9/8/2014 – Bainbridge Island

We spent Saturday and most of Sunday visiting with cruising friends Nita and Mike who have sold their boat and settled into a beautiful house on a beautiful lot and have been making both even more beautiful ever since.  Of course, like most boaters, they’re scheming on why buying another boat would just be the logical, no-brainer, thing to do. It’s a sickness, I tells ya.  With our minds aimed towards one day building a small house to live in, Lulu and I find ourselves attracted to people’s garages instead of their houses.  Mike’s woodshed is a prime example.

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At 210 square feet, it’d be a pretty livable size as-is, but, if we were to double it, to around 400 square feet, we’d have a ton of room and still be living in a space that’s less than a third the size of the average American house these days.  Actually, I suspect it’s more like a fifth the size of the average American house considering all the MacMansions and MacMansion wannabees that have been being built for the last 15 years or so.  Mike and Nita’s house is deceptively small.  It looks pretty big from outside but its footprint is only 784 square feet and the upstairs adds only about 300 square feet more.  Larger than we want but still on the small end of the scale.  I neglected to take a photo of the house this year, which is a shame considering all the work they’ve done, but here’s a shot from when we visited 2 years ago.

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Saturday was spent visiting, eating, and walking around the north end of the island.  Bainbridge Island is full of beautiful and/or interesting homes.  Being an island, there’s no shortage of seascapes and, being an island in Puget Sound, there’s no shortage of boats to look at either.

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Sunday, after breakfast, Mike and Nita took us on a tour of the island.  Below is the site of what was once the world’s largest sawmill at Port Blakely.

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The sawmill site is littered with shards of old plates and such.  Nita has been collecting these in hopes of building a mosaic table or something out of them.  Since gathering them requires walking slowly while looking down, it was right up Lulu’s alley.

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We stopped off at a labyrinth that was designed to soothe the soul as one follows its path. Not sure if my soul was soothed but the labyrinth was pretty cool.  Lots of symbology and many little details along the walk.

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In the same little park that had the labyrinth was a bronze prayer wheel.  Again, soul-soother.  Rotate the wheel nine times clockwise and an internal bell rings once either releasing the bad stuff or letting the good stuff in or something.

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THere was also a little swing that Lulu and Nita spent quite a while sitting in, talking, and enjoying the view.

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The view from the swing:

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While swinging, they were watched over by this guy:

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Our souls refreshed, we got back in the car and continued the tour.  We walked a trail that started at an EPA Superfund site on Eagle Harbor.  It was the former site of a creosote plant that was in operation until 1982 and did a bang-up job of contaminating the ground it sat on as well as the bay it sat next to.  The short trail ended at a monument to one of America’s most shameful memories.  

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The memorial is a sad reminder and helps to put names and faces to some of the Japanese-Americans that were treated so shabbily.  These were real people with real families and real farms and such, not just some faceless population identified as “the enemy”.  Nidoto Nai Yoni.

The memorial was also a showcase of some beautiful Japanese wood joinery:

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Many thanks to Mike and Nita for the great tour of an island that we really had known nothing about.

What with the tour and lunch and such, we didn’t get away until 4:00 PM.  Our original plan was to drive down to Belfair State Park for the night.  But, there was a State Park on Bainbridge that had signs for camping and we thought, “Why not?”  We plugged Fay Bainbridge State Park into Dora and set off.  We didn’t really need the GPS as there were signs everywhere.  However, there was also a closed road between us and the park.   As we neared the closure, we could see a huge (maybe 35 or 40′ long) behemoth class A motorhome sideways across the road.  Apparently he thought that there’d be a turnaround down by the road closure, or, like me, assumed that “Local Traffic Only” included the park.  Well, we were both wrong.  He spent I don’t know how any minutes getting his bus turned around on a road that was just barely wider than the bus was long.  He finally got turned around and headed the way he’d come.  We followed.  This time we followed the signs instead of Dora.  They took us to a place to turn in to Fay Bainbridge Park (is this different from the State Park?).  He’d no sooner got halfway turned in than he realized it was day-use only and was closed.  We waited behind him as he backed out onto the road,  Our little 20′ Class C mini-motorhome never looked so good.  We followed him down the road until he pulled over, probably to tear his hair out and curse the gods that watch over Fay Bainbridge State Park.  We threw in the towel and set sail for Belfair SP as originally intended.

It was smooth sailing until I missed the turn-off to the Park.  We continued on a bit, looking for a good place to turn around when we spied a sign for Twanoh State Park.  The sign indicated that there was a campground so we decided, what the heck, and forged on.  Turns out, Twanoh is way the hell down the hook of Hood Canal.  Not sure how many miles but it seems like we drove a long time.  Came to the park, saw the Day Use area on the water side but never saw an entrance to a campground.  Next thing you know, we were no longer in the park.  After finally finding a turnaround a few miles down the road, we returned and crawled through the park.  This time we noticed two tiny little arrows on the bottom of the sign.  One pointed to the left and was located under the picnic table icon, the other to the right and was under the tent icon.  Even with that, we thought the driveway to the campground was closed until we were right on top of it.  But all’s well that ends well and we got a nice spot under the trees and had a very pleasant evening.



Looks like I missed recording the mileage when we stopped at Mike and Nita’s, so:

Scenic Beach State Park to Bainbridge Island to Twanoh State Park: 94 miles

Total since leaving Silverton: 613 miles


About sryoder

Steve & Lulu... retired. Had enough of the cold wet dreary fall/winter/spring in the Pacific Northwest. Bought a boat, fixed it up, sold our home and sailed to Mexico in November, 2010. Been here ever since except for occasional forays to the States (summer only, thank you) to visit the kids, parents and siblings. If you're looking for a sailing blog, this is the wrong place. This is a traveling, hunkering in, eating blog. Sailing is just how we get from place to place when we can't walk.
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8 Responses to 9/8/2014 – Bainbridge Island

  1. s/v Eolian says:

    Steve, we have loads of wonderful memories of Bainbridge Island – I’m really sorry we weren’t there to meet you guys!


  2. joan yoder says:

    We have friends in Bainbridge island too and hope to be there next month. incidently her name is nita also but his name is bill. love, mom

  3. Rachel says:

    Looks like a great place to visit!

  4. “Nidoto Nai Yoni”. Yes but, I wouldn’t hold my breath.
    Hey, I sense some “boat” nostalgia here…

  5. Bill Allayaud says:

    Steve: where is your boat parked? I guess moored is the right word. Nasty storm in Baja.

    • sryoder says:

      She’s “on the hard” in San Carlos/Guaymas, Mexico. On the mainland. Looks like she might see some big rains but the main force of Odile should bypass San Carlos.

  6. Jim Carey says:

    We were sailing past Eagle and Blakely Harbor on our way home to Tacoma on 09/07/14! You do realize that you missed Orofino Lumberjack Days that week-end also.

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