Composing Ballard Locks

Posted on September 12, 2013 by Max in USA, Washington

One morning, I went to Ballard Locks to practice composition…

Date: 2013-07-21 Sunday
Location: Ballard Locks in Seattle, WA

The official name of the Locks is actually The Hiram M. Chittenden Locks. But being located in Ballard, it is more commonly known as The Ballard Locks. Finished in 1917, Ballard Locks is the separator between the salt water Puget Sound and the fresh water Lake Union and Lake Washington, preventing salt water intrusion into the fresh water lakes. In addition, it keeps the lakes at a consistent water level throughout the year (at 20 feet above sea level). In order to allow boat traffic between the Puget Sound and the Lake Union/Lake Washington, where water levels are different, a two-channel lock system is implemented to fit vessels ranging from kayaks to small ships. In the Summer, there is heavy traffic through The Ballard Locks as more private boats from Lake Washington go out to sea. Many people like going to The Ballard Locks in the summer to look at the various boats and ships traveling through the Locks.

There is a fish ladder set up to allow salmon to travel through the Locks as well. While the earliest version of the ladder was not very effective in guiding the salmon upstream, it was improved in 1976 to increase the flow of water. It also had glass windows added beneath the water level for public viewing.

Lastly, there is The Carl S. English Jr. Botanical Garden by The Ballard Locks that can be enjoyed all year round.

I had actually never been here before, so it was an interesting morning stroll for me. I thought The Locks were fairly impressive, especially the way they allowed tourists to cross above the water channels. Many people also walked around photographing various parts of The Locks. I only wish it wasn’t so cloudy. Might have to come back sometime…

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