Thursday, June 8, 2017

Walking the Harbor

Skansie Brothers Park and Shed 

I enjoy walking around the waterfront of Gig Harbor. I don’t do it often because I walk more often around my neighborhood that is near the Tacoma Narrows Bridge and the Cushman Trail as well.

The beginning of the Cushman Trail is about fifteen minutes walking from my home. The full distance of the trail is about six and a half miles. The trail ends in North Gig Harbor. There are five different points that you can actually enter to walk, run or bike. The trail near my place is pretty straight however it does get hilly in different spots. Often I see couples on the trail or mother’s with little ones.

Cushman Trail does some bypassing of downtown Gig Harbor however there are some nice spots to look east to see Gig Harbor or out into Puget Sound where you can see Tacoma, Vashon Island and Mt. Rainier. So with the five spots to enter in you can walk a short distance or longer depending how much time you want to spend on the trail.

Anyway walking along the waterfront of Gig Harbor allows me to see my home that I grew up in on the east side. My house is one of four that are still remaining while there are a lot of newer homes now. When I start walking I begin near Tides Tavern which is well known locally and I head north. I go past several shops some of them have been around a long time and others are newer taking over older shops.

The next landmark is Skansie Brothers Park that just got renovated. It reopened last week in time for the Maritime Festival that takes place the first weekend of June.

Across the street from the Park is a coffee shop along with a motel.   Very nice places to visit as well and both have been around I would say ten to fifteen years. You can actually turn up Rosedale Street and walk by St. Nicholas Catholic Church and the Church of Latter Day Saints along with a number of homes that are new or renovated.

I continue on Harborview which is the main street along the waterfront.  There are several marinas when you look out onto the Harbor.  Some newer homes are located as well. About mid-point of the walk is Eddon Boat where you can visit seeing boats on display and there is a little park there as well. Actually people can build their own boats on the weekends at Eddon Boat.

I continue on the walk heading north there is another Marina along with a couple sheds that stores fishing boats. Next you come to the Beach Basket on the left side and a mechanic shop on the right side that used to be a gas station as well. Past the shop is a small restaurant and up from the Beach Basket are a couple other restaurants.

Across the street past the small restaurant is the Harbor History Museum where you can go into to see displays that run for a few months about the history of Gig Harbor. Right  there I turn right to continue on the waterfront. Off on the left is Donkey Creek Park which is a good spot to stop and rest. If you have children they can run around a little bit. There is a bridge that you can walk over as well. A couple years ago the road was turned into a one way direction going east. When I was growing up I didn’t even realize that there was a creek there. Donkey Creek Park is now used to be a Hardware store.  

Continuing walking there is Finholm’s Market. It has been there as long as I have been alive. I used to go into their when I was a kid and mother would go into the Market to get Fish or meat; a great place for back in the day when Gig Harbor had mostly neighborhood stores who are still in business today.

A little further down the waterfront is Anthony’s Restaurant. Last Sunday I had lunch with my mother, nephew Ian and his wife Helen. When I was growing up the restaurant was called the Shoreline. Actually you can still see the Shoreline sign when walking along the waterfront. Some of my classmates worked at the Shoreline when I was in high school.

Continue walking along the waterfront there are quite a few homes. Many of them have replaced the ones I knew as a kid or they added later. The road ends up curving to the right and then you come to Crescent Valley Creek Park. It was the only park in Gig Harbor when I was growing up. I have a lot of memories of that park since I spent a lot of time there including my home park for little league baseball; also played football with other neighborhood kids and tennis with my brothers.

Continue around the harbor there are quite a few newer homes. Not many there when I was a kid. Also an apartment building on the waterfront that has been there since I was in junior high; next you come to the boating launch where you can take your boat into the water. If you continue from there you will see my old home and then many others before coming to the end at the spit.

Waling the waterfront not only is enjoyable for me however I can think about the past along with the present. What a beautiful place it was to grow up and still is.

                                                 Blue house the one I grew up in

                                           Viewing point across from Finholm's  Market

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