May Camping: Kitsap Memorial State Park

We camped here last May and decided on it again for this trip. Friday after work B and I hopped the Edmonds Kingston ferry. After debarking, we stopped a couple times with Dug for a bit of Geocaching along the way. We arrived when it was still light out [not common for us] and Jane had piping hot home made split pea soup and yummy bread ready for us to eat. Gotta love the den mom!

We knew there was not a lot to do at the campground but we all needed down time so it was a more lazy, laid back camping trip. We did bring archery supplies but there was really no where to set up. Saturday we slept in and after breakfast went out for a walk which lasted about and hour. Upon return to camp, some played a card game, some napped and I did some knitting [finished a hexipuff]. Saw this wisteria climbing it’s way up some trees near one of the caches.

Wisteria

That evening we had a potluck of chili, soup and chicken fajitas. I napped while others when down to the water. After that we played some more cards and headed to bed around midnight. Sunday we slept in again and after breakfast loaded up and headed out for a group photo. In order below, Dug, Jane, Roman & Elena, Glen and B.

Van Group Photo

B was in a goofy mood. I call this one FTD florist.

FTD Florist

On the way home we stopped in Port Gamble where we found a most excellent cache down near the water. There was also this, for lack of a better term, loading area. It had railroad tracks on it and counterweights.

What is this

We  toured the town a bit including this Camperdown Elm, the historic museum, an import shop and a yarn shop.

Fort

The inside of one of these things is amazing. It’s like a personal fort. The photo below does not do it justice.

Inside Camperdown Elm

Before we left, we visited the local quilt shop were I picked up some fabulous fabrics to make head scarfs with.

FabricMany of us parted ways here, Dug, B and I continued on as we wanted to hit two state parks to continue our Geocaching goal.

Bus Caravan

First up was Illahee. We tried to find a multi cache while we were there but were not able to locate it and the state park cache was more important so we abandoned our first search and went looking for the other. The state park cache ended up being a pretty quick find by B in the roots of a cedar tree. We drove through the camp ground to see if it was a viable option for a future camp out. By that time, we were getting pretty hungry and found a brew pub nearby called Der Blokken. I had a Mexican Chocolate Stout on cask and the Russian Overcoat Imperial Stout along with a bratwurst and warm red cabbage. It was really good and exactly what I wanted.

Der Blokken

After dinner we headed over to Manchester State Park for the second state park cache. “The park was named for the nearby small town of Manchester. Originally called “Brooklyn,” the citizens renamed the place “Manchester” in 1892 on account of their expectation that Manchester, Washington would become an active seaport comparable to Manchester, England.” Hmmm I suspect Manchester, Washington is MUCH smaller than Manchester, England.

It was only three miles as the crow flies from the brewery but took just a little over a half hour winding our way along the water. When we rolled up to the park rangers window we were told the cache was moved just that day. Eeek. We parked and looked at our phones and wouldn’t you know – it was disabled. Not to be daunted we decided to try for it even though we had about an hour before the park closed to day users for the night. Dug messaged the cache owner hoping they would update the cache page and enable it so we could find it. Next option, brute force we would find it near where the original cache was placed. This one was a multi cache and we had to visit three sites at the park to figure out the coordinates for the final cache.

The first stop was the torpedo storehouse [rather nice looking building if you ask me] built in 1900.

Torpedo Storehoue

Seen through the trees above and a better view below [thanks Dug and his dogs for modeling for me].

Torpedo Store House

This was by far the coolest building on the property. Below you can see the track for rolling torpedo’s on. They have repurposed it in to a covered eating area. I don’t know if the fireplace is useable or not.

Torpedo Store House Inside

The second stop on this tour was the casement building. This was small and tucked in the trees.

Casement Building

The last stop was at the battery where two guns were supposed to be placed but never were.

Battery

A little history on the Puget Sound area. There are actually six old forts dating from the beginning of the 1900’s, five our which have become state parks including Fort Flagler, Fort Casey & Fort Worden [side note, parts of the film An Officer and a Gentleman were filmed here]. Click here for some additional history on forts/state parks in the area. From here while we were figured out the coordinates for the cache a ferry went by headed to Seattle.

Ferry off ManchesterThere was still some daylight so we decided to try and find the cache. Dug took his dogs on the trail and B and I went up a road that ended up on a field. We saw a doe on the way up the road.

Doe in Field

She kept her distance but did not run from us. I assume that living in a state park she smells dogs and humans all the time and it wasn’t a problem.

A Bunker and a Dog

Shortly after on a trail from the field [incidentally a great place for archery] we saw this bunker and met up with Dug. He thinks he found the place where the cache had been before being moved and looked nearby in hopes of finding the new hiding spot. No dice. By this time it was getting on towards dusk and the park was going to close. We headed back to our vans and toured the camp ground on our way out. Just as we regrouped outside the parks gate [now closed] Dug heard from the cache owner that he had enabled it. Too late for us to make another try as there are new questions to answer to find the coordinates to the cache and even with head lamps we didn’t want to tromp around in the dark. We are pretty certain it’s far from its last resting spot. B and I will definitely be back, both for the camping AND the cache!

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