An Island Adventure

29 Jul

On Saturday, we decided to explore some of the surrounding countryside.  We got up, grabbed a quick breakfast at Starbucks (where else when you’re in Seattle?) and headed down to the waterfront to catch the ferry over to Bainbridge Island.  The ride across Elliott Bay took about 35 minutes, and the cost was a bargain at about $7.00 for the round trip fare.  There are a number of ferries that criss-cross the waters of Elliott Bay, Pugent Sound, and points beyond, because there are 292 islands in the area, with Bainbridge being the largest.  So as you can imagine, there are always ferries coming and going.   The ferry we rode was huge.  I don’t think you can tell just how big it was from the pictures.  It carried automobiles, bikes, and motorcycles as well as pedestrians.  The trip was extremely smooth and scenic.  Once we arrived at Bainbridge Island, they allowed those on bicycles to exit first, then the cars and the pedestrians.

Pulling away from Seattle

Once we were out into the bay, the wind picked up and since it was about 58 degrees, we sat inside for part of the trip

Bikes were allowed to exit first, then cars.

Once we docked at Bainbridge Island, we headed up the hill to the downtown area. The walk was beautiful.  A wooded trail took us through wild blackberries, (which don’t ripen until August here) and clusters of plants that we thought might be blueberries.  Once we got into town, I asked the first person I thought might know if the plants we saw were blueberries.  We found a group of three ladies that were master gardeners manning a booth at the farmers market.  I described to them what I’d seen walking into town and they said that the plant was called Salal. They pulled out a book and showed me a picture of it.   This particular plant grows wild all over the island and though they are edible, they are not blueberries.  She said they are still tart at this time of the year, but in October,when they are fully ripe, then they are very tasty.

Along the walk into town

Bainbridge is a cute little town with a main street lined with little shops and restaurants.  We stopped in at the visitor information center and talked to a very helpful volunteer who gave us a map of the walking paths on the island.  We decided to explore the shops and the farmer’s market first.  The business district was an easy walk from end to end and only took about ten minutes to see it all.  We really liked the farmer’s market.  The weather must be just about perfect here for growing because I’d never seen such beautiful vegetables and flowers.  We bought some cookies for later and enjoyed mingling among the locals and seeing all the beautiful produce.

I had to take a picture of this tree because it was so unusual. I guess alot of folks think the same thing, because it had a tag hanging off of a lower branch telling about it. I’m thinking its owners grew tired of answering the same question over and over. It is called a monkey puzzle tree and is native to the Andes Mountains. Needless to say, it’s the only one in the area.

Bainbridge Island Community Church

We thoroughly enjoyed the farmers market.  One of the surprising things that we’ve noticed while in this area, is that there are no flies!  We’ve eaten outdoors for lunch every day since we’ve been here, and have not been bothered by any kind of bug.  There were no bugs at the farmer’s market.  They were able to put their breads, cookies, etc. in baskets out in the open and leave them uncovered.  It was much different than at home!

When we were through there, we walked down to the waterfront where the trail began.  Part of the trail took us along the shoreline, through beautiful neighborhood areas with little seaside cottages, through parks and past historic buildings.  I probably took close to one hundred pictures or more.  It was just beautiful!  I’ve included just a sampling of pictures below.

Madrone tree. There are lots of these on the island.

Steps up to the mailbox from a downhill front yard

This portion of the trail went right through these front yards. The bay is to the left, with homes to the right. It was gorgeous here!

I’m the keeper of the map!

Jimmy is the keeper of the cookies!

This hike was about 2 miles in length, and it ended back in town where we started.  By then it was noon, so we decided to eat lunch then walk the other path we wanted to explore.  We found a place right on the main street through town called the Streamliner Diner.  We noticed it had a good crowd when we came into town and a line of people waiting to be seated.  We weren’t sure if we could get seated or not since it was right at the busy time for lunch, but there was no wait and we were able to sit outside at the corner table.  The food was delicious!  Jimmy ordered the BLTA (bacon, lettuce, tomato, avocado) with hashbrowns (apparently one of their signature sides) and a cup of chili.  (It was still in the low 60’s)  I ordered a spinach salad that was topped with carmelized bacon (one of the best ways I’ve ever eaten bacon!) toasted walnuts, apples, etc.  It was really good!

After we ate, we hiked the other trail that went in the opposite direction from the town center.  This trail took us through a marsh and back out to the waterfront.  It was about a mile and a half in length.

Through the marsh. Wide boards had been laid down since it was mud and water on both sides.

An old boat, left on the shore years ago.

We followed the trail back to where it started at the ferry station, bought a cup of coffee and ate our cookies as we waited for the ferry to arrive.  We thoroughly enjoyed our visit to Bainbridge Island!

Coffee and cookie break before boarding the ferry back to Seattle

Once we arrived back in Seattle, we caught a bus to a waterfront park where the Seattle Art Museum has a sculpture garden.  We walked through the sculptures and took some more pictures.

We ended this very full day with dinner at Wild Ginger, a restaurant that has excellent Asian food.  We were so tired at the end of the day.  We estimated that we probably walked 12 miles or so, and when we got up from dinner, we had stiffened up and looked like a couple of old folks hobbling out of the restaurant, but it was fun and we had a very enjoyable day.

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2 Responses to “An Island Adventure”

  1. Jim Grayson July 31, 2012 at 8:55 am #

    Beautiful, BEAUTIFUL photography. I’m so happy you have a GOOD camera. Thanks for sharing with us, Deb!
    Love to you all,
    Jim

    • Deb July 31, 2012 at 11:16 pm #

      Thanks Jim,
      Thanks for all the sweet comments! Glad you are following us on our adventure!
      Love you guys!

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