On the afternoon of April 15th we drove to the BallardLocks, and once again, so many photos and videos…but I narrowed them right down. It was a cool place.

It’s called the Ballard Locks because it’s in the Ballard section of Seattle, but the official title is the Hiram M. Chittenden Ballard Locks. It’s been a National Historic Site since 1917, and it’s the busiest locking system in the country. I just read about Hiram M. Chittenden on wikipedia, and boy, he did so many things, it’s quite incredible. He died at the very young age of 58. If you have an extra three minutes you should read about his wide variety of accomplishments.

Here’s what they say about the locks on their website:

Priority is given to emergency and commercial vessels.  Passage is free to all vessels.  Both large and small locks are open 24/7 daily, except during annual maintenance or repairs. The Large Lock Chamber is 700 ft. long x 78 ft. wide.  The Small Lock Chamber is 100 ft. long x 26 ft. wide.

 On a busy summer weekend, both locks are jammed full of vessels of all sizes including kayaks and large ocean tugs….quite the scene.   Sometimes the difference in water levels at low tide can be around 3 stories, which is quite dramatic as well.

It’s a very busy place, and fun to see so much going on.

Here’s a video of two dogs on a boat going through the smaller lock.

And the boat glides on past…

Here’s the railroad bridge raising to let a boat through. In the background is a very big boat also about to pass.

And here’s a video so you can see it in action…

The bridge went up so high!

This video shows a big boat going through the bigger lock. It takes a while, but I thought it was fascinating.

And on it goes…

I’d have been happy to have spent much more time at the locks but we had dinner plans with Sharon and Michio. We went to the delicious Ray’s Restaurant which was right down the hill from our place. The food was terrific but it was a very very busy Friday night and super duperty loud.

We went back to our place and enjoyed sitting on the balcony looking out over the bay.

Taking the video, I wasn’t sure if these were mountains or clouds but they were, indeed, the elusive mountains.

And that’s the end of our busy day in Seattle.

Ok then,

Mrs. H.