Last week, I decided to take the boys to see the Ballard Locks.  Jason heard my plans and begged asked nicely that we wait for the weekend, so he could go, too.  There’s something about the phrase “fish ladder” that’s intriguing, not to mention the sheer coolness of the locks’ engineering.  So we went today.

The Locks are pretty darned amazing.  We arrived as a group of small craft piled into the lock to make the descent from Lake Union to Puget Sound.

Boats going down!  They also manage to change the water the boats are sitting on from fresh to saltwater.  Lake Union is freshwater; the Sound, of course, is salt.

The engineering of it all is pretty darned cool.

But enough about the science, right?  We want to see the fish ladder!

Best. Sign. EVER.

You can tell by the look on his face how hard he’s working to get up that staircase.

Seattle = GREAT public art.  Everywhere.

Even at fish ladders.

I love saying that.  Fish ladder fish ladder fish ladder.

Huh.  All of that, and I didn’t get any pictures of the actual ladders.  In my defense, the fish weren’t doing much publicly-visible climbing.

We did go inside the viewing area to see some who were in between “rungs.”

Salmon!

Yum.

I mean, how cute.

I think this guy is a Chinook.  He was HUGE.

Dinner for six, at least.

I’m horrible.

It was pretty incredible.  We’ve seen fish that close before, of course, in aquariums.  But these are wild salmon, on their way “home” to whatever stream or hatchery from whence they came 2-3 years ago.  The ladder was built for them long before salmon habitat conservation was a major concern in the area, and it saves them from getting all smashed up in the locks.  Pretty great planning.

On the way home, we went to a great burger joint in Ballard.  I had a salmon burger.  With tartar sauce.  Yum.

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