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PhotoHunt: Lock


Ballard Locks
The Ballard Locks

Lock has a wide variety of meanings - a lock of hair, enlocked arms, a means to secure something. But I couldn't pass by the meaning that has local significance:

Lock: an enclosure (as in a canal) with gates at each end used in raising or lowering boats as they pass from level to level.

The Hiram M. Chittenden Locks known locally as the Ballard Locks are are part of the Lake Washington Ship Canal, connecting the fresh water Lake Washington to the salty Puget Sound. These were built between 1911 and 1917. Today they continue under the control of the Army Corp of Engineers transporting both pleasure boats and commercial boats. For more on Locks - here is the Wikipedia entry.

It is always fun to watch the boats enter the lock. It takes a while until boats are secured along the sides and the door close. Then water will fill or empty from the lock to raise or lower the boats depending upon whether they are going to or from the Sound. You can walk along narrow walkways above the massive doors which gives you an excellent view down on the boats. The Locks are a favorite of both locals and tourists.

There is also an excellent garden on the Locks property. The area is very temperate since it is close to the water and it is a good place to see plants exotic to Seattle such as palm trees and Princess Tree. There is also a large terraced grass hillside overlooking the locks which is a favorite place to picnic or just watch the boat traffic.

Here are a few more photos of the Locks.

Ballard Locks
Grassy slopes - favorite place to boat watch

Ballard Locks
Railroad Tressle - normally up to for tall or large boats to pass under

Ballard Locks
Boats heading into the lock from the Puget Sound

Ballard Locks
Interesting sculpture at the Locks

Comments (20)

Good one Marta - I always enjoy seeing canal lock pics. Yours are great! :)

Nice pictures, Marta. Everytime you post something about the area, it makes me want to get back to the NW to explore some more. It's been at least 6 years.
That sculpture is very cool.

Great shots - I was going to go there as well but couldn't find my pictures of the locks we travelled through last summer. There must be a better way to organize photos. *smile*

Great photos. The technology behind a lock like this is amazing. I love that sculpture (and that moving tressle looks like a sculpture too).

Have a nice weekend.

I never thought of that kind of lock. Good one!

I played too :)

Great photos for the Lock subject:)

Great take on the theme. Interesting shots. I love the sculpture.

didn't know about that type of locks, now I do

that is an interesting sculpture, quite a beauty

thanks for your visit to my photohunt, I hope you are enjoying your day

Great job...I love to find multiple meanings for the themes!


Great series of photos! I would like to take a boat trip through the locks one day :)

I find this kind of lock endlessly fascinating.


What a beautiful boat! We have one of these near our home.. on the intercoastal waterway that runs down to Florida. It is an amazing structure! Mine is up here.

This was a fascinating post and a wonderful look into a beautiful place through your text and photography. Great take on the theme.

Great take on theme! I love your photos!

Interesting take on the theme! I'd love to be on that grassy hillside overlooking the locks having a picnic and watching the boats pass by.

Cool sculpture. It looks like a curly Q.


Great photos and way to use the theme! I also love the sculpture.

Hey I have been there! I still do not understand the whole concept of how the locks work. I get the purpose but...

Very cool sculpture. Wonderful photos! The Ballard Locks was the first thing I thought of when I saw the theme this week.

Kathy (Trekcapri):

Hi Marta, great take on the theme! Never even thought about this meaning. I also really like your series of photos of the lock including that cool sculpture. That was also interesting seeing the construciton photo and reading about the history. Really amazing.

Have a great Sunday!


Great post on the lock theme.

The seaway locks are so fascinating.


Very nice sequence of shots of the locks! I thought of using a shot of one of the locks on the C&O canal, but didnot have a good one handy.

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