Slippery Pig Brewery: Poulsbo

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.

Watching Artists at Work

Watching paint dry isn’t how to spend a weekend. Watching artists at work, on the other hand, is. They do the waiting while you admire their technique, the subject matter and the fact that Kitsap County has so many talented painters who work en plein air (French for outside). On May 12th you have an opportunity to see them at work at Poulsbo’s waterfront park as they vie for cash prizes in a timed event called Paint Out Poulsbo. In mid-August you can see them at work in Winslow on Bainbridge Island. Check out the details in my latest article published in West Sound Home and Garden.

Not Norwegian? Sons of Norway Still Wants You

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For 25 years I’d walked or driven past Poulsbo’s downtown Sons of Norway Hall always assuming membership required a Norwegian pedigree. I grew up in small town Hettinger, North Dakota – the great granddaughter of German/English immigrants living on a street of Norwegian families. As fellow blogger and Hettingerite,  Jim Fuglie, describes the demographics:  We grew up in Hettinger, North Dakota, where the Germans were Catholic and the Norwegians were Lutheran. For the most part. Catholics were named Schmidt and Nagel and Slater and Seifert and Schmaltz. Lutherans were named Braaten and Strand and Nordahl and Lundahl and Austad. While the German and Norwegian parents played pinochle in each other’s homes and their children mingled at school, the institutions that celebrated their respective heritages required heritage.

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Though never stepping inside the Sons of Norway doors, I’d regularly participated in  their public community events – the all day Julefest which includes the arrival of the Lucia Bride at the waterfront park in December; Viking Days which celebrates Norway’s independence and Midsommer Fest, the raising of the maypole ceremony at waterfront park in May. In fact, the Sons of Norway sponsor a variety of monthly events open to the public including concerts, pancake breakfasts and dance workshops.

This summer I joined the lodge’s president for their weekly Wednesday Kaffe Stua, a buffet lunch also open to the public. Imagine my surprise when over my open face salmon sandwich he informed me that one doesn’t need an ounce of Norwegian blood to join. So join I did. Primarily because a membership allows me to stay at Trollhaugen, the lodge’s rustic mountain lodge on the eastern side of Snoqualmie Pass where I can snowshoe, cross country ski and read by the fireplace.

This past Saturday was the Sons of Norway’s annual Julefest and for the first time I took in the day’s activities as a newly minted member of the Sons of Norway. I wandered into the lodge for the all day brunch and craft bazaar where I watched the children’s dance group; strolled past tables of decorative folk art called rosemaling (classes available at the lodge), the wool and straw Christmas ornaments and hand carved wooden kitchen utensils and sampled lefse which brought back olfactory memories of the Hettinger bakery and its Christmas lefse.  The day was mild enough that out on Poulsbo’s main street, there were people in their lusekofte – the distinctively patterned Norwegian wool sweaters and I heard entire Norwegian conversations in the Nordic Maid – Poulsbo’s store for all things Scandinavian.

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Every year as darkness falls the Julefest celebration moves to the waterfront for the coming of the Lucia Bride, a Scandinavian tradition. Escorted by Vikings she lights the Jule log that begins the bonfire and turns on the waterfront Christmas tree lights. Stories are told. Songs are song. The crowd of residents and visitors become part of a tradition that came to our town on the bay with the early Norwegian and Swedish immigrants.

While the holiday season began in the malls right after Halloween, for me – the faux Norwegian great granddaughter of German and English immigrants, Julefest signals the real beginning of the holiday season.

Poulsbo’s Fish Park Sans Fish

Four days of downpour. Its the season of the return of the salmon and while I’m weary of the deluge, the salmon are not. Rain helps their journey. It fills the streams, cleans them of chemicals and makes the water colder, all preferred travel conditions for their annual fall migration home.

