliner service on the Amtrak Cascades route from Vancouver to Seattle. My apologies to the rest of those on the train: per the announcement, "immigration took a little longer than it usually does," the departure was delayed by about 10 minutes.

Mercer Slough

On some business in south Bellevue, I found time to wander about Mercer Slough. It's an interesting habitat that was created when Lake Washington was lowered 9 feet, as a consequence of putting in Chittenden Locks and the Ship Canal.

It is very fertile, and was used to hybridize rhododendrons and grow vegetables. Today, a productive blueberry farm is still on the site, and is plainly visible on Google Maps.

State Hotel - First Avenue

The owners of the stunning Delmar Building on First Avenue have kindly maintained a vintage neon sign advertising Rooms 75c at the State Hotel.

The building has made the city's heritage list. And I'm not the only one who was attracted to the photographic possibilities - it looks even better shot on film. This is on my new Nikon 35mm f/1.8G DX lens, hand-held, following the Mariners game last night.

Evergreen Point Floating Bridge

I love the rough/calm divide on the Evergreen Point Floating Bridge (SR520) between Seattle and Bellevue.

Prevailing winds in Seattle are from the south, leading to this typical picture when headed eastbound across Lake Washington. The floating bridge becomes a boundary to wave action at the surface of the lake, so there is a smooth section on the leeward side.

The bridge is undergoing replacement in the coming years. A toll is expected to be implemented in 2010 to fund the replacement project.

Parallel Landing at SFO

I love landing concurrently with another aircraft, and San Francisco often provides this thrill.

Here, Northwest Airbus 319 N331NB lands on 28R alongside our United Boeing 757-200. Channel 9's ATC feed revealed that both planes had each other in sight, and were required to maintain visual separation for the approach.

Puget Island from the air

Initially inspired by an error on Google Maps, I visited Puget Island to see the bridge for myself.

Flying SEA-SFO, I was able to spot the island from the air. The Wahkiakum car ferry runs from Westport (bottom left of the picture) to the island, and the jetty can be seen sticking out into the southern arm of the Columbia River. The Julia Butler Hansen Bridge spans the northern channel over to Cathlamet.

My apologies for not fitting in the entire island into the picture, but the view from N582UA (a 16 year old Boeing 757-200) was somewhat limited.