Viking Fest Trek Rally Report
May 19-23, 2022
Wagon masters, Gary & Irva Cooper, chose the Suquamish Clearwater Casino Resort for our NWTFC rally, just a short distance from Poulsbo, WA, their nearby home for breakfast each morning, and the Agate Pass Bridge to Bainbridge Island. We had all received our full-hookup site #’s and the ‘rally plan’ from Irva by email. The weather couldn’t have been better those four days!
In attendance (* w/ coach): Wagonmasters, Gary/Irva Cooper; Jeff/Shannon Dennis; *Jo Ruby; *Lee Buckley; *Mike/ Lynn Ashbridge; *Al/Elaine Zimmerman; *Ed/Jeanette Block; *Ron Mahugh/Mary Burchett; *Bob Edwards; Sue Bjornson
Thursday: The paved RV area was spacious and level and next to the casino and all its amenities. As requested, we each registered our arrival and could choose to receive a personal casino card for extra $ benefits by providing our picture ID. It was nicely smoke-free. Gradually, we gathered beside Mahugh/Burchett’s coach w/ lawn chairs where tables had been set up for our ‘potluck’ of heavy hor d’oeuvres & desserts. Irva handed out bags of helpful pamphlets, maps & Viking Fest schedules. By 5 pm, all 16 of us were enjoying good food & drinks and socializing well into the evening. Our newer members, Jeff & Shannon Dennis, joined us from home in nearby Kingston, and honorary member, Sue Bjornson, came as well – happy for the opportunity to visit a few hours with Trek club friends. She had moved from Sequim to Gig Harbor and was managing okay since Dean’s passing.
Our newest member, Jo Ruby, came to her first NWTFC rally from Yakima – even if her Magic-Bed couldn’t be operated since she bought it! During our Saturday ‘free-time’, good hearted, Lee Buckley, took on the problem – as he was quite familiar with the Safari-built track system. His fine troubleshooting led to replacing a missing fuse & correcting a related electrical issue, as well as replacing hardware that had been lost during the dealer’s attempted repair. The system now operates great and Jo will be replacing the mattress. Excellent work, Lee! Cooper’s coach was still out-of-state, awaiting a complicated repair for a slide problem, so Gary & Irva couldn’t camp with the rest of us.
Friday: Every morning we looked forward to a fine Continental breakfast at their charming home in that lovely, patio stone setting amid towering cedars. That afternoon we carpooled for a good tour of Echoes Brewery in Poulsbo. The master brewer, Mark Hood, was totally enthusiastic about the business, re-established after the pandemic . . . even the impressive vats he purchased in Belgium and his unique brewing process. We all were treated to a sample of their good ale. ‘Echoes’ beers can only be found at the more popular markets on the Kitsap Peninsula. Business began picking up at the end of our tour, but some of us stayed to eat area fast food, taking advantage of tables/stools in the well-lit brewery loft and enjoyed the Echoes beer. That evening we all gathered near Mahugh/Burchett’s coach with lawn chairs, circling their cheery, propane fire pit for a good social time.
Saturday: After breakfast, all were free to enjoy the day as we wished. There were so many places of interest as well as the farmers’ markets in Bainbridge and Poulsbo and the colorful, ethnic activities of Viking Fest. We found parking a bit formidable near parade time, but it was a perfect day to be outdoors with our pets. That evening, we enjoyed a tasty pizza dinner on the Cooper’s patio, made comfy with a standing heater and seating around a table with a centered gas fire!
Sunday began with another good breakfast (and Irva’s rhubarb muffins). Ticketed reservations had been made for all of us at Bloedel Reserve on Bainbridge Island – “a 150-acre public landscape whose mission is to provide a tranquil and contemplative experience of nature. Prentice Bloedel, an early pioneer in renewable resources and sustainability in the timber industry, and his wife Virginia, purchased the J. Lister Holmes-designed house and acreage in 1951. During the 30 year Bloedel residency, they gradually transformed the former logging site into a multilayered, interconnected series of landscapes that celebrate the natural cycles of growth, decay, and regeneration. © 2001-2022 The Cultural Landscape Foundation,“ Hand-outs describing the reserve’s many trails was provided so visitors knew where they were at all times, and of the physical effort needed for any particular area. We each walked all, or most of the trails, and had time to wander the lovely gardens and see the stately residence as well.
Since no pets had been permitted on the reserve, we headed back to ‘camp’ by 2:30 pm to see to their needs and let them play! Some of us chose that time to visit the Suquamish Tribal Museum and the moving, Japanese American Exclusion Memorial (1942) — Nidoto Nai Yoni “Let It Not Happen Again”. By 5 pm we were all seated at a long, outdoor table w/heaters at “Sully’s Bistro & Bar” in Suquamish, where we ordered good dinners off their menu – calamari appetizers, fish & chips, steak & baked potato, asparagus, etc. A good time!
Monday. We got to thank Gary & Irva at our farewell breakfast and say our goodbyes before heading on our way home or elsewhere.
Submitted by: Jeanette Block, Historian
Webmaster’s note: Special thanks to Jeanette Block and Al Zimmerman for submitting photos of the rally!