Day trip to Wollochet Bay


Took myself out for a drive this afternoon in my big white truck.  I thought my destination was a drive up/down both sides of Wollochet Bay near Gig Harbor, WA, where I had anchored numerous times when I was boating.  Eventually, I did drive along half of the east side of the bay today, but that’s all I had time for before I needed to head home for dinner.  I found way too many cool and interesting things to look at and take photographs of on the way there.

First off, not even ten minutes from home, while driving past the humongous metal recycling plant (Schnitzer Steel) on Commencement Bay, where they chop up and recycle TONS of metal (whole cars, whole Fed Ex trucks, whole railroad boxcars, etc), I saw a huge flatbed truck/trailer with a partially demolished very long, articulated public transit bus on the trailer.  I pulled over quickly and jumped out of my truck to take photos of the bus being brought into the plant.  Well, the worker-guy there told me the bus had not just arrived, but was being removed from the plant and he didn’t know why.  And then the big truck/trailer started to drive off with the bus, so I jumped back into my truck and followed the big flatbed truck/trailer with the bus.  Got a couple of snapshots.

You’ll see how the bus had been damaged.  Engine gone, tranny gone, axles and wheels gone, some windows and doors gone, and quite a bit of damage to what was left of the body.  Of course, I was NOT driving with one hand on the steering wheel and one eye on the road and the bus .. and the other hand and my other eye holding/operating the camera .. no siree I wouldn’t do that.  Just as I pulled up alongside the left side of the bus, the truck turned off the highway to the right, so I couldn’t follow it.  I wonder if it was removed from the chopping machines for insurance reasons or a lawsuit or what?  Certainly not spare parts!!

I drove on towards Wollochet Bay and eventually crossed the famous Tacoma Narrows Bridge and took the first exit.  But still, way before I got to Wollochet Bay, I came upon signs to the Tacoma Narrows Airport.  Well, I didn’t know anything about the airport, so decided to turn off and check it out.  I noticed quite a bit of damage (fire? disease?) to lots of the Madrona trees across the road from the airport (a sizable airport by the way).  Here are two photos of the trees.  Some trees were dead, some only partially damaged, some were healthy, tho most were damaged at least partially.  Why?  Fire wouldn’t have skipped around like that.  Maybe it was a fire but it was many decades ago and so new trees have grown up among those damaged by fire?  Or is this disease?  Or chemically induced damage?

Then I drove into the public part of the airport and immediately came upon the pizza/pasta restaurant/bar named “The Hub”.  Lots of cars parked there and people inside.  And then I noticed the sign in the next photo .. Pie on the Fly .. pretty cute for an airport.

I decided to get a snapshot of the name of the airport so took the next photo.  Must admit I stood there for quite awhile wondering why anyone would want to park their car (transient parking) out on the tarmac “at the base of the tower” or “on the south ramp” .. ON the tarmac of the airport?  Who would want to park out there?  And why would that be allowed?  And then I embarrassed myself by realizing that it was transient parking for temporary visiting aircraft!  Geez.  It’s just like boaters who are cruising around Puget Sound and so go to private marinas or state park docks that have room for temporary transient overnight boat parking.  Ok, I got it now.  In this case, transient parking was for visiting airplanes, not you and me in our cars.  Can’t fool me for too long.

Here are a few photos below of the airport and an airplane that had just landed.  There were signs that advertised buying or renting aircraft here, as well as getting flying lessons.  I don’t know much about airplanes, but they’re interesting.  The runways here were lined up SSW to NNE, and I do know that the prevailing wind here comes from the SSW.  I suppose it’s like paying attention to the direction of the water current when you are in a boat, although cutting across the water current in order to reach and take advantage of a back eddy on the water can be beneficial in a boat .. maybe so in an aircraft too?

And then I got back on the road heading to Wollochet Bay.  And darned if I didn’t again run across stuff to check out before getting to Wollochet.  There was this old house that appeared to be in the process of being restored.  Looked like it had a new roof and new windows and such.  The “lawn” around the house was a pasture with horses.  One of them kept looking at me like “what the hell are YOU looking at”.  (click the photo to enlarge it)

There were some very expensive homes out here.  While boating and cruising south of Gig Harbor, under the Narrows Bridge, I always looked up at the many mansions on top of the bluff.  Today I drove that road up on that bluff and pretty much saw no houses, only locked gates and then long driveways down into the woods, most of them with fancy signs denoting the owners’ names.  One gate/sign in particular caught my eye .. Wurlitzer Manor & Gardens.  I wonder if these folks are organ donors?  Get it?  Wurlitzer?  “organ” donors?  LOL!  Ok, sorry.  I continued out to Fosdick Point, a point of land I had cruised by in the boat about a bazillion times.  The housing area there looked just as crowded and boring on land as it did from the water .. no pics taken.  I began to wonder if I would ever get to Wollochet Bay.  You might be wondering too.

Ok, now I really was on the road to Wollochet Bay!  Oh, but look at that!  Some fuzzy headed creatures in that pasture.  Out here there were lots of 2 and 3 and 5 acre small “farms” with horses and goats and vegetables and hay and such, but this particular farm had animals of a different nature.  I parked the truck across the street and then walked up the farm’s driveway just a few feet to a spot where I could get a look at these critters.  Well, I do believe they are the somewhat uncommon Fuzzy Headed Mooglers, yes I think so.  Well, no, on second thought (and looking at the second photo), they may be the even more rare Fuzzy Tailed Mooglers.  Truth-be-told, I didn’t know what they were, do you know?

While getting back in the truck, I noticed some spectacular blue flowers (photos below).  I wasn’t sure what they were either .. but they sure were pretty.

Shortly down the road, after the blue flowers, I turned off onto a dead end road that ran along just half of the east side of Wollochet Bay.  Finally, I was there!  But my arrival at my long sought-after destination was anti-climactic.  Because of a slight hill between the road and the bay, I hardly caught a glimpse of the bay.  Some other day, I will come back and take the other road down the other side of Wollochet Bay and will actually get to see the waterway where I had so pleasantly cruised and anchored my boat not so long ago.

What a wonderful afternoon drive this was!  The detours were the best part.  Why not enjoy the detours?  I’ll get to see Wollochet Bay another day.

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4 Responses to Day trip to Wollochet Bay

  1. Gene in Ohio says:

    The animals are either alpacas, or llamas. The blue flowers are hydrangeas. I have been to Gig Harbor, visiting friends in 1985 who had a beautiful view of the water. We went to Mt St. Helen’s on that trip.

    • Ann says:

      Hi Gene,
      Gig Harbor is really pretty isn’t it. Hydrangeas! Thank you! You’ll get to know me and my sense of humor .. I was kidding about thinking those juvenile sheared mammals were Mooglers. 🙂 Like you, I wasn’t sure if they were Alpaca or Llama or another relative of that ilk. I’ve driven up to Mount St. Helens a few times, tho not in recent years. Guess I better put it on my list of places to take the trailer.

  2. Ginger D says:

    Great pictures! The hydrangeas are gorgeous.

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