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corvi
corivax
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October 2008
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corvi [userpic]
lovely, dark and deep

Yesterday was one of those quintessentially Seattle days where the sky is the thick gray of stormwater, and every piece of green glows like stained glass. gfish and I went canoeing along the mirror-smooth Green river downtown, ten miles along the forgotten bones of the city, shrouded in blackberry and pale foxglove and wild ginger. Empty pylons for bridges never finished, burned-out docks, concrete slabs toppled into piles like a house of cards collapsed. We went under I-5 and 405, under pedestrian bridges and rusted-out pipelines and the bridge where dreaming owls call with the voices of ghosts and wait for sunset to come, and a bridge where someone had carved prayers holy spirit bring me sight on each pillar. There were geese with fuzzy-headed goslings and herons silhouetted silent against the smokestacks and chirrupy frogs clinging all splay-toed to rusted car grilles exploding with green sword fern fireworks.

We managed to resist the blacksmith's urge to grab any likely piece of scrap metal buried beneath clay and sheets of translucent eelgrass. Barely. :)




Hidden ways. Most of the time, you could hear cars in the distance, across whatever gulf it is seperates worlds. Diving around Seattle, I had no idea any of this was here. It was like being in the fairy kingdom, where time means something else.


Some rusted, hulking factory. Lots of smoke coming out of various towers.


Ex-dock, charred, now home to lots of ferns.


'Nother factory. We didn't get as far as we wanted into the industrial parts of Seattle - it was mostly office buildings, which I didn't photograph because they all looked the same. We'd intended to put in six miles further downstream, but it was very hard to find a dock.


Tiny songbird footprints, medium duck/goose prints, large great blue heron prints. This mud is terrible, awful, horrible, not good, very bad. I sank in up to my knees, and it was clinging, clayey stuff that wouldn't wash off.


There was lots of interestind graffitti, but none of it photographed well. The one carved on the pillar is a long meandering prayer to the holy spirit, and there was a different prayer carved on each of six pillars. I think it would be heretical in most Christian churches.


Sometime in the past, there was a landslide here, concrete in with the stone. It's been a while, though.


A bidge unbuilt, a fallen dock.


Water reflections on t he underside of a bridge. This one had been colonized by about a million swallows, who spiraled over the water chasing bugs.


Baby geese! Cute.


The bridge where the owls sleep. I don't know what sort of owl, beyond "small and brown".


A storm drain under I-5.


Lots of logs, turbulence, and other obstacles to paddle around. I'm glad I had some whitewater experience.


Abandoned, rusty bridge. At least half the pictures I took were of various bridges and pipelines, I think. Lovely things.


405 interchange.

Hope to do it again, next weekend or so. :) I seem o have an insatiable appetite for secret places.

Comments

Oy, very jealous. Sounds like an awesome trip.

Where was this? Tacoma-ish? It doesn't look like any part of Seattle..

From Kent to the southern reaches of Sodo. The Green River turns into the Duwamish.

The put-in point was at Van Dorens Park in Kent, just off S 212th St (Google Satellite image); they came out in an industrial complex on S 116th St just off E Marginal Way (Google Satellite image -- I picked them up just under the bridge).

Another good point along the river--a few miles further upstream--is at a small public park/launch point at the end of Diagonal Way S, just off E Marginal Way (Google Satellite image).

I like the photos, but your writing is beautiful!