A birthday celebration on the road in Union | Life in Ludlow

Ned Luce
Posted 8/5/21

A drive down Highway 101 to Union and back offers multiple entertainment opportunities, particularly when you are headed to a family birthday celebration for BJ on the Hood Canal. 

Naturally …

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A birthday celebration on the road in Union | Life in Ludlow

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A drive down Highway 101 to Union and back offers multiple entertainment opportunities, particularly when you are headed to a family birthday celebration for BJ on the Hood Canal. 

Naturally it starts with an expected “potty stop” at Dosewallips State Park just beyond Brinnon. 

That is, unless it is unexpectedly closed for construction. 

Tally ho, hold on tight for the ride to Hoodsport and a stop in their brace of “porta-potties.” While in Hoodsport, BJ got a birthday card for Ann Burrell-Smith whilst I stood in line for ice cream. I was right behind a sunburned couple with four also sunburned young girls. I suggested the man just buy my ice cream also since his total bill was going to be so large he wouldn’t notice the difference. Wouldn’t you know it, after his whole family had ordered their six ice cream cones and two coffee products he did instruct the girl taking the orders to take mine, too, since he wanted to buy it. 

I insisted that he not do that and take the money he was saving and invest in some sun screen. I did buy my own huckleberry swirl ice cream waffle cone because, well, some of it was for BJ. 

Then it was on to a VRBO or some such organization’s rental home a couple miles past Alderbrook in Union. The place was across the road and up a hill from the Hood Canal beach with room for all 10 of our family, access to the water and a great view of the canal. Despite arriving around dinner time several of the family still hit the beach and enjoyed swimming with a curious seal. BJ and I watched from a dock on the shore which was increasingly threatened by the incoming tide. Dinner was served after all the folks headed for high ground. 

Friday was the hot day last week. Everybody but BJ and I headed for Twanoh State Park for swimming, kayaking, paddle boarding, etc. 

We showered and were preparing to head to the grocery store to pick up some things when we got a call from our daughter that the park had good parking, they had a table in the shade and the water was great. We shifted into bathing suits and headed for the beach, choosing to shop later in the day. It helps to be flexible in this crowd. 

It is natural to need to shop for some fresh food on a weekend like this. However, wouldn’t you think a rental home that holds 10 folks would have some salt, pepper, extra toilet paper and paper towels? 

Well, we needed all of that and some milk, ice cream, fruit etc. so we headed for Union. 

The first place we stopped did have a lemon, but that was all. 

We consulted Google for the next alternative which was up the hill in the urban part of Union. After a 10-minute drive we located the market which really was a gas station/convenience mart. We got much of what we needed, particularly the ice cream, but were unable to get any salt and pepper in those small containers which most of us find useful whilst vacationing. 

Oh wait, we did settle for a 26-ounce box of Morton Salt, 25 ounces of which stayed at the rental house when we departed. 

In addition, the clerk at the store took pity on BJ and gave her not one, but two of those little packets of pepper. 

She was too shy to request a whole box of the packets, which we would have gladly paid for. 

The message here is, if you find yourself needing some of those staples for a kitchen while in the area, head toward Belfair. There is a QFC and a Safeway.

On Sunday we decided our trip home required stopping at the Half-Way House restaurant in Brinnon for lunch and potty stops since the Dosewallips State Park was closed. 

Well, the park was not closed as I whizzed by at whatever speed limit needed to be exceeded but we headed into the Half-Way House anyway. They have great food and service and the place always gives us a chance to ponder one of life’s great questions, “Is this place half way between someplace and someplace else?” 

I asked what the “Saddle Cake” was on the menu and was informed it was a big pancake, bigger than the man’s head serving us and maybe even bigger than his mouth. 

Yep, with that kind of humor why wouldn’t you order one?

Love a curmudgeon and have a great week. 

(Just ask Ned: There’s always a potty at Dosewallips State Park. Ned is a retired IBM executive and Port Ludlow resident. Reach him at ned@ptleader.com.)

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