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Erik & Smisty's Evergreen Oddventures

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Seattle Center


Seattle Center is a 74-acre park (for lack of a better word). Built for the 1962 World's Fair, but always intended to live on long after, it features a mix of public spaces, and both city and privately run attractions.


Some of the attractions featured in this update will likely receive their own, more detailed, updates at some point in the future. But I wanted to start with an overview of what is undoubtedly the cultural and tourism center of Seattle.


Seattle Center's most famous tenant is, of course, the Space Needle. Indeed, this attraction is almost synonymous with the city itself. Once the tallest building west of the Mississippi, it's now not even one of the five tallest buildings in Seattle. However, a city ordinance keeps its views intact by forbidding other tall buildings being built around it. Smart.


Seattle Center features quite a few different permanent sculptures and other art installations, such as Sonic Bloom, which plays various tones as you walk through it.


Don't let the fact that Chihuly Garden and Glass replaced a small amusement park that once stood on the grounds poison you against it. In fact, it's easily my favorite museum anywhere.


I admit, however, that I do wish Fun Forest was still here in some form, as I never got to visit it. It honestly doesn't seem like it was that great, but without it, Seattle no longer has a proper amusement park.


In the upper left of this photo, you can see the white arches of the Pacific Science Center. And, in the distance, Elliott Bay and the Olympic Peninsula.


You are here. Well, ish. I'll get to the Armory in a minute.


Anyway, this is a map of Seattle Center. Maybe I should have led with that.


If you like fountains, you'll love Seattle Center.


Actually, this is a bad example.


I mean, the whale tale is a fountain, but it's turned off in this photo.


Also, in keeping with the sea creatures theme, there are statues of some fish, a seahorse, and a flying pig.


Fisher Pavilion is home (or at least ground zero) to most of the various cultural festivals held in Seattle Center throughout the year.


The International Fountain


Key Arena, in the background, is currently being renovated. Once home to the NBA's Seattle Supersonics, it is being gutted and rebuilt (keeping only it's outer shell) as a hockey area for an NHL expansion team due to begin play in 2021.


They don't have a name yet, but my suggestion is the Seattle Freeze.


Fall colors in front of the KEXP building, which is both a radio station and a coffee shop, because Seattle.


This display honors August Wilson, who was of course the inventor of doors.


The Fountain of Creation is a fountain that celebrates water.


(To be fair, it's more like water's role in the creation of life or something, but whatever.)


This pagoda thing honors the Lion's Club, which is even sillier.


These red tubes commemorate parasitic alien space worms, because you'll believe anything now. (Fleeing human for scale.)


Look, another fountain. I feel fully justified in my earlier statement. And who does this one honor?




This "fountain" separates the Pacific Northwest Ballet and the Seattle Opera. Because if there's one thing that makes ballet dancers feel valued, it's a constantly wet sidewalk right outside their door.


Smisty found her way to the center of the labyrinth that's part of the "Artists at Play" playground. This is her victory stance, and not a gesture of annoyance at my taking this photo.


Collections Cafe (right) is part of Chihuly Garden and Glass, and the Armory (left) is the one building that predates the World's Fair, and actually was an armory at one point.


The Armory is now basically a large food court, with its lower level housing the Seattle Children's Museum. The Seattle Children's Museum will likely not be getting its own update, though, as they won't let us in.


Because we don't have children. It's not like we got trespassed or something.


Still, you never know.


To be clear, I mean that they may change their rules, not that we might one day have children.




Also built for the 1962 World's Fair, and still running. There are only two stations, though. This one, and the other about a mile downtown at Westlake Center. Of course, there's also a light rail station at Westlake Center, so as long as you don't mind transferring once, you can actually get all the way to Seattle Center from the SEATAC airport via train/monorail.


The monorail also travels through MoPop, the Museum of Pop Culture (formerly known as EMP, the Experience Music Project), which was originally meant to be a Jimi Hendrix museum, but covers lots of metaphorical ground now.


The John T. Williams Memorial Totem Pole was erected in 2012 to honor a local Native American woodcarver who was shot and killed by a Seattle Police Officer in 2012, because he had a knife.


Hey, every caption can't be fun.


Near the entrance to the Space Needle sits a bronze recreation of "The Feminine One," a sculpture which served as partial inspiration for the design of the Space Needle.


Of course, there's lots more to say about the Space Needle. And Seattle, itself. Indeed, all of Washington State!


Let's see how much of it we get to...!

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No, thank you.


Thank you for creating this site in the first place, and thank you for hosting all of my random mini golf photos for the last 13 years(!)

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A Random Photo That Will Reward Those Who Comb Through The Thread Page By Page Rather Than Navigating Via The Table Of Contents, Though I Don't Really Have A Preference To Be Honest, Do Your Own Thing, Man (An Ongoing Feature, Though Its Name Will Change Each Time I Do It)


The Fremont Bridge in Seattle is the most frequently opened drawbridge in the United States.

