Showing posts with label Golden Gardens. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Golden Gardens. Show all posts

Saturday, May 25, 2013

The Lord's bus shows up at Seattle's Golden Gardens

By Jack Brummet, Folk Art Ed.

I met these sweet folks at Golden Gardens on Shilshole Bay yesterday.  They were very nice, and did not proselytize in any way.  I think they were letting the bus do the talking.  They did have a donation box for taking photos.  I slipped them a few bucks to shoot some photos, not for their message but their moxie and medium and warm hearts.


Tuesday, January 01, 2013

The Polar Bear Plunge, Ballard, 2012

By Jack Brummet

Hearty souls, these.  I can't even make that plunge in July when it is 85 out. . .


Monday, May 11, 2009

A salute to Golden Gardens - Excelsior!

Orcas ("killer whales") off Golden Gardens in February, 2009 (they
don't usually come this close to Seattle proper) - click to enlarge

a typical scene -- looking over toward Bainbridge Island - click to enlarge

Sunset (a great time to visit), just before the bonfires are lit. The sun becomes an
orange or red ball and fills the sky with pink, yellow, and orange as it slips below
the Olympic Mountains behind Bainbridge Island - click to enlarge

An amazing polyglot mix of people gather every day at Golden Gardens. Golden Gardens is a beach in north Seattle (Ballard) on Puget Sound's Shilshole Bay. It is within walking distance of my house, down a trail and maybe 150 stairs. Its 87 acres contain multitudes, and a lot of Ballard history. It became a key Seattle park early on, since it was at the very end of the streetcar line.

You'll find volleyball players, Christians gathering to pray and sing around the campfire, families cooking over open fires or charcoal, drum circles, solo guitar players, skaters, joggers, bikers, kite fliers, scuba divers, wind surfers, Buddhist gatherings, Wiccan meetings, kayakers, canoeists, and mostly just people walking and sitting on the beach.

The beach ranges from sandy to rocky and littered with shells and driftwood. One section of the beach at the north was restored to what they believe was its original pristine state...a small dune area, freshwater pond, and wetlands were recovered a few years ago.

At low tide you find anemones, sea urchins, limpets, oyster drills, starfish, crabs, clams, sand dollars, oysters, and all sorts of other tide pool critters.

At the very north (the restored part) of the beach are reeds, sea grass, alder trees, salal and Oregon grape, and other native flora, which create some very private areas to hang around in. These areas are rumored to contain, at times, people performing the act of procreation (or just straight recreation without the pro- if you're on the other team).

The sunsets are stunning, as the orange sun falls below the Olympic Mountains after sending rays dancing along the sound.

My mom used to come here and swim in high school on the last day of school. A lot of kids, the polar bear club, and the occasional grown-up still swim here. The temperature of Puget sound ranges from about 45 degrees to around 52 in the summer. It is brutally cold, although there are some hot spots around the sound--shallow areas where the temperature is more hospitable. Golden Gardens is not a hot spot. When you jump in you are instantly numb. But you see people swimming anytime you visit there from May to September. I can't do it. . .mid-calf is about as far as I go.

In the last few years, the park has increased security, and cleaned up the beach. There are now 12 steel fire pits where the city allows park visitors to build fires. This is a big improvement from the days when you could build fires anywhere--which left the beach littered with charred logs and ash.

This is about as good as it bring in a surreptitious bottle of wine, sit on the beach and watch a sailboat regatta and later, the sun as it drifts downward, and finally slips down into the other half of the world.