New park entrance

A new entrance road into Carrie Blake Park opened late last month. The road is just south of the previous entrance and was moved to improve flow in Bell Creek and eliminate flooding. It runs between the Sequim Skate Park and Trinity United Methodist Church.

The new road leads to the Guy Cole Convention Center which has recently been renovated, including fresh paint, new doors and windows.

One of the new windows is this stained glass rendering of a Roosevelt elk by Millie Harrell.

Alexander’s Castle

We camped for a night recently at Fort Worden State Park near Port Townsend. Fort Worden is a compound of former military buildings that now house a conference center, education partnerships, vacation rentals, and eateries as well as campgrounds and beaches. And in the midst of it all is Alexander’s Castle, shown above.

In 1883 the rector at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Port Townsend, John B. Alexander, acquired 10 acres of land in this area and built what came to be known as Alexander’s Castle. He and his intended bride would live here after he fetched her from Scotland. Alas, she married another and he returned a bachelor. He used the building as a temporary residence. In 1897 the property was acquired by the federal government and the construction of Fort Worden began.

In the 1880s and 1890s Alexander held posts in the region as Honorary British Vice-Consul and Her Majesty’s Consul. In his later years he lived in England and died there in the 1930s. During military operations at the Fort, Alexander’s Castle was used for family living, as an observation post, and a tailor shop.

On the bridge

Railroad Bridge is an old railroad trestle across the Dungeness River, owned by our local Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe. It is a link in the Olympic Discovery Trail and is well used by walkers and bicyclists. A couple of years ago the section of the bridge beyond the wooden trestle seen here in the foreground collapsed after being battered by debris during flooding. It was rebuilt and after it was completed the entire bridge was repaved.

The repaving incorporated beautiful plaques with motifs that are used in Native American art in this region.

The plaques are about 3 feet by 2 feet (.91 meters by .60 meters).

They are striking additions to the bridge.

New trail

There’s a short new branch off one of our favorite trails in the Dungeness Recreation area. It’s the one on the right here. It replaces a steep pitch that branched downhill further ahead from the left hand trail. Thrill seeking bicyclists occasionally favored it but it was sometimes perilous. I managed to fall on it in the snow once while actually going uphill. I won’t miss it.