Monday, May 28, 2018

Memorial Day MSU Bike Ride Remembering Seattle's International Fountain With Overpriced Space Needle

This Memorial Day morning I had myself a memorably long bike ride north, taking my rolling wheels first around Sikes Lake, then to the MSU (Midwestern State University) campus, which is currently abandoned.

And then further north, eventually getting lost on Speedway before finding my way to the Circle Trail via Holliday.

At MSU I stopped the bike at the location you see here. A fountain spewing jets of water.

Refreshing on a HOT day, such as is the case today.

The MSU fountain brought to mind my longtime favorite fountain, that being the fountain known as the International Fountain at the Seattle Center. That fountain came into existence at the Seattle World's Fair, which was known as the Century 21 Exposition. The International Fountain is about 100 times bigger than this fountain I got cooled by today at MSU.

Googling International Fountain Seattle Center brought up multiple websites, including a Wikipedia article about the International Fountain, which included some statistics giving one an idea how big this centerpiece of the Seattle World's Fair is...

  • 56 "Micro shooters" arrayed as a ring buried in the granite blocks of the fountain floor, on the outer perimeter surrounding the dome. These shoot straight up.
  • 77 "Fleur-de-lis" - plate-sized nozzles on the dome, shooting medium-high arcs.
  • 4 "Super shooters" - four nozzles on the top of the dome capable of shooting up to 120 feet (37 m) high. Each "super shooter" peak shot uses 66 US gallons (250 l) and is driven by 120 pounds per square inch (830 kPa) of air pressure.
  • 137 "Mist nozzles", each with an opening the size of a pinhead to generate fog
  • There is an additional ring of floodlights between the "micro shooters" and the dome.

I do not know if the current iteration of the International Fountain still plays music timed to the fountain spouts. Playing dodge the fountain is a popular pastime for kids of all ages on a hot day at the Seattle Center.

Speaking of the Seattle Center. A couple days ago that location came to my mind for another reason.

The Space Needle.

I was reading an article about the newly re-opened re-modeled observation level atop the Space Needle. In the article I read that the elevator ride to the Space Needle observation deck now cost $26. I found that hard to believe, figuring this must be a mistake.

Trust me on this, even with its new glassed over look a visit to the Space Needle observation deck is not worth $26. If I remember right the last time I was at the top of the Space Needle was with Spencer Jack's dad, Jason, and his uncle, Joey. Both were younger than Spencer Jack is now. I don't remember how much it cost to get on the Space Needle elevator at that point in time. But I doubt it was more than a couple bucks. Maybe five at the most.

What does it cost to ride the Seattle Monorail in 2018? Last time I took that short ride I think it was 50 cents each way.

When the giant observation wheel opened on the Seattle waterfront a couple years ago I recollect reading the fee to ride was $13. That seemed reasonable. But, $26 to ride to the top of the Space Needle? That's ridiculous...

No comments: