Tuesday, September 10, 2013

A Band of Girls on Blake Island---An Army Reunion

In July 1966, I was a 2nd Lt and recently graduated from Physical Therapy School, Ft. Sam Houston, Texas. The Viet Nam War was already well underway and my first assignment was Madigan Army Medical Center, Fort Lewis(Tacoma) Washington.  My sponsor was Captain Mary Huston and my immediate supervisor was Captain Ann Ward Jenkins. I was 23 years old, Mary and Ann were much older I thought. They taught me many things as they were both wonderful Therapists and we had lots of fun climbing mountains, skiing, fishing, clamming, and all things "northwest". Later on I was stationed with Mary 2 other times and Ann and were in hospitals in Japan and saw each other often. Over the years, we get together and since we are all getting older, older, we thought it would be good to have a little get together on Blake Island. Ann had never been and it had been years since Mary had been. Mary and her friend, Lois were coming over from the Olympic Peninsula in their RV.

We had a plan,  Ann and I would travel on Friday from Tacoma to Blake Island via Colvos Passage and take Vashon Island to starboard. On Saturday, we would pick up Mary and Lois at a launching ramp in a community called Manchester, 2nm  away and bring them to Blake. We would attend the big Salmon Bake and program. We could have time to visit and then take them back to the launching ramp in the afternoon.

As usually, there was stormy weather taking place, but it was supposed to clear. Ann and I departed with rain, light fog, no wind and flat seas. The farther we got towards Vashon the worse the fog became.
Friday route

This funny route depicts our route waiting for the Vashon
Ferry to cross from Pt Defiance and back.

The Tellaquah Ferry heads for Pt Defiance, Tacoma

Colvos Passage Fog

No Fog on Blake
Ann is happy

Driftwood on the Eastern Shore

Olympic Mtns in Background

Mary, Lois and Ann

Old Soldiers
 All of us Retired

Wood Carver

Looking older than us

Mask Representing the Spirit World

Dancer with his 45 # Head Mask

Dancer with his 60# Head Mask

Our Lunch is Cooking

After lunch we cruise along the west shore to see the
Campsites and buoys.

Swedie and Albin 25 joins us at the dock.
I have run across her numerous times since I have been in WA.

We pull in close to shore at Pt. Robinson Lighthouse on Maury island.
Maury Island is really attached to Vashon by a narrow spit.

Sunday Ann and I wait out the fog and depart at noon
following Captain Vancouver's route to Browns Point
and back to my marina
Captain Vancouver has his famous venison meal with the Puyallup Indian
Tribe at Browns Pt. Today there were only fishermen and picnickers.
Our Round trip was 50+nm. We circumnavigated Vashon and Blake Islands
Our Band of Girl Soldiers had a memorable time and we are really glad we squeezed this in at the end of summer, before we all go our separate ways. Thanks Mary, Ann, Lois for such a fun trip.