We took an exploring trip to "the island" today because there wasn't much else to do. I wanted to be outside enjoying a little sun and we needed to do something that didn't cost any money. "The island" is an interesting place, but we don't live there, because, well, we just can't afford the 2.75 million dollars it costs to live life on the B.I. Exhibit 1:
$2.75 million home on the water, but with less than spectacular views of Seattle. You might have to pay a bit more for a view like this one:
After envying those lucky B.I. residents with their fancy houses and spectacular views, we stopped for a bit of history. We weren't sure what we had found at first. We noticed all the rotted pilings and thought there must have been some sort of dock a long time ago. I thought maybe the ferry had gone there; Steve thought maybe a saw mill had been there. It turns out we were both right.
After our trip I did a little Internet research (seriously, how did we survive before the Internet?) and found that in the late 1800s the largest mill in the world was in Port Blakely. Apparently, people used to give directions to Seattle by saying, "you know, it's that city across the water from Port Blakely." Later, it was home to the car ferry from 1923 to 1937. Here's what it looked like around 1900.
We did a little more exploring south of Port Blakely. We went up the hill toward Fort Ward State Park, which was closed for winter. There are a few old brick houses and buildings left near the park that once stood out, but now have been overshadowed by new building developments. I guess those islanders who also can't afford 2.75 million have to live somewhere.
We ended up near the water at the end of the island overlooking Blake Island (I think), and headed up Toe Jam Hill. I'm not sure what kind of name that is for a street, especially in a place as high class as the B.I. But there we were, driving up and down Toe Jam Hill and then onto Country Club Rd, which sounds much more fitting for those big multi-million dollar homes like this one, which I wouldn't mind if I owned:
Since that is not going to happen anytime soon, and most likely ever, we needed to get off of the B.I. fast. And we did.