August 17th, 2006

zoo, walking in Magnolia

The trip to the zoo was entertaining. The Komodo dragon was disappointing - I knew they were ten feet long, but as a result imagined something tiger-sized, and they're much smaller. Speaking of tigers, I didn't get to see enough of them, although I did get a good close-up look at a jaguar (paws the size of my head!) and we also saw some "elusive" snow leopards. The pygmy marmosets were cool too - they seemed like some kind of Ray Harryhausen stop-motion models. Overall, we spent the better part of three hours strolling around the zoo, and didn't actually see all of it.

After I got home, I still felt like going for a walk, so I walked over to Magnolia. I walked over the back of Queen Anne and crossed to Magnolia on the W. Dravus Street bridge, then made my way up around Gilman Ave to the northern tip of Magnolia. I've seen that part of Magnolia, perched on a stone cliff, from Ray's Boathouse in Ballard before, and was curious to visit it. From there I then went to Commodore Park, which is the south side of the Chittenden Locks. By the time I got there, I'd been walking up and down very hilly streets for two hours, and I was quite tired, so I sat on a bench for a good twenty minutes. I started to head home by going down Commodore Way, but I wasn't quite sure whether I could walk under the Ballard Bridge - it's possible, but it's a big industrial area and I wasn't sure whether it was private property. Even though one of my goals for the lock was to find out about that, I decided that I didn't want to go wandering down there in the dark, so I crossed into Ballard over the locks and walked back to the Ballard Bridge, crossing that bridge back to Queen Anne. I don't actually like walking along the Ballard Bridge, too much of the walkway is too exposed to the high-speed traffic for my comfort, but I was tired and sore and wanted the most direct route home, rather than walking down through Fremont. All together I spent over three hours on the walk.

This should be a full weekend. Tomorrow my company's taking an evening cruise on Lake Union and maybe into Lake Washington. Saturday I'm planning to go to The Crocodile Cafe for my August concert, seeing the Young Fresh Fellows with the Paul Lynde Fanclub and The Need Machine. I know nothing of the latter two bands, and only one song by the Young Fresh Fellows, their theme song. Sunday I have to do some condo cleaning, as my friend Doug will be arriving late Monday night for a week's visit. We plan to do much gaming, and also probably drive down to Portland for an overnight visit. Anyone have any suggestions for things to do in Portland?