Monday, October 07, 2013

Back to Bainbridge Island for the Last Day of Summer

My love affair with Bainbridge Island is well documented. I have been riding "the boat" back and forth from Seattle to Bainbridge since I was a kid and still today it is something that I feel compelled to do every now and again. It also doesn't hurt that the Bainbridge Island also offers some genuinely fun things to do, in addition to the great ride over.

October 6th marked the last day of summer. It was unseasonably warm, sunny, and the perfect day to take a trip to the island. It was in the 70s and sunny. Days like that are numbered as Halloween is just weeks away. Together with three friends, we decided to visit the Bloedel Reserve and a bite to eat at Hitchcock Delicatessen which is what I am going to share today. 

The trip from Seattle to Bainbridge Island is a quick 35 minute trip with views of the city and mountains from all sides. If it is sunny like this, I prefer to be on the port side towards the front where the wind keeps you cool while you soak in the sun and the view of Mt. Rainier.

It is another 20 minutes by car to get to the Bloedel Reserve on the northern end of the island. If you do not have a car, Bainbridge Island does have a "Frog Hopper" during the summer months that will take you there and Kitsap Transit does have a bus (#90) that will drop you off a mile from the gate. For ease and time, I would recommend having a car for your visit.

The turn off for the reserve is a little hard to see. It will be on the right and is the second to last right turn on the island (if you go over the bridge, just turn around and try again). Agatewood Road is what you are looking for (see directions here). Once you are there, the walk takes about 1.5 to 2 hours depending on how fast you move and what catches your eye.

 The main house may cause a "pride and prejudice" moment for visitors who enjoy that novel. The house and the entire estate belonged to Prentice Bloedel, who earned his fortune in the timber business. He retired in 1950 from the MacMillan Bloedel Timber Company and spent the next decades building the grounds. In 1974, the gardens were transformed into a reserve.

In addition to the house and the general natural areas, there is a Japanese garden, a moss garden, a reflection pool, several ponds, and large meadow. Right now, the fall is starting to bring color to the trees, which turned out to be especially beautiful on this late summer day.

Next time on Food Friday: Hitchcock's fantastic sandwiches!

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