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I LOVE LOVE LOVE Seattle (it's my favorite city!), and love the Seattle Center and Space Needle! Thanks for the pictures! I definitely hope to get back out there some day, and these really bring back the memories of my last visit!


As you can see below, I'm a major Seattle Mariners fan, as depressing as that may be!



I look forward to the rest of your ODDventure photos from there!

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Ahem! Everyone knows that Ashland, Virginia, is the CENTER OF THE UNIVERSE.


I don't know. The watch thing makes Fremont's claim seem a little more legitimate.




Or maybe just a strongly worded letter to the editor.

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In South Central Washington State, there exists a city that really likes dinosaurs.


Like, a lot.


Granger, Washington: "Where Dinosaurs Roam"


Granger was founded in 1902 and named after Walter Granger, inventor of the mechanical pencil and well-known "scaly."


Fun fact: The city of Granger loves trash almost as much as it loves dinosaurs, and according to the original town charter, visitors can actually be fined for disposing of rubbish into proper receptacles.


Across the street from the park pictured previously is another park, or maybe the same park, I don't know, I'm not a scientist.


Pictured here is the Dino Store (which was closed), a public restroom shaped like a volcano (which was also closed, but there were porta potties, so I guess that's a win), and a dinosaur statue (which obviously was never designed to be entered, weirdo).


Note the water feature not featuring water. I'm starting to think that Granger has seen better days.


Hisey Park (named after Walter Granger's wife, Dino) also features a lake and this ambitiously named "amphitheater."


There's a walking path around the lake, but it's not for the faint of heart. Also, every bug lives here, or has at least visited once.


There are rewards to walking the path, though, like this gimp apatosaurus.


Julie Sharp is not a candidate who is concerned with being endorsed by career politicians. Julie Sharp is a candidate who is concerned with endorsements from dinosaurs and their human pets.


Granger is currently home to 32 dinosaurs, and they try to add a new one every year. It was originally started as a way to revitalize their business district, but I'm not entirely convinced that it worked because there wasn't anything in Granger that could be described as a business district.


On the other hand, it brought *us* there, and building dinosaur statues was clearly better than the other three ideas that were originally proposed, which were: 1. attempting a world's record for largest swimming pool filled entirely with apple juice, 2. building a 9/11 memorial out near the freeway, or 3. billing themselves as the Center of the Universe.


Except for a couple of fast food places located in the two gas stations right off of the highway, this appears to be the only "restaurant" in town. Don't let the boarded up windows scare you.


And it's really more of a Mexican grocery store. To be fair, though, the food was really good.


One of the previously mentioned gas stations.


There's a map of the city in the background on the left that will help you find the various dinosaur statues, should you ever find yourself in Granger. According to this map, there's also supposed to be a statue of a caveman, but we could not find it, and that makes me sad.


The, um, 9/11 memorial.


So there you have it. Granger, Washington. We went out of our way to visit. But I guess the real question is, should you?


Well, let me put it this way:



Edited by Electerik
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Interesting that there is so big a memorial to 9/11. Makes me wonder what other small-ish towns or cities do this as well as Granger. Great Dino Tour! But don't POP QUIZ me on this. I was avoiding the flora on that pathway you noted, and forgot everything.


EDIT: I looked it up. Over 700 memorials across the nation!

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There should be a Sinclair gas station in that town (their logo is a dinosaur). http://www.sinclairoil.com


Some recommendations:


Here is a nearby odd adventure (which I have done): https://manhattanprojectbreactor.hanford.gov


Afterwards you could drink a Plutonium Porter at https://www.atomicalebrewpub.com/on-tap.html (didn't go).


I recommend seeing some site that highlights the Missoula / Ice Age floods which scoured that whole region.



"Dry Falls is a geological wonder of North America. Carved by Ice Age floods more than 13,000 years ago, the former waterfall was once four times the size of Niagara Falls. Today, the 400-foot-high, 3.5-mile-wide cliff overlooks a big sky and a landscape of deep gorges and dark, reflective lakes."




I'm surprised that Silverwood doesn't theme one of their water rides to this, the largest known floods anywhere. They are next to the inundation zone.

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Perhaps my favorite street sign ever once sat at First Avenue and Denny Way in Seattle. Sadly, it has now been replaced with a much less interesting version. But I'll always have my memories--and also this photo, of course.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Seattle itself no longer has a proper amusement park, but there is a pier with a couple of rides on it, and that's kind of like an amusement park, right?


Miners Landing at Pier 57

(With special guest star, Goldballs!)


Whatever you may have heard about Seattle's weather, this report will do nothing to refute.




See, because it's a donkey.


