Friday, December 19, 2014

The Bloedel Reserve

Hopped onto a ferry to Bainbridge Island in Kitsap County. Head downtown to Pier 52 and one could just walk on to the ferry or drive/cycle/bike onto the ferry. Unfortunately we didn't drive, so we couldn't do any major exploration to Fort Ward Park or Fay Bainbridge State Park. The island has zero public transportation available, so please arrange your own. The parks all have campsites with restrooms and fresh water. It would be nice to come back here in an RV for the weekend.

The murder on San Piedro Island in Puget Sound from David Guterson's 'Snow Falling on Cedars' is based on actual events that happened on Bainbridge Island. During World War II, under President Roosevelt's order, Bainbridge Island Japanese-American families were among the first of 120,000 to be sent to internment camps during World War II. 227 mostly American men, women and children from Bainbridge spent four years in an Idaho camp. Now, most families living on the island produce berries. Loads of lovely berries. I would like to come here in spring or summer to walk its Fairy Dell Trail.

We're not prepped for any serious trail walking. Took an easy stroll within The Bloedel Reserve. 150 acres are more than enough for us to explore before sunset. There're little trails in the woods, a Japanese garden and a reflection pool, and of course Prentice Bloedel's (of MacMillan Bloedel Timber Company) former residence from 1951 to 1986. The Reserve is a labor of Bloedel's love for landscaping and architecture.

As luck would have it, on the day we went, it poured. At least it was 12°C, not -2°C. The winds were fierce. No problem. We were in weather-resistant clothing, bags and shoes. Tech gadgets went into waterproof pouches and securely fastened within another waterproof large pouch. It meant we couldn't walk with phones or cameras in hand. No worries. As it is, I whip out the camera and the phone too often. Instead, we walked faster with our eyes to the horizon, taking in the scenery, and committed every sight to memory.

A convenient 35-minute ferry ride to downtown Seattle, Bainbridge Island has only approximately 25,000 residents. I guess internet works great. Our cellphones had top-notch data speeds. Saw much green, and felt the slower pace of life on the island. There's nothing much going on and that's precisely what's lovely about it.

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