To row single-handedly from Poulsbo on the Kitsap Peninsula in Washington State to Seattle in a small rowboat requires propelling some 16 nautical miles through a major transportation waterway teeming with ferries, Alaskan- bound cruise ships, container vessels and recreational boaters. It also demands navigation of the Ballard Locks, two gates that connect fresh and salt water and even out the 20- foot difference in elevation between them.
It had long been the goal of Dave Lambert, Poulsbo’s kilt-wearing brewmaster and owner of the Slippery Pig Brewery, to deliver a keg of beer “the old-fashioned way.” His Norwegian ancestors had settled in the Poulsbo area in 1882, five generations before when the family’s human-powered boats plied the waterway between the frontier of the forested peninsula and growing city of Seattle to sell eggs. Inspired by their perseverance, it took Lambert seven hours to make the solo trip in a fiberglass rowboat named the Watery Tart and, of course, he rowed clad in his kilt. To read more click here.
Bremerton’s La Fermata Restaurant is more than a dining locale. In existence for eighteen years, it’s now an institution in the Manette neighborhood keeping an eye on the area’s evolving and newly upscale business community while serving classic and nouveau Italian cuisine. Read about it here.
The inspiration for a singer-songwriter concert series in a countrified Kingston barn began with a wedding. When Poulsbo’s Chuck and Stacie Power decided to get married, they knew they wanted a local, rustic setting. Conveniently, Chuck Power’s cycling buddy, Mark Schorn, and Schorn’s wife, Lynn, had a barn on their Kingston property and enthusiastically agreed to play hosts. WSHG.NET | Concerts at the Barn Create Community around Music | Featured, Food & Entertainment | October 9, 2017 | WestSound Home & Garden
Around Belfair it’s still called Hippie Hill Community. It was some old friends and the price of the land that drew glass artist, Randy Calm and his wife, Cathy from Chicago to Hippie Hill nearly 47 years ago. Then, there were thirteen homesteading families, no electricity and the couple lived in a teepee while hand building their house with some help from their neighbors. “I don’t think anybody knew what they were doing then”, laughed Calm, “but the house is still standing.” To make a living the couple worked at the now defunct Werberger Winery near Grapeview where they ran the tasting room, worked in the vineyard and learned about winemaking.
They’ve come a long way since those days. Not only is their house still standing but their property is also the home of Phoenix Design South, Calm’s hand built studio where he turns out custom designed residential and commercial etched glass. Read more about glass artist Randy Calm in my WestSound Home and Garden article here.
The dog days of summer are unusually doggy here in ExplorationKitsap land. We normally enjoy temperate daylight weather to do our thing, but with successive days of 90 degree plus temperatures and hazy skies from the fires in Canada, I’m reversing my active time of day. This morning I went for a power walk, shopped for groceries, watered and dead-headed my outdoor plants and baked up some barbecued chicken, all before 8 AM to take advantage of cooler weather. Last night I sipped a glass of my favorite local wine in the dark on my deck for the same reason.
Fusion is a white blend made by Rolling Bay Winery, a Bainbridge Island establishment with a river rock tasting room resembling a Hobbit house. Fusion is my favorite wine to drink while listening to live outdoor music on the tasting room patio; my favorite wine to drink in the dark on my deck and my favorite wine in which to drop frozen peach slices. Shhh. Don’t tell Alphonse de Klerk, Fusion’s affable Dutch maker that I do that. Though really….it’s the perfect dog days of summer libation. It might also be best not to mention that I drink my peach infused Fusion in a copper Moscow Mule mug because if it’s good enough for vodka and ginger beer, it’s perfect for a lovely white table wine.
Rolling Bay Winery has a schedule of tastings accompanied by live music throughout the summer at its Hobbit house location and exciting plans to open a second larger tasting room and production facility a few miles away. Check them out. No Moscow Mule Mugs. No frozen peaches. Just a great selection of award-winning whites, reds and a rose served properly in a wine glass, sipped on a sunny patio/lawn to live music. What better way to while away summer’s dog days?
The hype is on for the upcoming August 21st Great American Solar Eclipse. It seems everyone is heading to Oregon to catch the sun’s mid- morning, nearly three-minute total blackout. Oregon wineries are sponsoring eclipse parties, Salem’s minor league baseball team is hosting an A.M. game with an eclipse break and hotels/campgrounds/vacation rentals have been sold out for months at exorbitant prices. If your interest in the celestial skies is greater than an expensive trip south to stand in the dark for a few minutes, there are plenty of opportunities in our own community to learn about astronomy. Read about them here in my latest article in WestSound Home and Garden magazine.
Who knew downtown Bremerton was filled with so many architectural gems back in the day? Many of them became victims of new construction or remain standing but not in the full glory of their past lives. But six of them – all Art Deco buildings designed by Seattle architects are still standing as vital contributors to the downtown cultural scene. Check out my article here and then get yourself to the epicenter of Bremerton and check them out for yourselves.