Not long ago I had the pleasure of showing my mom and her significant other, T, around Seattle on their four-day visit from North Carolina. Neither of them had been to the Pacific Northwest before, so I got to play tour guide and show them all the beautiful places we’ve discovered in the last year.
Puget Sound, the Olympic Mountains, a slice of Seattle waterfront, and a cargo ship from the Seattle Space Needle.
One of the first places we went was somewhere I hadn’t been yet, either: the Space Needle, Seattle’s iconic landmark.
“It was built in the Seattle Center for the 1962 World’s Fair, which drew over 2.3 million visitors. Once the tallest structure west of the Mississippi River, it is 605 ft high, 138 ft wide, and weighs 9,550 tons. It is built to withstand winds of up to 200 miles per hour and earthquakes of up to 9.1 magnitude, as strong as the 1700 Cascadia earthquake. It has an observation deck at 520 ft and the rotating SkyCity restaurant at 500 ft.” (source)
The elevator ride to the top only takes 41 seconds, so you’re feeling the wind on your face before you’ve even really registered that you’re 500 feet in the air. The observation deck wraps all the way around the tower, of course, so we spent quite a while examining the view from every angle.
Deep cloud cover was hiding Mount Rainier, but we had a great view of the city itself, misty ridges over in the Olympic mountain range, and fun snippets of city like the giant “spiders” painted on the roof of a business not far away. (The diagonal lines in the photo above are part of the Space Needle’s support structure.)
A tilt-shift-style view of Seattle city streets
Mom had her traveling gnome along for the ride, so we perched him on a ledge and gave him the scenic photo treatment, too.
The West Seattle shoreline and and Bainbridge Island
Abstract lines of the nearby EMP museum
Solidity and softness of stone benches downtown