Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Geography/History Riverfront Park




On Tuesday we picked our son TJ up at 11:00 and headed down to Riverfront park. We finally found a parking lot, but was confused over how much to pay since it had three different signs, one read all day for $2.00, another said all day for $3.00 and yet another said all day for $5.00, we opted out and paid the $5.00 to be on the safe side. That was still cheaper then any parking closer to Riverfront park which averaged $8.00 to $10.00 for the day. We then started our walk to Riverfront Park.

We had to cross the Spokane River via a foot bridge. The river was running low, which was a little disappointing, but it did give Selena a great view of the rocks and river bed.


Of course as you all know Selena always has to stop and read every map or marker she sees. I think she really likes her Uncle TJ, I just love the way she is looking at  him in this next picture.



This picture is looking down river at the Post Street bridge. The Falls are just beyond that. If you click on the picture you should be able to see the gondolas that transport you right over the falls. They are brand new gondolas, and I guess much nicer then the old one’s that use to make this trip during Expo. Though we didn’t ride on them, as I don’t know if Selena would have really enjoyed this ride. I, myself rode in the old one’s and since they were open with no windows the water from the falls would splash you as you dropped over them.


This building has been here for as long as I can remember, I believe it is the first power plants ever built in Spokane. This was the only time that they ever changed the natural flow of the river, when they built this, after many years they discovered that their efforts of changing the river to accommodate this power plant was doing more damage then good, they attempted to repair the damage and return the river to it’s natural state.

100_3307 Selena wanted so bad to look straight down from the foot bridge to see the river below her, it was so cute as she stood about a foot away from the edge of the bridge then leaned over to look through the rail of the bridge. I didn’t catch a picture of her doing that as I was holding on to her to make sure she didn’t slip on through the railing, not that she probably could have fit through, but still we were not going to take any chances. But this gives you a good idea of what she was looking at.

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Once across the bridge we had to stop and admire the marker for the World’s fair.

Now the rest of this post is all the pictures of Selena’s day at the Carnival as she called it. It began with the historic Loofe Carousel, which use to sit at Spokane’s Spokane's Natatorium Park in 1909.

100_3312 The beauty and artistic work that has gone into this Carousel is truly something one must see first hand to really appreciate it. When I was a teen we use to go down and ride this, we always grabbed and outside horse, as they have rings you try to grab as you go around, back then they were metal rings and your hope was to get a gold ring that would give you a free ride. And yes, I did get my share of gold rings, now they have plastic rings and put more emphasis on getting the rings back by having you toss them into a special hole where bells and whistles will blow if you hit the target.


We then made our way over to the Pavilion which is pictured at the top of my post, where it is a full fledge carnival. The first ride Selena had to go on here was the Steering Wheel as she called it. We quickly convinced her that it was actually called the Ferris wheel. We were so surprised that Selena rode as many rides as she did, from this ride, to the little airplanes, a boat ride, Octopus, Strawberry ride, and the Tilt-a-Whirl. We never imagined that Selena would want to go on such rides. Her and TJ, well I hope our son had fun taking her on all the rides as Selena dragged him by hand from ride to ride. He didn’t ride the airplane or boat ride, those two she rode by herself.

After all these rides we decided to go get ice cones for everyone. While we sat there eating these, Selena looked up and saw:


The infamous Riverfront Park train. She got so excited, she screamed, “The Dinosaur Train” then her ice cone went flying, as she wanted to run and chase down the train so she could ride. We finally got her to realize we had to go to the train stop and wait for it.

100_3315 Upon finding the train spot we discovered we had about 35 minutes to wait for it’s return. That was great, as at this point I do believe all of us adults needed a nice rest.


What would a rest time be without chocolate ice cream? Of course you know Papa couldn’t resist indulging Selena to a good tasty treat.



100_3318 Once we got the kids aboard the train, Papa and I knew we had 35 minutes of alone time to take in some of the sites of the park.

100_3321 We quickly walked over to stand under a bridge and waited for the train to come around. Selena exclaimed, “Time Tunnel!” I wish I could have gotten a picture of her face when she looked over to see us waving at her from within the “Time Tunnel, she was way too surprised! While there we took time to take in some of the art work that lays within the water and throughout the park.

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This is the original Clock tower that stands where the train station use to be. It is one of the oldest landmarks of Spokane. Every hour it chimes and plays a different song. The only thing that does not function on this clock is the second hand, other wise she keeps perfect time. As a kid I can remember taking my brothers to this area where they caught the passenger train headed out of town when they were in the military. Now try to understand that at one time before they fixed up all this land for the Expo World Fair in 1974, all this land where we were was dirt and railroad tracks. It was full of bums who came in via trains. The people of Spokane couldn’t believe when the City Counsel proposed cleaning this area up for the World’s Fair, as it was the most undesirable areas of Spokane.


It is a must for you to click on this picture to enlarge it. This picture will give you a good glimpse into the art work of the Carousel. Selena just had to have one more ride, this time choosing to ride the tiger with the monkey on it’s back. She was a bit disappointed though to discover that the tiger did not go up and down like the horses did. But it was the only one on the Carousel that I was able to get a picture of her as she came around, the horses moved too fast to get pictures of.

100_3327 After this ride, we then started the trek back through the park to our car, but not without one last ride on the Ferris Wheel, for Selena and Uncle TJ.

It was such a wonderful day for me to watch my two babies have so much fun together.


If you would be interested in joining in on the postcard swap go here for the details.

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  1. That is a wonderful day! I'd love to go there it looks like so much fun.

    This reminds me that I need to look up the times for our local train.

  2. It sounds like a great place to visit with a lot of history. I wish we could visit a hydropower station, since we plan to "visit" a Hoover Dam soon :)

  3. What a great post! So much history and so many details. It looks like a wonderful place to explore. I'm glad you had such a nice time there!

  4. Wonderful park - we will have to visit it! The pictures of Selena with her uncle are very sweet :)

  5. I remember visiting there when I was a kid (I grew up in the Tri-Cities). We'd always ride the carousel and then have lunch/dinner at Cyrus O'Learys. My oldest got to visit the park for the first time when he went to visit his grandparents this summer (we live in Texas now)!