Warmer spring temps + sun + wind = fun at Seattle's Golden Gardens. Usually I see kiteboarding going on up north at Richmond Beach, but its popularity must be heading south!
~Paul & Amber ETC
Spending a lot of time paddling the Northwest's waters has given me a renewed appreciation of the Puget Sound's native tribes. I was getting ready to launch the other day when someone mentioned the new Suquamish Museum. We sail Suquamish/Port Madison waters regularly and drive through the community every time we take the Bainbridge ferry to Kitsap and continue to the Olympic peninsula. With the ferry ride, Suquamish is about an hour from downtown Seattle. It also happens to be the location of Chief Sealth's (Chief Seattle) gravesite.
The new $7.5 million, 9,000 square foot Suquamish museum is a tribute to the Suquamish tribe and culture. It's a snapshot of the tribe and details the past & present, and looks to the future of the Suquamish Nation. Artifacts are beautiful & nicely laid out. Admission prices are low and there's a quaint gift shop. There is a little room for more artifacts and I'm sure future exhibits will fill the space. They have one permanent gallery and one that periodically rotates.
What makes the stop even cooler is a visit nearby to Chief Sealth's grave. Sealth (the city of Seattle was named after him) was a Suquamish chief who led negotiations (or whatever you want to call them) with the white settlers in the 18oos. There were some interesting power plays going on among local tribes around this time, made way more complicated with arrival of the white-folk to this area. It's an interesting and sometimes controversial history that's worth a read. Anyway, the gravesite is beautiful & powerful and just a short walk from the museum parking lot.
The big question for a lot of our Seattle readers - is the Suquamish Museum & the Chief Sealth gravesite worth the ferry trip over from Seattle? I mean, can you make a day of it? Not quite. The museum is great and I highly recommend it but it could use a little more exhibit space. It might help if there was a special event happening at/near the museum. The museum website talks about future workshops, storytellers, and other events held on the grounds or in their sweet 50-seat auditorium - that would really add some content and complete the experience. Also, it would be great if their were more hands-on artifacts/exhibits for kids (there's not much at all).
Already on the Kitsap Peninsula with an hour to kill? Need a break from the casino?Haven't seen Chief Sealth's gravesite or the museum yet? Definitely worth a visit. Check out the museum and tribe websites below for more info and upcoming events.
~Paul & Amber ETC
The Suquamish Museum
The Suquamish Tribe
In an effort to explore more of the South Sound, we recently took an afternoon to walk around the small town of Ruston, Washington. Pretty much indistinguishable from Tacoma, this little town is close to Point Defiance (we recently visited here too), and sits on Commencement Bay.
There's a few great businesses here to check out - we always like stopping by the Jungle Fever Exotics. Unfortunately our garden dreams are on hold (besides our boat farming operation!), but it's still fun to walk the grounds. We grabbed a snack and coffee next-door at the Antique Sandwich Co.
We browsed Ruston Galleries & Antiques, walked a few blocks and peeked into Don's Ruston Market & Deli, and luckily I saved a little room for a Tatanka burger at Tatanka Take-Out! As you can see, the town has a little mural thing going on (I'm a sucker for murals…especially crazy jungle ones).
Ruston has an interesting history - it began as a company town for the employees of W.R. Rust in 1890. He established the Tacoma Smelting and Refining Company (I mean, with a name like Mr. Rust…why not?). Later, ASARCO took over smelting operations down by the waterfront. The company polluted the heck out of the area while under operation (it turns out that ASARCO is kinda known for that). A massive Superfund cleanup has been ongoing at the site for years. The transformation is pretty much complete, now it's condo time. The area has been renamed Point Ruston and condo and housing development is underway.
If you do hit up Ruston for an afternoon, make sure to drive down by the water on scenic Ruston Way. There's still traces of Ruston's past combined with new construction paving the way for the future. There's a great waterfront restaurant down the road a bit called Harbor Lights. It's been here serving up seafood for over 50 years! You could definitely spend a sunny afternoon on the waterfront alone walking, kayaking, skateboarding, sightseeing, and more.
~Paul & Amber ETC
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