Despite living a hop, skip, and jump away from the Edmonds-Kingston ferry terminal, we rarely find ourselves making our way over to the Kitsap and Olympic Peninsulas. In our three years living here, we’ve only ventured over a handful of times with activities ranging from taking a long bike trip to the coast, exploring Olympic National Park with my parents, catching the ferry in Port Angeles to Victoria, BC, and celebrating our anniversary in Port Townsend.
In spring 2017 I plotted out an itinerary so we could spend a day taking the motorcycles to three areas we had heard a lot about—Bremerton, Port Orchard and Bainbridge Island. While we were able to spend the morning enjoying some of the sights I had outlined in Bremerton and Port Orchard, unforeseen work circumstances required us to cut our visit short and we determined we would go back and finish our itinerary.
Eighteen months later and we FINALLY made the trip back over to the Kitsap Peninsula with a slightly revised itinerary—Poulsbo, Bremerton, and Silverdale. I thought this was a reasonable loop that we could accomplish in a day. Poulsbo had been on my list, we could tour the USS Turner Joy in Bremerton, which we missed during the last trip, and then we could swing through Silverdale on our way back to the ferry. I conceded that we would have to tackle Bainbridge Island another time.
Our itinerary settled, we set off for the ferry terminal, only to discover that one of the ferries had gone out of commission that morning, meaning we had to wait just over an hour for the next ferry to arrive. While it was fun getting to chat with the multiple other bikers also waiting to board, I wished I had brought along my homework or a book to help occupy some of the time waiting for the ferry and during the ferry ride itself.
When we arrived in Poulsbo, I completely forgot my disappointment at losing time—‘Little Norway’ is an absolutely lovely little town! We found motorcycle parking near the Brass Kraken along the Port of Poulsbo, changed out of our riding gear, and headed back toward the main street to check out downtown.
From its restaurants to its shops to its architecture, Poulsbo represents all things Scandinavian. I ducked into a couple of shops, eyeing some of the Marimekko goods and purchasing some awesome new earrings. Even Brian enjoyed some of the funny cards and textiles as we made our way down the street.
Our true destination was Sluys Poulsbo Bakery, which was recommended to me by countless work colleagues.
The line was nearly out the door but we managed to fold ourselves inside, peruse the doughnuts, pastries, cakes and breads, and pick out a few treats to share. We took our purchases outside to enjoy them on a bench in the shade. My small apple butterhorn was delicious, and Brian had good things to say about his cherry strudel.
We continued exploring main street before making our way back to the port and waterfront park. There was a gazebo and a guy playing guitar for a small audience—it was the perfect fall day to sit outside and relax.
We eventually turned back to our bikes, climbed back into our gear, and decided we would have to bring family and friends here during future visits so we could try out one of the restaurants overlooking the water. Put Poulsbo on your list, everyone!
Our next stop was Bremerton. Based on our short time in town once we before we had an idea of where to park to access the Bremerton Boardwalk and USS Turner Joy. We walked down to the water and had no trouble making our way to the ship for our self-guided tour.
I always seem to underestimate how much time we need for these tours. We end up getting engrossed in the information, and this ship in particular had tons of areas open to the public so the opportunities to explore were endless.
I tended to enjoy the bunks, mess hall, and service areas, like the barber shop, medical area, and post office, while Brian seemed to find more enjoyment from the engine and boiler rooms and weld and machine shops. We made it through them all!
We had been there almost a couple of hours when one of the workers let us know it was closing in about 30 minutes—he sort of laughed at us and said we weren’t even half-way through the ship! He gave us a few must-see stops so we hurried through those and up to the bridge to wrap up our stay.
I was surprised that dusk was already starting to set in but realized that our late start and ferry fiasco had eaten into our time and we likely needed to head back home.
The rain clouds were also starting to head our direction and I really didn’t want to ride my bike back in a downpour. Once again, we had to wrap up early and return to the ferry for our short ride home.
Hopefully it won’t be another 18 months before we return, but when we do, I think I need to make a full weekend of our time! Bainbridge Island and Silverdale are still on my list, along with countless other small towns with their own personalities and histories.
Kitsap Peninsula, we’ll be back soon!