There were many odd shapes on the face of the Grand Coulee Dam. With the water running down in parts and some of the structure of the dam breaking up the smooth face, it was possible to see some unusual patterns in the surface. There were many power lines strung across the water in front of the dam so these could distract from the shapes so I tried moving around to be between each of the lines. With the texture of the face of the dam it was possible to look closely at elements and have no obvious clue what they were.
There is a visitor center for the Grand Coulee dam. Sadly, as with a lot of similar things, it was closed while I was there due to the virus. While I couldn’t go in, I was rather taken with the structure itself. I’m not sure when it was built but it has a bit of a 70s space age feel about it. When in the park lower down the hill, it looks a little like a flying saucer has landed above you. I bet it looks interesting when lit up at night.
When starting up at rocky mountainsides, it is easy to spot trees that seem to be doing an amazing job of growing out of somewhere that looks like it shouldn’t be possible. Normally I am a lot further away that is practical to get a good look at how they do this. However, while hiking in the Cascades, we came across a spot right next to the trail where some trees were growing right out of the rocks next to us. It was so cool to see how they develop a root structure in solid rock from which they can grow and flourish. Here are a couple of shots to show how they have successfully embedded themselves in a rocky surface.
When I headed south out of the center of Nagoya to go to the museum, my route took me down to the docks area. A highway along the water obviously needed to clear the route for the larger ships so a pretty impressive bridge had been constructed. It is called the Meiko-Chuo Bridge. I could only get a good view of it from the train but it was in the background when you were at the museum. I thought it looked pretty spectacular.
Walking under the bridges along the Riverwalk in Chicago provides a very different perspective that that which you get from above. Some of the bridges have solid deck and others have gridded metal decks which allow light through (and anything else someone might drop). The lattice structures under the deck are ornate yet grubby. They are obscured from most views and get covered in the grime that washes down from above. I am not making this sound very appealing but I find them very cool to look at. The noise of the traffic above is there but slightly isolated which adds to the atmosphere for me. They do put a curved stainless-steel cover over the walkway itself so you are not vulnerable to anything from above ending up on your head which is something I am grateful for.
The missile display at Evergreen Aerospace Museum is impressive. They have sourced a lot of different types and they have a Titan IV section lying on its side. You can get up close to the nozzle of the rocket motor and it is a cool thing to see in detail. Looking from a distance, they look very simple but, once you are close up, the complexity of the structure and the cooling structure to stop the plume from burning right through the nozzle are really impressive. The shaping of the nozzle itself, in contrast, is very simple. The expansion ratios are calculated carefully and the profile is a smooth transition to minimize the losses. Quite the contrast.
An Aeroflot Airbus A330 landed at LAX while I was shooting there. On plenty of occasions, I have seen ice on the underside of the wings of landing aircraft where the cold fuel remaining in the tanks has caused condensation and freezing in the warmer damp air lower down. However, I haven’t ever noticed it on the fuselage structure. On this jet, though, I could see ice on the surface and the patterns of ice reflected the underlying fuselage structure. Maybe this is there more often and it was just the paint finish that made it show up this time.
Tillamook in Oregon is well known as a home of cheese production. It is also home to an airfield that was once a base for naval airship operations. Two massive hangars were built to house the huge airships in the days before they went out of favor as a patrol vehicle. One of them remains and is the home of a museum amongst other things. The other hangar is long gone. However, traces of it remain.
The structure of these large hangars was predominantly wood but there were some concrete elements. Each end of the hangar had huge rolling doors and the posts to support that system were large concrete structures. Meanwhile, the arches along the length of the hangar were rooted in concrete bases. While the wood from the hangar has been taken away, the concrete sections remain. Whether they were too difficult to remove or just not worth the cost, I don’t know. What I do know is that they are still there and other things have moved in to operate within their footprint, in this case a lumber yard.
I include a picture of the remaining hangar for reference so you can see where the various structural elements exist within the finished building in case it is not immediately apparent. When we first passed by this location on a trip about ten years ago, it took me some time to work out what these strange items were.
A short drive north of Whistler brings you to a town called Pemberton. It is a little town and right in the center is a public barn structure. It is a modern structure and it has been built to provide a venue for the community to use. It has open sides so anyone can walk in from any direction. An event was being set up while we were there. It looked like it might have been a wedding. The wooden structure is very attractive and it appears that it gets a lot of use. What a great focus for the community.
One more post from our visit to Capilano. The deep valley that the river runs through and that the bridge crosses has some steep, rocky sides. These have provided another opportunity for the owners to add some interest. They have mounted a walkway along the cliff face. I don’t know what inspired this but if you have seen the walkway at the Grand Canyon or the glass boxes on the Sears Tower (watcha talking about Willis) then you see a similar them.
These paths run on structure built in to the cliff face. They are shaped so, while you have normal width handrails, the foot section is narrower so you have a more obvious view downwards. You have no doubt how high up you are. Meanwhile, you get to see the mounting points that have been driven into the cliff face to support all of this.
One section of the path is a semi-circle that is suspended by cables mounted on the cliff face. It is a dramatic part of the structure and everyone is fascinated by it when they get there. Don’t anticipate moving through this section too quickly because it does tend to back up a bit. A little later I walked above this section and found a spot where you can look directly down on the curve and it takes on a whole new perspective. I think it is quite beautiful. Winding your way along the face of the cliffs on these walkways is very cool and is definitely not to be overlooked if you visit.