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Poulsbo’s aptly named Fish Park can provide prime viewing of the salmon return. But this year, though I’ve walked its trails peering into Dogfish Creek twice after a rainstorm , I haven’t seen  a single salmon. Nada. In part that’s because this 40 acre urban park surrounding an estuary is evolving into prime wildlife and salmon habitat as was the park’s plan. I’m a visitor but the park is home to the returning salmon. Much like I don’t get to peer into closets when I drop by a friend’s for coffee, the growth of native trees and plants planted along Dogfish Creek since the park was created, shelters the fish from prying eyes. That’s why the park’s viewing platforms.

The Fish Park project began in 2002; a cooperative venture between the City of Poulsbo, the Suquamish Tribe, the Great Peninsula Conservancy, the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and family trusts who donated the property. The trails, bridges, viewpoints, sculptures are all the work of volunteer groups and individuals.

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Each time I visit the park I find a new interpretive sign providing both historical and scientific information.

Since October, 2014 Western Washington University’s Huxley College of the Environment in Poulsbo has used Fish Park as a lab, monitoring the data and the new plants. The Poulsbo Fish Park Citizens Steering Committee works diligently on future planning, fundraising for more land acquisition and volunteer recruitment.

Poulsbo’s International Boutique Grocery Store

When Seattle transplants Andrea and Jonathon Rowe opened the tiny Marina Market on the pier in Poulsbo in 1998, they didn’t imagine that 18 years later they’d be running a popular, international, boutique grocery store selling everything from exotic craft beers to Dutch clogs and French sardines…..

Check out the rest of my article in WestSound Home and Garden Magazine!

98370 vs 98366 Factoids

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I’ve lived in two zip codes in Kitsap County during my 36 year tenure here – Poulsbo’s 98370 whose demographics I profiled in my previous blog post and 98366 in Port Orchard. How do the two waterfront communities compare? They look oddly similar when viewed from their respective city marinas with a dominating steeple in the background.

Using the same website that provides aggregate data from the 2010 Census, The United States Postal Service, FedEx, UPS, Google and Yahoo…….

PORT ORCHARD IS YOUNGER: Port Orchard’s median age is 38 compared to Poulsbo’s median age of 43.

PORT ORCHARD IS EQUALLY POPULATED BY MEN AND WOMEN. The genders are each 50% of the population while Poulsbo has a slightly higher ratio of women.

TWICE AS MANY PEOPLE WORK FROM HOME IN POULSBO: Poulsbo 7%, Port Orchard 3.8%

PORT ORCHARD SENDS MORE CHILDREN TO PUBLIC SCHOOL THAN POULSBO – 83% in Port Orchard vs 77% in Poulsbo.

POULSBO HAS A HIGHER MEDIAN INCOME: $71,410 in Poulsbo vs $56,549 in Port Orchard.

This website provides these additional 98366 facts:

  1. 98366 is located at the same latitude at Vienna, Austria
  2. 299 of you ride your bikes or walk to work regularly.

 

 

 

 

Facts About My 98370 Zip Code

 

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I needed that extra four digit number I never use as part of the Poulsbo zip code and so I asked The Google and, in return, got the US Zip Code website.

The site began with this introduction: The people living in ZIP code 98370 are primarily white. The number of middle aged adults is extremely large while the number of people in their late 20s to early 40s is large. There are also a slightly less than average number of single parents and a slightly higher than average number of families. The percentage of children under 18 living in the 98370 ZIP code is slightly higher than average compared to other areas of the country.

The website is filled with 98370 data from a variety of sources including the last U.S. Census, the U.S. Postal Service, FedEx, UPS, Google and Yahoo all illustrated in a variety of colorful charts. Among the many facts about 98370 were these:

  • The median resident age is 43 years old
  • 55% head of households are single
  • 69% of households have no children living at home (pay attention school district!)
  • Most houses were built in the 1990’s or 2000’s
  • 18% of the households are owned free and clear while 53% are carrying a mortgage
  • Residents use public transportation more than most areas of the nation, but 82% still use a private vehicle to get to work
  • 7% of the population works from home
  • 44% of the population has a college degree
  • 77% of school age children are enrolled in public schools, 14% in private school and 9% in no school (I don’t know how that’s possible with a mandatory school attendance law)
  • 29% of households receive a retirement income, most of it from pensions and annuities

I wondered if other websites of community/zip code descriptors had the same data and so I checked this one which began with the description: 98370 is an upscale suburban zip code in Poulsbo, Washington (Compared to what? I wondered).

It points out our gender wage inequality: Men in 98370 earn an average of $42,555/year. Women earn only $24,792/year. 

Analyzes our commute time: You might be interested to know that the average commute time to work for people living in 98370 is 33.3 minutes!

And provides an interesting factoid: 98370 Zip code is located in the Pacific time zone at 48 degrees latitude (Fun Fact: this is the same latitude as Munich, Germany!)

Poulsbo Oktoberfest Beer Run

 

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I’m jet lagged from my recent trip to Belarus but still, I was certain my foggy brain was not hallucinating on my AM stroll today to the Farmers Market. There seemed to be a lot of German kleidung on the streets of Norwegian Poulsbo this morning. Women (and a few men) in dirndl dresses. Men (and a few women) in lederhosen. Some Vikings in fur tunics. Lots of blue and green Seahawks gear. And everyone was running…..or at least loping…..at the very least walking with purpose. It turns out it was all for beer and the local food bank.

Poulsbo’s growing brewpub scene has been sponsoring The Poulsbo Beer Run since 2013. It began as a March St Patrick’s Day celebration – a 4.87 miles run in your best St. Paddys green attire through the streets of Poulsbo stopping at four brewpubs/bars downing a beer at each. In 2014 the sponsors held a run for breast cancer with runners and brewpub staff dressed in pink.

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This year the run is kicking off Oktoberfest. There are five stops including the new Rainy Daze Brewpub which took over the old facility of Sound Brewery who moved into a nearby former school building. See my blog post about the move here. Envy Bar and Grill is pouring Silverdale’s Silver City beers. Stops from the previous runs also include Slippery Pig Brewery and Valholl Brewing.

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The run includes a food drive for Poulsbo’s Fishline foodbank. It began at 8:55 am. Five stops. Five 10 ounce beer pours. Lots of  suspenders and knee socks, a few participants who apparently didn’t read the rules about Oktoberfest beer gear, a lot of surprised Farmers Market shoppers and a beautiful autumn day. Let Oktoberfest begin! Probst everyone!

Paint Out Winslow & Poulsbo

French painter Claude Monet was an accomplished early proponent. So was his French compatriot August Renoir. Because it was French painters who took the act of formal painting out of stuffy French drawing rooms and studios and into the great outdoors, the art of painting in the open air is called plein air – French for outside.

Painting in the open air became more popular in the mid 1800’s with the invention of transportable paints in tubes and small folding easels. Up until then painters made their own paints using ground color mixtures and linseed oil.

Plein air is enjoying another revival with a hip new moniker – Paint Out and the support of Kitsap north end arts organizations. Bainbridge Island and Poulsbo sponsor Paint Out events to encourage anyone, from professional artist to hopeful beginner to go outside and paint subjects in their community.

At Paint Out events artists must begin and end at a designated time using any paint medium they choose to create a work of art about a subject in their community. And they have to paint rain or shine.

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The annual Paint Out Winslow, sponsored by Bainbridge Arts and Crafts is happening this coming weekend, August 13th and 14th in downtown Winslow. Artists will have only 27.5 hours to complete a work of art, beginning at 10 AM on Saturday. The painting must be finished by 1:30 PM on Sunday and delivered to Bainbridge Arts and Crafts for judging with an awards ceremony following at 3:30 PM.

On Saturday and Sunday morning, the public is encouraged to wander, watch the artists at work and, if interested, buy directly from them. Last year’s Paint Out event included paintings done at the marina, Winslow Green, Waterfront Park and along Winslow Way. This year artists are encouraged to consider the coffee shops and restaurants along Parfitt Way, the ferry terminal and museums as subjects.

Interested artists can still sign up and pay the $40 registration fee at the Bainbridge Arts and Crafts website or by calling 206-842-3132.

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Poulsbo’s successful inaugural event, Paint Out Poulsbo was held in May. Sponsored by the Peninsula Music and Arts Society, Artists Edge art store in Poulsbo and Northwest College of Art and Design, the event was a combination of timed painting celebrated with music during the all-day May 6th judging at Northwest College of Art and Design.

Poulsbo’s organizers gave artists 96 hours to complete their painting and, because it was co-sponsored by a local art school, the judging included a student category ranging from age 5 to college age.

As guests wandered the exhibit music and dance was provided by the Farragut Brass Band and A’eko Hawaiian musical group. Dates have yet to be set for the 2017 Paint Out Poulsbo but organizers were enthused about the turnout for the first Paint Out and are promising an annual event.

Whether you consider yourself an artist or an appreciator of the arts, watching painters at work is a treat. Catch them in Winslow this weekend. They generally like to chat about their work, but remember, they’re on the clock to get their painting finished.

 

A Beautiful Day for the Tribal Canoe Journey

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It was a beautiful day for a canoe journey. Standing on the long pier at Suquamish, you could see them as they rounded the point at Jefferson Beach, paddles glistening as they pulled in a rhythmic motion -tiny canoes against the skyline of Seattle and Mt Rainier. Throughout the day on Monday seventy tribal canoes landed on the shores of Suquamish for a two day layover as they make their way to Olympia, the final stop of this year’s Tribal Canoe Journey.

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We’re lucky in Kitsap County – we have two tribal nations who both annually play host to the canoes. It’s about 26 nautical miles between the landing at Suquamish and the previous day’s resting stop hosted by the Port Gamble S’Klallam Tribe. In prior years the tired pullers would land on the Suquamish shore and, with a handful of volunteers, hoist their heavy, wooden dugout canoes on their shoulders to walk up the ramp to the lawn in front of the House of Awakened Culture. This year, a group of Navy men and women stationed in Kitsap County volunteered to carry the canoes.

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It was an inspiring sight to watch each canoe stop before landing to ask and be granted permission to come ashore (often in their tribal language) from Suquamish Tribal Chairman Leonard Forsman. Yellow-shirted Navy volunteers then waded into the water, lifted each canoe and carried it uphill passing by the flagpole with the waving flags of the United States and the Suquamish Tribe to the applause of watching spectators. The symbolism of that cooperative effort was heartwarming – the original first peoples of Kitsap County sharing their culture and tradition, getting assistance from young Navy men and women, most just passing through on a tour of duty, to the applause of a crowd of Native and non-Native spectators, all under the flags of two sovereign nations.

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Over the next two days there were evening salmon and clambake meals served by Suquamish tribal members and community volunteers followed by tribal singing, drumming and dancing by the visiting tribes – a tradition that allows the visiting tribes to thank the host tribe for it’s hospitality.

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I went back on the second day to sketch the canoes, every one a work of art sitting on the grounds around the House of Awakened Culture. Each is a dug-out canoe made of trees that are found on each tribe’s land. The style varies by tribe though all have to be seaworthy enough to withstand the open water canoeing of the Salish Sea and Puget Sound. Some are painted, some bear tribal flags and wreathes of cedar branches. Some canoes have made the journey more than once and others are first-timers. The new Makah canoe was carved by students at Neah Bay High School.

It amazes me, the number of local residents I know who’ve never attended the Canoe Journey ceremonies hosted by the Suquamish or Port Gamble S’Klallam Tribes because they think they’re not open to the public. They are. You can watch and photograph the canoe arrival and departures, attend the evening dancing and drumming ceremonies and even volunteer to serve food and clean up. The tribes ask that you’re respectful and that you don’t bring or consume alcohol or drugs as the Canoe Journey is a tradition that promotes health and healing for the pullers and the tribes.