Posted By RichC on February 23, 2017
Likely I am not the only one who gets distracted when researching something on the Internet. This past weekend it was the Ballard Locks in Washington State that caught my eye and stole about an hour of my attention and time.
Once upon a time, we contemplated a move to Seattle during the late 1990s dotcom boom and while Brenda was busy meeting with the start-up venture capitalists discussing where the ideal location would be for the Soma.com pharmacy production facility, I was familiarizing myself with the city and where we might live. I ventured to Lake Union to look at sailboats (shocker I know) and ended up checking out the lock system connecting Lake Washington to Lake Union and Puget Sound. The new opportunity for Brenda (and big decision of what to do for me and my business) was an exciting time. FYI, “the move” never happened – but the “First Internet Pharmacy” fulfillment facility was built in southwest Ohio and eventually sold to CVS and shuttered — note 1999 InternetWayback PDF.
Back to the distraction
From a pamphlet about the Lake Washington Ship Canal Fish Ladder at the Hiram M. Chittenden Locks, Seattle, Washington. Diagram of the fish ladder in profile. The actual fish ladder makes several right angle turns, which are not reflected in this diagram. Caption from the pamphlet: This shows the the height of each weir. Most weirs are one foot higher than the previous one. The last three weirs are adjustable to the level of Salmon Bay. Salt water is mixed with fresh water by the diffuser well in weirs indicated by dark blue [dark gray in scan].
The salmon fish ladder and viewing area added to the locks that were were designed to move logs and traffic from the freshwater Lake Washington to the saltwater Puget Sound. The spillway, locks and fish ladders work in concert to keep transit flowing while preventing saltwater from infiltrating the freshwater lakes. I found the fish ladder most intriguing as it needs to permit salmon to advance while preventing the substantial tides of up to 12-1/2 foot from forcing water into the upper steps. This particular set-up includes a glass windowed viewing area when the salmon are climbing.
There are still some parts of me wondering what our lives would have been like IF we would have made the move to Seattle in the late 1990s … likely we would have moved back after the dot.com bust. Door open and doors close, but you still have to be willing to knock as I’ve been known to tell my kids!