Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Vashon Island and Charlies Great Escape!

For the long weekend, we decided to venture outside of B-Town and take the ferry across to Vashon Island. The island is directly across the Puget Sound from us at Three Tree Point, in the center of the sound. It is attached by a narrow isthmus to Maury Island on the southern side.

 Our plan was to circle the islands from the ferry dock on the northern end of the island, down the western side and up the eastern side through the town of Vashon. Then back to the ferry for the trip home. It turned out to be a great day of adventure and scenery. Vashon Island is beautiful and idyllic, with a quaint little town that seems to be out of the past. The island is 13 miles long by 8 miles at the widest point.Today, Vashon-Maury island has a population of around 11,000 residents. The town area has a main street with quaint shops, galleries and restaurants. You can find bed and breakfasts, cottages and other hideaways throughout the island. From various locations around the island there are breathtaking views of the Puget sound, and neighboring islands and peninsulas. You can walk on the beaches and explore a multitude of marine life and habitats.

The western side of the island was much more rural. Very wooded and peaceful. Winding country roads slicing through the forest. It was a gray and mostly overcast day so it made the woods seem very surreal.

Quite a few little farms and pretty meadows along the way.

About two thirds of the way down the west side, we found a great little 5 acre shoreline park, Lisabuela Park.
It was completely deserted, so we decided that it would be a good place to try Charlie off  his leash on the beach.  Not the best idea we have ever come up with. You see, Charlie is a runner and his favorite thing in the whole world is to run away. Which he did. So after chasing him down the beach for a mile or so, we turned around and headed back to the park. Figuring to get a call from the pound at some point to come and retrieve him.  A few minutes later, I saw him turn around and start to follow us in the distance.  No amount of treats would coax him closer. He did stop and eat a crab though.  He then took a turn and headed into the woods. When we got back to the park and the car, he was waiting by the door to get in. Phew! He had a great adventure for an hour or so!

Completely Deserted, and on a holiday weekend!

Off we start on the catch the dog trek!

There he is around the other side and still moving!

Pretty Geese enjoying the solitude.

So after we got the mutt all secured in the car it was time to continue our journey around the island.
Heading southward

Quaint villages along the road

The Town of Burton on the south side of the island, this crossroad is pretty much the whole thing.

Quartermaster Harbor is a bay between the 2 islands

The next stop on our tour is the Point Robinson Lighthouse and Park. A 10.0 acre shoreline park and historical and marine conservancy located on the east shore of Maury Island off Point Robinson Road overlooking East Passage. The site has provided fog and lighthouse service for vessels since 1885. The lighthouse has been fully automated since 1978. The Park District owns the upland part of the park; the remainder is on long term lease from the Coast Guard. It boasts one of the largest sandy beaches in the area.


The spit of land directly across the way and sticking out into the water is Three Tree Point, where we live.

All of the beaches here are full of driftwood and it is illegal to remove it.

So glad to see the wildflowers blooming!

These are the keepers quarters. They are now used as vacation rentals by the park service. It helps to pay for the up keep of the park and would be an awesome place to vacation. Right on the beach.

Front porch of the main keepers house. There are two homes here, main keeper and assistant keeper.

Charlie sniffing around, on his leash this time.

Well on the road again, this time heading north.
Next stop, the town of Vashon. The largest village on the island. The whole island only has about 10,000 people, so it is a small very quaint town, with a downtown area of about 2 blocks. It really reminded me of somewhere out of the fifties.

Some of the most notable Vashon Island residents include, Berlkley Breathed cartoonist of Bloom County fame, Alex Borstein of Mad TV and the voice of Lois Griffin on Family Guy, John Ratzenberger tv's Cliff Clavin, Rob Hotchkiss of Train, Steve Berlin of Los Lobos, J.Tillman from the band Fleet Foxes and many authors, artists and musicains call Vashon Island home. There are not any fancy hotels or resorts on the island. Lodging consists of numerous bed and breakfast and guest houses. The perfect weekend getaway from the bright lights of Seattle.
Well our tour has come to an end and it's time to head back to the Ferry Terminal! I hate leaving this tranquil little island and returning to the real world, but alas we must! Til the next adventure!

North shore of Vashon

Looking at Three Tree Point from the northside, from the Ferry

Fauntleroy Ferry terminal in West Seattle

We're back in B-Town!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

A Day at the Races

I had my first Sunday off in quite some time this past weekend. It was great to actually make some plans that included Roger. What we decided to do, was go to Emerald Downs. Emerald Downs the the local thoroughbred racing track for the Seattle area, owned by the Muckleshoot Indian Tribe (my employer). It wasn't the prettiest day, overcast and drizzly for the most part. We did have clubhouse seats indoors though. Its a great little track with nice facilities
This was my horse, #6. He came in dead last!

Headed for the finish line, notice that #6 is not to be found

It is always thrilling to see the horses come around the last turn and race for the finish line. Unfortunately, in the first five races, my horses all came in last. That should pay off something. It takes great skill and insight to pick the last place horse in every race. I used all of my winning criteria to pick horses. Long eyelashes, pretty color, attitude and perkiness, soulful eyes. I don't know what happened. Roger did a bit better than I did and won three or four races.  I don't understand why he would win using information like: jockey and trainer records, the horses record in various length races, track conditions, etc.
Checking the racing form

All in all it was a great day.

In other news, the weather still sucks. We have had a couple days of sunshine, but they are few and far between. Did you know that Washington is the biggest seller of sunglasses? It is so rare to need them here that everyone forgets where they put the last pair and needs to buy a new pair every time  the sun shines.  It's true!  According to my neighbor, who has lived here all of her life, this is the worst spring she has ever seen. The coldest, wettest and grayest. We hit 70 degrees once, last Friday. On the morning news it was the top story. The traffic girl was warning of sun glare. The weather guy had expanded time to talk about the glorious day ahead. At least 60% of the broadcast was devoted to the weather. It would be hilarious if it were a satire and not real life in Seattle. But summer is around the corner still and we are hopeful for warm and dry days yet.