Cascade Compact Knuckleboom

These are the hydraulic controls for a compact knuckle-boom (or loader crane) on a dock in Anacortes. It's rated for 9650 lbs, but its capacity decreases quickly as the geometry becomes unfavorable when the boom extends.

It was marketed by Cascade Corporation in Portland, but was actually built by TCM in Japan.

Glines Canyon Dam Removal

This is the Glines Canyon Dam in the Olympics, soon to be removed by the National Parks Service. At 200ft high, it is clearly an impenetrable obstacle for oceangoing salmon.

Demolition of the dam will proceed with cutting successive notches in the dam face, and then finally dynamiting the base of it away. There is a massive reservoir of silt lurking at the bottom of the other side, and dealing with that will be a significant challenge to the river restoration.

Broken Amtrak

This broken train (seen yesterday) is stranded at the Edmonds station. It was there for at least an hour, and soon enough an additional southbound train became queued on the singletrack waiting for it to be cleared. Passengers with airport connections later in the afternoon fretted on the platform about their schedule, while the Amtrak staff pondered rustling up replacement bus service.

The conductor here is coming down from Non Powered Cab Unit NPCU #90340. It looks like a locomotive (it was originally an EMD F40PH), but the engine has since been removed. It serves as a crumple zone, for safety regulations, and also has a set of linked controls so the train can be driven northbound without bringing the locomotive up front.

Dofasco Bogie

This railcar bogie supports the northern end of an Amtrak Cascades service that's stopped at the station in Edmonds, WA.

It was forged by Dofasco in Hamilton, Ontario, and is likely the original for this locomotive that was put into service in 1980.

Western Rattlesnake Plantain

This native orchid is Goodyera oblongifolia, known as the Western Rattlesnake Plantain or Giant Rattlesnake Orchid. It has a widespread range across North America, and although endangered in Maine, it's common in the Pacific Northwest.

Here are a few thriving among salal on Whidbey Island, near Deception Pass. They don't range up the mountainside as high as Western Coralroot.

Microsoft Building 83

Microsoft's Building 83, at in Redmond was begun in 2008, but was halted last year to save capital costs concurrent with a hiring freeze. Current plans are to resume construction in 2013.

Building 84 is on the horizon to the north. Here's a view of the site before construction started.


This is one of five Boeing 787-800s currently running a test flight program in advance of certification and delivery. It's parked here at Boeing Field (the Seattle municipal airport).

The combined fleet has already logged 479 flights, for a cumulative total of 1479 hours. There's been recent concern of one of the engine types available for the Dreamliner: a Rolls-Royce Trent 1000 engine failed on its test stand, and analysis is underway to learn the nature of the problem.

Chinook Salmon

Chinook are big (3ft long) and heavy (30-40 lbs). Here they traverse the Chittenden Locks, headed upstream to Lake Washington. They're transitioning from the saline marine water to the fresh water of the lake, so they take their time here to adjust.

M/V Kittitas

The M/V Kittitas is a Washington State Ferry that usually plies the Mukilteo-Clinton (Whidbey Island) route. It's one of the six Issaquah class vessels, and was built in 1980 (on the Duwamish waterway) by the Marine Power & Equipment Company. The company has since bankrupted and ceased operations.

It is handsomely featured on the cover of the menu for Ivar's Mukilteo Landing Restaurant!

Hattie's Hat

Aunt Harriet's Hat is a bar and restaurant in Ballard. It has a gloriously ornate hardwood bar, crafted in France and shipped to Seattle in 1904 via the Horn of Africa.

Our server was somewhat hungover, but the brunch was delicious.

Chrysler air raid siren

This is a Chrysler air raid siren, mounted on a tower in Phinney Ridge, and erected in 1953. The Chrysler is the loudest of the civil defense sirens.

It was tested Wednesdays at noon, blasting 30,000 watts west-northwest. That's a 180hp Hemi V8 engine to the right, and a bank of six horns facing left. Sadly, it is no longer in working order.

Gates Mansion, Medina

Further to yesterday's post, just north of the east end of the SR520 floating bridge sits the Gates family home. The boathouse and private salmon run are camouflaged to the left, and the main living quarters are recessed all the way up the hill.

The tax history of the property shows an annual tax burden of around $1M.

SR520 Eastern Highrise

This is the easternmost part of the floating section of the SR520 bridge. Airtight concrete pontoons support the mass of the bridge, though they are reaching the end of their design life and the bridge is quite vulnerable to sinking in a winter storm.

The span under which most marine traffic passes is to the left. It has an impressive set of expansion joints to allow the bridge deck to move with respect to its anchor on Evergreen Point.

Oregon Route 138

The eastern end of Oregon Route 138 is ruler straight and a steady gradient down towards its junction with US 97. Turn left, stay on 97, and you'll end up in the Yukon (after 1874 miles).

This view is 6 or 7 miles away from a single approaching car, which had just turned at the junction. It was taken 24 minutes before sunrise.

Crater Lake Sunrise

Crater Lake is what remains from what must have been a spectacular eruption of Mount Mazama, whose ash reached Edmonton.

Like a kettle lake, it has no outlet. The water level has reached equilibrium where the rate of evaporation and seepage closely matches the rate of rain and snowfall.

Las Vegas Southern Strip

Landing on 19L at the Mc Carran airport, the southern Las Vegas strip is seen looking west in the scorching Nevada heat.

The Mandalay Bay, Luxor, and Tropicana are visible left to right. Numerous private jets are parked along the western boundary of the airport.

Corallorhiza mertensiana

The Western Coralroot is a leafless native orchid that lacks chlorophyll. It relies entirely on symbiotic fungi for energy production, making it tricky to cultivate.

I've seen it around the 3000ft level in the rainforests of BC and Washington State, often in groups of perhaps 6 stems.

Ballard Terminal Railroad

The Ballard Terminal Railroad is a short line railroad running for just 3 miles off the BNSF mainline. It serves a single customer, the Salmon Bay Sand & Gravel Company.

The railroad operates a single locomotive (BDTL 98), an EMD SW1 that was originally owned by the Milwaukee Road.

Blanca Lake

Blanca Lake is not quite white. It's turquoise, green, a bit gray in places, but not white.

The Columbia Glacier in the distance feeds it, and Troublesome Creek drains it.