And this website is about theme parks, roller coasters, and donkeys.


So we took a photo with the donkey.


Which represents us representing.


Miners Landing has convenient parking.


Actually, it doesn't. Those cars are special. Like the owners or someone else who doesn't care about show. Parking in Seattle is terrible. Not for us, because we don't own a car. But for non-pier owning car owners, it's real bad.




Tickets for the Seattle Great Wheel are $15. At least, that's the price for a regular ticket.


Regular as in normal, average, plain, uninteresting, common, dull. And we here at Erik & Smisty, Inc. are anything but regular. Evergreen Oddventures™ is a top shelf, VIP experience. And it just so happens, there's a VIP ticket. And you hold that ticket in your metaphorical hands simply by reading this thread! Whereas we had to actually pay for it.


Are you ready?




Because it's time for...VIP FERRIS WHEELING.


Also, there's a drink stand shaped like a lemon.


The line that the plebs stand in.


Poor non-VIP bastards.


Do you see that car? The special one? The VIP gondola? That's where we're gonna be, as we skip the line, but then wait for that car to come back around. Because there's only one VIP gondola. That's what makes it special. Also because it's painted black and has a window in the floor.


VIPs get free alcohol. Or rather, a drink is included. Which is the same thing as free.


I don't like alcohol. And I am good with money.


I ordered a Bellini. Because if I'm going to drink, it's going to be a girl drink.


I had one sip.


Either myself or the Seattle Great Wheel has no idea what a Bellini is.


You know what the little people get? A bench on either side. And a regular floor. And no speakers. God, I pity them.


Okay, I'll stop.


We certainly picked a lovely day for it!


Note that the pier in the foreground is the Seattle Aquarium.


The cool rich people get their own sound system. But only if they still own old iPhones.


Glass bottom gondola! We get to look right down into the structure! Alright!




This was interesting. If the upstairs food court is open, they make you exit up to it. But if that's closed, then they make you exit into the main part of the building.


Okay, time for lunch! What shall it be? Shucky Muckers? No...?


How about The Crab Pot?


Nah, with my luck, I'd be the guy who ends up looking at the bowl butt during the food pour.


We settled on The Fisherman's Restaurant. Which was perfect thematically because they serve fish, and fishermen eat a lot of fish. Andrew got tacos because he has no idea what fishermen eat, but Fisherman's fooled him because they put fish in his tacos!


Red velvet cake with red velvet ice cream and a vanilla-braised pineapple spear, plus Misty's ice cream because she just wanted the brownie and is weird.


Just outside the Fisherman's Restaurant is this statue of a fish. But also there's room here for a wave swinger or swinging ship or something.


Outside seating for the Crab Pot, which I'm sure brings in tons of money during the summer, but I could totally put in like an out and back Gerstlauer Bobsled coaster here.


There are actually two ice cream parlors, but I'm just going to show you this one because I like the DEEP FRIED sign.


Pirate's Plunder Gift Shop, where they apparently sell Big Foot poop and forget to paint pants on their pirates.


I like that you can buy plush for one of their restaurants.


Most of the inside of the main building is a long winding hallway that looks like this, with stores, restaurants, and attractions on either side.


Pinball always wins you points with me.


The Sourdough Bakery offers giant disappointing chocolate chip cookies. Dollywood this is not.


This is a bench...maybe? Designed by Native Americans...? Who were really into Prince...?


Half of the shooting gallery guns were broken, but the bear farts, so it all evens out.


One of the carousel's rules is, "no horseplay."


Let that sink in.


The Sad and Desperate Fisherman Gift Shop


I squatch my family.


Peak Miners Landing


Mark's Arks was closed, possibly due to the weather, but seems to be a Native American wood carving shop, which would make sense based on much of the decorations around Miners Landing.


Sure, the Ferris Wheel is cool and all, but this is the star attraction as far as Smisty and I are concerned.


We've been on a few different "flying rides" now--both US Soarin' installations, FlyOver Canada in Vancouver, FlyOver America in Minnesota, This is Holland in Amsterdam--but Wings Over Washington is our favorite.


It certainly has the best preshow, featuring a clueless park ranger on his (natch) "first day on the job," and Tiki Room/Country Bear style animal masks on the walls.


Mechanically, Wings Over Washington is a bit different, as the floor tilts to vertical to raise the rows up to the screen. The films itself uses wipes and fades rather than smash cuts and features a mystical eagle that helps tie the various locations together a bit.


The exit isn't as good as the cool "here's where you've been" gift shops of This is Holland or FlyOver America, but I guess you can't have everything.


So, should you visit Miners Landing if you're near Seattle? Yes. Wings Over Washington is awesome.


Should you spring for the VIP experience on the Seattle Great Wheel? No, of course not. That's what you have us for.

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