Yesterday I wrote a long historical piece about Anne Devlin, a tragic hero that is often overlooked in Irish history. I posted it then even though the anniversary of her death is today, due to the Scottish vote news that would overshadow her. She has been dwarfed and dismissed by many historically and I just couldn’t do that since I have wanted to tell her story for so very long.
If you’re interested in that kind of thing, she can be found here. And if you’re anywhere near Glasnevin Cemetery, take an extra flower and sit with her awhile for me, would you?
It’s been 3 years since the first time I stood at Ground Zero. I remember the emotional toll it took on me and how it felt to be there but not much about the area itself. I had known I would sob. I knew I would mourn E. there. I was not prepared for my initial outburst of tears to have less to do with him and more to do with the sheer overwhelming feeling of heartbreak for every person who lost their lives there and for those who they left behind.
This year I stood there again and was totally bewildered and offended as tourists posed for pictures at the new site. I moved them back from the fountain rails in the new gardens to find the name I was looking for. I walked through the monstrosity that is the “museum” which sells “Never Forget” trinkets like thieves in the temple. I was angry and upset at the world where these things can happen and horrified that such a beautiful place was one that marked such an awful tragedy. This time, my emotions were hot and angry and I wasn’t sure what would happen when I found his name.
The marshlands near the University of Seattle were once quite literally, a dump. It became a man-made peninsula and a beautiful boundary for the Seattle Arboretum until city planners decided to develop the area. The idea was to build ramps through the lush surroundings and over the water to connect the 520 bridge to the Interstate but those in the neighborhood revolted. When the plans for the connection were met with fierce opposition by the citizens of Montlake and local historical preservation groups in 1971, the project was abandoned – but not before the overpasses were built. They still go right through the beautiful scenery and over the water, but they don’t connect to anything – they simply go nowhere.
The ramps to nowhere have a haunted reputation which, like the laughable barricades, has been unable to keep anyone away. Broken glass, charred remains of small fires, graffiti, and trash litter the walkways and the rubble adds to the eerie and abandoned vibe of the area. At their base, nature has reclaimed the intruders and has started to swallow their foundations.
Ivy creeps up all the support columns and trees are starting to peek through the concrete. It gets dim quickly under the ramps, and even in the middle of the day the underbelly can be slightly dangerous.
These “ghost ramps” have been a popular destination for divers, hikers,and photographers for decades. It’s not often that one can walk fearlessly on an on-ramp surrounded by other interchanges. Their height provides the daring with a high diving board if you have the courage to jump into the murky waters below. Kayak rentals are close by and the marshes are quite popular. The unmanned and seemingly non-patrolled bridges, ramps, trails and surrounding area are also a favorite destination for illicit behavior and criminal activity, particularly after dark…and dark comes fast under the bridges. Perhaps in part due to this, the ramps are now slated for destruction in early 2016.
If you want to get to them before that happens, you can find them pretty easily. There’s a parking lot at the intersection of Lake Washington Blvd and it’s a super short hike to the beginning of the ramp. Sensible shoes are a must given all the glass shards and debris…unless you’re planning to dive. Then wear shoes you wouldn’t mind throwing into the water.
For more amazing photos of this place click here :