July 8 - 13, 2014:
Today is the two year anniversary of our full time RV life and I'm thinking how fast that time has passed as I travel to Poulsbo, Washington and I can't believe that 2014 is already half over. We are traveling by totally separate routes to get there, this is not the recommended safe or practical way to travel to a common destination, but we like to live on the wild side ! I drove the long way from Anacortes on congested route 5 south through Everett, Seattle and Tacoma, then north west along the western shore of Pugent Sound to Poulsbo. Twinkles took route 5 south to Edmund, then boarded the Ferry across the Pugent Sound to Kingston, then on the Poulsbo. She was so proud to have made it there on her own and even managed to find a Trader Joe's along the way !
The Eagle Tree RV Park is interesting with all sorts of campsites squeezed in tightly together amongst the trees and is a pretty comfortable spot with full hookups, cable TV, WiFi and close to the town of Poulsbo.
We took a quick tour of Poulsbo, it's very Scandinavian (the Viking motif is everywhere) and beautiful with many artsy shops, restaurants, bakeries, bars, coffee shops and a great marina. Poulsbo was founded by a Norwegian, Jorgan Eliason in the 1880's. One of the early settlers, I.B. Moe suggested that the town be called Paulsbo after a Norwegian village he had lived in. An application was filed for a post office listing Paulsbo as the town name. The application was accepted with Mr. Moe appointed the postmaster, however there was a mixup, most likely due to bad penmanship in the application, and the post office was approved for Poulsbo. Interestingly, they never corrected the spelling and they even pronounce it as "Paulsbo".
|Nice Viking mural in town|
|View looking towards harbor|
|The "Sons of Norway" are very active here|
|Longship marine sign is a favorite|
|All the sidewalk benches in town have the Viking look|
I was stationed in the Army at Fort Lewis, Washington for about 6 months in late 1969-mid 1970 and was discharged from there after my return from Vietnam. I took several trips into Seattle on off days during my time there and loved the place. That's quite a while ago, I'm sure much has changed, probably won't remember much ? It will be interesting to see how it compares to my (aging) fond memories.
Our first adventure on day #1 was a trip into Seattle taking the Ferry from Bainbridge Island. It is about 8 miles to the Bainbridge Island Ferry with a large pay parking lot adjacent to the Ferry Terminal. It is a beautiful, scenic half hour ride to the Seattle Ferry dock which is then a short walk to the Pioneer Square area and the Pike Street Marketplace. We did a brief tour of Pioneer Square then on to the Marketplace. The Marketplace is really crazy, very crowded with so much stuff to see besides all the seafood, fruit and produce. We then walked to the Seattle Center where the iconic Space Needle resides and then took the Monorail back to center city. The only issue was Twinkles getting practically run over by a delivery guy pushing a large cart piled high with cartons on the sidewalk shortly after we arrived. Luckily only skid marks on her left foot.
|Ferry view coming into Seattle|
|The historic Pioneer Building in Pioneer Square|
|Seattle art museum entrance|
|Foreskin protesters, we didn't hear any honking ?|
|View of the Seattle Market somehow in between the|
hordes of traffic and people that normally clog the
|Lots of fresh fish available|
|Loved the sign|
|The Space Needle|
|Another Market view|
|Coffee shops are everywhere|
|Always in the distance, Mount Rainer|
We traveled to another nearby town, Kingston, on Thursday which also is a Ferry terminal. All the towns here are scenic, you could say picturesque, with dining areas overlooking the harbor with snow caped mountain views in the distance. In fact, I believe there are more boats than people in these towns. We are finding that one of the pitfalls of full time RV'ing in these nice areas is the magnitude of the dining options. Everywhere is a great restaurant and a bakery calling my name. It is real easy to blow the budget along with the waistline ! Of course Poulsbo has one of the best bakeries, Sluy's Poulsbo Bakery, on the planet.
|The Kingston Ferry pulling out|
|Traffic is a problem at times on route 104|
|The harbor at Kingston|
After leaving Kingston we went 8 miles away to the town of Port Gamble. Port Gamble is a privately owned Company town with National Historic Landmark status. As the Mill founder was from Maine it has the appearance of a New England small town. It was established in 1853 as a lumber saw mill and was the oldest continuously operating Mill in North America until ceasing operations in 1995. It remains much like it was in it's glory days except the Mill is now totally gone. The business now is tourism and they are doing a great job.
|The old general store at Port Gamble|
|Incredible sea shell museum at general store|
|Historic house in Port Gamble|
|Old Lumber Company sign at Port Gamble museum|
The local Indian tribe, the Suquamish, have lived here for approximately 10,000 years and it wasn't until the late 1700's that white settlers started showing up. That was a game changer ! Now they have a reservation and hopefully are getting even with their impressive Clearwater Casino nearby. Their iconic leader was the famous Chief Seattle, who the city of Seattle is named after.
This entire area of the country once was a mature old growth forest which was mostly cut down, the old stumps remain as evidence in places. Riding around it still is heavily forested, but it's not the same forest, it's a new forest. It always amazes me how a society has managed to transform a virtually pristine wilderness into what we have now in only 300 years, makes me wonder about the future of the planet.
One major pain in the butt is finding campgrounds in popular locations during the main tourist season especially for weekends or holidays on short notice. One way to avoid this situation is to set an itinerary for the places you "must do " for the year and make reservations months in advance and then you just simply work the rest of your travel around those dates. We are not that organized and I'm not yet sure I want to be, but it's sounding better all the time. This task is far easier now since we have downsized to a smaller rig that fits into far more places, but it is still a painful task. Our general plan from here is to follow the Washington coast counter clockwise around the Olympic National Park. This prompted us to take a day trip to the northern part of Olympic National Park (a popular tourist area) to check out a few potential camping sites for our next move.
|Klallam (The strong people) Indian tribe near Olympic National Park.|
They had a most impressive Deli/market and tribal complex
|Very artistic Totem poles are common here|
|Port Angeles welcome sign|
|Makes me want some Red Goose shoes|
|The "Kalakola" or "Flying Bird" ferry boat from the 1930's,|
this boat was saved and is currently under restoration
|A view from the shore of Dungeness Spit Recreation Area|
Lots more to see, stay tuned;Twinkles and Slick