So where to go that would be easy to get to and a mini adventure in its own right. We thought of going to one of our favorite spots such as Deception Pass.
After much debate we finally decided on Manchester State park on Bremerton Island. The bonus was that we had been meaning to visit for sometime, so this seemed like an ideal opportunity.
Packed and ready to go we headed to the down town Seattle ferry terminal with a quick detour on the way to pick up a green juice and it was a good green juice.
It was a cold, crisp and sunny day which made for a great view of the city as we headed out of dock on our way to Bremerton Island the home of a US Navy base.
Arriving in Bremerton we made a quick stop over in town before we headed out to Manchester State park. The drive to the park was great it followed the water around the bay with views of huge aircraft carriers either being renovated or scrapped, not sure which one it was but it they were impressive to see so close regardless.
After a very pleasant drive we arrived at the park. Note to GPS users, our GPS wanted to take us down the wrong road so if it is a choice between following your GPS or the brown state park sign, follow the sign.
Arriving at the park is pretty much like arriving at most state parks in the pacific northwest. That is secluded spots with lots of trees. As we pulled in a man was walking in the road and flagged us down. Now when you are flagged down in a state park you don't expect someone to be begging for food but that was exactly what we encountered. No messing around, as soon as I had the window down he asked for food. I won't lie it was a disconcerting feeling, a mixture of pity and apprehension with a dose of "not sure we want to leave Benny". We decided that we would head out of the camp area and pulled up down the street for an earnest conversation as to whether or not to stay at the park. Given our options and the time of day we decided we would stay.
A walk with the dogs and a stroll by the water cleared the air and we took in the sights and listened to the seals chattering away until the ranger found us and politely told us the park was closed.
Returning to Benny we headed back to the camp ground only to be greeted by the same man who had begged for food earlier. Only this time he was not hungry and was more interested in the Van and where we were from. It was during the conversation that I got the sense that he was a little disabled and was probably not an axe murderer although Sarah was not convinced.
We found our spot and pitched in for the night. With the heater running at full blast Sarah cooked us up a stew and after a relaxing read we settled down for a long restful night sleep.
Then the screaming stopped and all was silent. What to do? my first reaction was to go take a look, like that always works out for people in horror films right? Well even if I wanted to there was no way Sarah was letting me out. I took comfort in the fact that Candy and Daisy were both silent. If anyone comes even close to the van they go nuts so I knew nothing was close by. So with nothing else to do but hope no one was hurt or being attacked I did the only thing I could which was roll over and try and reclaim some sleep. Yes we did think of calling 911 but when all went silent we decided not to.
Well sleep was not going to happen when around 4:30ish the emergency services arrived. That answered the screaming question and knowing that help was being rendered put our minds at ease so we could get some sleep. Not so much, turns out sleep is really difficult when your van is lit up like a party barge. Eventually the emergency services pulled away and we were able to put screaming, axe murderers and spooky things that go bump in the night out of our minds well mostly. I finally got to sleep but poor Sarah had to listen the seals having a good time - sometimes it is an advantage being deaf.
The next day on our way out of the park the park ranger flagged us down. With trepidation I rolled down the window. He was a really nice guy and wanted to let us know we had actually overpaid for the night and we had change waiting for us at the office. Now that is something I don't mind being flagged down for. We asked about the goings on during the night but he did not know anything having only just heard about it himself. As for the chap begging he was known and been asked not to disturb other campers but was otherwise harmless. We picked up our change and headed into Port Orchard for a look around before heading home.
Port Orchard is 15 minutes from the State park and an artsy town with lots of antique shops. A great place to poke around for a couple of hours. We did not find any new treasures but enjoyed the stop. With our ferry time approaching we headed out and caught the ferry back to Seattle for the trip home.
Well we wanted a mini adventure and we definitely got one. Until we see you on the road remember to Max Life Out.