A close-by Island awaits
This past week I lead a group of novice Rebels by Bus to Bainbridge Island. We met on a fall-like foggy morning at 7:45 at the Martin Way Park and Ride in Lacey. The 7:55 am Intercity Transit Bus 603 delivered us to the Highway 512 Park and Ride Lot in Lakewood. From there, we waited just a few minutes, and caught the Sound Transit bus 594 at 8:35, arriving at 4th and Jackson in Seattle at 9:45. From there, we headed west on Jackson Street, in front of the King (Tut:-0) Street Station. (Yes, there is an insertion of “Tut” after “King” on the station sign, and a HUGE statue of King Tut’s dog in front of the Station. A clever advertisement for the current King Tut exhibit at the Seattle Center.)
The group walked to 2nd and Jackson, and took a peek at the wonderful Klondike Historic National Park (and to use the restrooms). This museum is described in an earlier Rebels by Bus post; use the RBB search engine for details. From the Klondike, we continued our westward walk to Occidental, where we turned right (north) onto to red brick pedestrian walkway. The hanging baskets of flowers were still lovely, surprisingly so for being so late in the year. I pointed out the Waterfall Gardens to our right, the original home of Jim Casey’s United Parcel Service. We continued through Occidental Square, turning west again on Washington. Next we turned right (north) onto 1st Avenue to experience more of the Pioneer Square shops and restaurants ambiance. At the next block (Yesler) we took one last turn west to Alaskan Way South. We crossed Alaskan Way under the Viaduct, then walked north one block to the Washington State Ferry Terminal, at Pier 52. The passenger entrance to the ferry is on the second floor, which can be reached by elevator or ramp. You buy your ticket at the ticket booth, which is straight ahead from the top of the ramp. A round trip ticket for an adult passenger is $7.70. The ORCA card also can be used for the State Ferry system. (Gotta love that ORCA!)
We boarded the ferry at about 10:30, which left the dock at 10:40. The 35 minute crossing was calm; blue sky was starting to peak through the clouds and fog by the time we docked at 11:15. We departed the ferry from the same level we boarded, walking through an elaborate series of covered elevated walkways. Following the signs to “downtown”, we exited the covered area to a kiosk filled with visitor information. After loading up with interesting paperwork, we walked through the bus transit center for about 1 ½ blocks toward downtown Winslow. At the stop-lighted intersection of Winslow Way, we turned left onto Winslow Way and arrived in the shopping district within 100 feet.
At this point, the group started to scatter… some wanted to find the Waterfront trail(s), some started their shopping excursion, while most of us were hungry for lunch. Many of us ended up eating at Café Nola, at the corner of, just off Winslow Way. One couple enjoyed excellent clam chowder at the Harbour Public House, located at 233 Parfitt Way SW (www.harbourpub.com)
During lunch we noticed the blue sky was definitely prevailing. After lunch there was plenty of time to stroll, browse, shop, and simply enjoy the glorious early fall sunshine. I found a lovely small metal cut-out bird perched on an alder stump at Millstream, located just across Winslow from Café Nola. A fine addition to my bird collection. www.Millstreamseattle.com
Many of us seemed to gravitate to Mora’s ice cream (139 Madrone Lane) about 2:00. “Mora” is Spanish or Italian for blackberry, their (delicious) signature flavor. Their motto is “life deserves extraordinary”. And their ice creams, sorbet, and other derivatives live up to that slogan! It was hard choosing which one flavor to get… thank goodness we found out we could have TWO flavors in one scoop! www.moraicecream.com
At 2:20, we all met at the Winslow Mall, a covered area on Winslow Way surrounded by shops. A few of us dog people found the sweet B.I. Barkery, where I bought treats for my two four legged kids. From there, we strolled down Winslow Way to the Ferry Terminal. We waited in the lobby area for a short while before boarding the ferry about 2:45. The ferry departed right on time at 2:55. Many of us immediately headed upstairs to the sun deck, where we sat in the afternoon sun, thinking this may be the last of the year. It wasn’t too hot or too breezy; it was just right!
When we got off the ferry at 3:30, we reversed our walk to Occidental Square. From Occidental Square, we continued to walk south on Occidental to King Street. We turned left on King Street, then around a newly re-paved parking lot with the King Street train station on our left. We headed to the Sounder elevator and pedestrian overpass which led us up and over the Amtrak train tracks to the Sounder commuter train area. Everyone bought their Sounder train tickets at the kiosks on the train platform, and we boarded the train which departed at 4:20.
The Sounder train takes just one hour from Seattle to the Tacoma Dome Station. Starting October 8th, the train will go as far south as Lakewood. That will be a wonderful addition for us south-sounders. Thank you, Sound Transit!
We departed the Sounder train at the Tacoma Dome, walking through the Freighthouse Square/Sounder station foyer, and crossed the street to catch the Light Link. The next link came along within a few minutes, which took us to Pacific Avenue and the Union Station stop. We crossed Pacific Avenue, to the front of the University of Washington Tacoma Campus. Our Intercity Transit Bus 605 came along just as advertised… 4:35-ish.
Two of our group exited at the Highway 512 Park and Ride… goodbye to Suzanne and Barbara! We said so long to Sharon, who left us at the Lakewood Station. The rest of us (13 to be exact) exited at the Martin Way Park and Ride Lot.
We were all tired from our long day, but very satisfied with another grand adventure.
For specific details (when, where, how much…) of this trip so you can recreate it yourself, see the “Bainbridge Island directions” page, which is listed in the left hand column of the Rebels by Bus blogsite. As always, don’t forget to check the bus/train/ferry schedules before you take this trip. Schedules DO change seasonally.