Riding The Duck


Last Monday my neighbor Delores asked if I would like to use her ticket to Ride The Duck.  She had bought the ticket a while ago but when Bob went to the hospital the week before, she decided it was better to stay with him.  I’ve always wanted to do it, just never got around to it.  It was with the Senior Center and there were about 11 of us.  Nice size and we had others on the duck later.  it was a clear sunny day, warm in the sun but a bit chilly in the wind.  We all had jackets on and I was glad they had a blanket for our lap on the duck.

They leave from across from the Space Needle and Experience Music Project – a little building with gifts of ducks – big surprise.

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We started at the red circle and then down to the waterfront, along Alaskan Way.

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This is inside where the driver sits.  Our tour guide was Bjorn Toorun and he had a whole crate full of crazy hats for the whole ride.

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This was the starting point, that is EMP across the way and behind it the Space Needle

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Let me tell you, that sucker wasn’t easy to climb in and I will admit, I could have used more leg room.  No windows, great for taking pictures but a bit nippy when the wind is chilly.

We went along the waterfront and I learned a few things I didn’t know before.  I saw the Victoria catamaran at the dock, I remember the regular boat – though this one takes only 2 hours.  We went up to 1st Ave and he explained that the reason why the buildings are all brick was a result of the Great Fire.  Yes, we had one too.  A glue-pot tipped over and ignited the straw and that was the end of many of the buildings.  so the city fathers declared buildings could only be made of non-flammable material.

We went past Pioneer Square – it is more gentrified and the urban outdoorsmen have been encouraged to go other places; then up to the SAM (Seattle Art Museum) and The Hammering Man.  The only day he doesn’t hammer is Labor Day.  Next area was Pike Place Market, then turned up Pike street and over to 6th past the Elephant  Car Wash.   It has been there since I can remember in the early 50’s when we moved here.   It has probably been there longer than that.

This photo of Ride the Ducks of Seattle is courtesy of TripAdvisor

Then up on to Aurora so we could go across the Aurora Bridge –  just before the bridge view

This photo of Ride the Ducks of Seattle is courtesy of TripAdvisor

This picture is looking west over the ship canal and the Fremont Bridge.


This photo of Ride the Ducks of Seattle is courtesy of TripAdvisor  Fremont Bridge

We turned down into  part of Fremont on Stone Way and went down to the water.  Our family’s landmark is Doc Freeman because to the right is where it used to be – they were very good customers of R&R Custom Wood.  I remember going with Mom and Dad on Friday when they delivered.  One day a guy came by and saw all the woodenware in the wagon and asked Dad if he could build a map rack for his large book of maps.  Presto!  A new product.  It happened more than once.

We turned left and went along the shore were the marinas are, the racks of boats (the driver called it the only vending machine for boats).

This photo of Ride the Ducks of Seattle is courtesy of TripAdvisor

We also went past Fishery’s Supply, another good customer.  They bought things for their stores and mail order.  Then down along Gasworks Park and just before Ivar’s is a boat launch ramp.  Time to spend some time on the water.

ride-the-ducks-toursDown the boat ramp and into the lake

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I couldn’t see how it looked from inside the duck, so I have been using other pictures as well as my own.

The driver had to change gears and slowly went into the water.  The ramp and the entrance to the lake is lined with boats and boat houses.  It was interesting to see that the houseboats were moored in between boats, plus all kinds of different boats.

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 As we went out into the lake it definitely was windy and nippy, but the sun was so clear and bright.  We went along Gasworks Park – interesting to see from the water.  It used to power a lot of the City, then they closed it down, took out the important and dangerous parts, then fenced off the still dangerous areas and made it into a park. They often have fireworks off shore from there.

This photo of Ride the Ducks of Seattle is courtesy of TripAdvisor

What’s interesting is that along there just before going out on the lake is where some of the crab boats of “Deadliest Catch” are kept off season.

 This photo of Ride the Ducks of Seattle is courtesy of TripAdvisor

We went along where we had driven and around by the old Doc Freeman’s, along to some other houseboats and I saw the mountains and the Aurora Bridge in the distance.  Went over to the “Sleepless in Seattle” houseboat and he was saying there are only 500 allowed on the lake.  They are expensive and there are some that are attached to the mooring, so they can’t be taken out on the water.  We went near Queen Anne Hill and then came back to go up the ramp for the rest of the tour.  He showed us some houseboats that run $1 million and up – not cheap to live on a houseboat.

 This photo of Ride the Ducks of Seattle is courtesy of TripAdvisor

Time to go back up the ramp and on to the rest of the tour.

100_0328Past one last houseboat

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100_0330And back up the ramp.

We drove into Fremont and past “Waiting For the Interurban” – a well loved sculpture but the Fremont Bridge.  It has been there for a long time and people in the neighborhood dress it up, depending on the holiday or occasion.

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They may have dressed them for Mardi Gras.  The baby has the face of a dog and the dog has the face of a baby.  This is my favorite sculpture in the city.

Time to go back across the Fremont Bridge this time and along the Eastlake shore.  Then back into the city and the starting point of our 90 minute tour.

This didn’t end up the same way Gilligan’s 3 hour tour did.  As we rode our bus to lunch, I was feeling sleepy – must be all that sunshine and fresh air.  We ended going back to the center because the rest aunt wasn’t open for lunch – that was fine with me.  I dozed as we went back to Burien, I had really enjoyed the trip!

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