A recent Stanford University study suggests that hanging out in
nature may boost mental health.
Published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of
Science, the study found that people who walked for 90 minutes
in a natural area, as opposed to those who walked in a high-traffic
urban setting, showed decreased activity in a region of the brain
associated with depression.
Or, you can watch a funny video (above) that basically says the
The spoof on prescription drug commercials makes a compelling
case that Nature (in this case, the name of a fake drug) can
improve your health, well-being and may make you “question what the
(expletive) you’re doing with your life.”
Beware, side effects can include “spontaneous euphoria, taking
things less seriously and being in a good mood for no apparent
A team made up of Kitsap Sun journalists managed a respectable
showing at last weekend’s Wilder Hare Triathlon in Hansville.
Coming in 16th place didn’t earn the shiny trophy, but hey, Team
Fit2Print (get it?) did beat about two-thirds of the
Sun editor-in-chief and marathoner David Nelson handled the the
10 K route with ease, placing second overall. Fresh off a
Portland-to-San Francisco bike ride, cops and courts reporter Andy
Binion had little problem with the race’s hilly 28-mile ride. South
Kitsap and education reporter Chris Henry was the team’s swimmer.
Her route was a one mile (two laps) around chilly Buck Lake.
Andy and Chris give much of the credit to David, and not just
because he’s their boss.
“David crushed it, coming in second with a really good time,”
Chris said. “He’s modest saying he was part of a team versus people
who started the run after the bike and swim.”
Chris said the West Sound Triathlon Club pulled off a great
“They did a wonderful job. A lot of work, a lot of fun,” she
said. “Between WSTC and the Kitsap TriBabes, I would say there is a
very healthy (no pun intended) triathlon culture in Kitsap County.
For me, a 60-year-old with a (mostly) desk job, it gives me
incentive to do fun outdoor activities.”
The 141-acre property on Harstine Island is not yet an official
state park but it is open to the public. No signs mark it as a
state park property and there are no park amenities, such as
parking, bathrooms, trash cans or running water. Basically, it’s a
big undeveloped property with what park officials say is one of the
best beaches in the region. Click here for a
bunch of park planning documents on the property.
Before I give the directions, I want to note that the property’s
use as a public park has been controversial with some folks in the
neighborhood. They’re worried about traffic, trash, noise, fires,
trespassing and other negative side effects that they say come with
a state park. One reader told me this week that “No Trespassing”
signs are cropping up like weeds in the area. Thankfully, all the
readers of this blog are smart, considerate people so I don’t even
have to mention that you should never litter, start illegal fires,
trample nearby commercial shellfish beds or do anything that
violates the rules of conduct at a state park.
OK, so to get there from Kitsap, head south on Highway 3. About
20 minutes after passing through Belfair, get ready to make a left
on East Pickering Road. Take Pickering across the Harstine Island
bridge and then take a right on South Island Drive. Take a left on
Harstine Island Road and then a right on Ballow Road. Continue on
Ballow a little more than a half mile. Where Ballow veers sharply
to the left is where you should start looking for a spot on the
roadside to park.
As I mentioned above, Fudge Point has absolutely no parking.
Park staff have told me you can park along the road but you have to
be careful about driveways and the sensitivities of nearby property
In the road’s bend (opposite from a clear cut) are two
side-by-side driveways. The driveway on the right is the access road into
the Fudge Point property. The other driveway (without a gate) is
private. So remember: no gate = stay out. Gate = go right in. The
gate is locked and no motorized vehicles are allowed on the park
property. The driveway, actually a former logging road, is about a
mile long. You can walk it, or better yet, mountain bike it.
The above map shows the logging road’s route in yellow.
At the beach you can enjoy a 3,000-foot-long stretch of sand, a
lagoon rich in wildlife and some great views of the Key Peninsula
and Mount Rainier.
As you can see from the above video, the 1.5-mile-long route is
mostly a plan at this point. There are two finished sections, but
Chris had to join with vehicle traffic a few times and ride along a
few narrow shoulder sections. Read more about her ride
The path has been in development for about five years. The
completed route will run from the Annapolis ferry dock (where Chris
starts her ride) to
Port Orchard Marina Park. Recently, the state chipped in $3.5
million to help construct the east portion of the route.
Two guys fishing for salmon north of Seattle came home with
quite a fish tale. Make that a squid tale.
Brought in by the tide on Sunday morning was what might be a
robust clubhooked squid. Dwellers of the deep, these real-life sea
monsters rarely make their way into Puget Sound. When they do,
they’re usually found dead like this one was. This may be due to
the sound’s shallower depths, higher temperatures and lower
salinity. Basically, the squids need it cold, dark and salty.
The squid, which was found on Shoreline’s Richmond Beach, was
partially eaten and was missing at least one tentacle. It was just
under 7 feet long and was estimated to be about 65 lbs.
Chinook salmon fishing along Kitsap’s north shore will close
early this season.
State fishery managers expect the catch quota for Marine Area 9
to be met by the end of this weekend. Area 9 includes the waters
off the north end of Kitsap, from the Hood Canal bridge to
Kingston. See map (left).
Starting Monday, fishing for coho and pink salmon will still be
allowed but chinook must be released. The daily limit for the area
will be two salmon plus two additional pink salmon.
State Dept. of Fish & Wildlife fishery manager Ryan Lothrop
said anglers have done well in the area. Chinook fishing was set to
close Aug. 15 but anglers have already caught about 80 percent of
the catch quota.
As of today (July 23), anglers had caught an estimated 1,953
chinook in Marine Area 9. The catch quota for the area is
Beginning Monday, anglers will be able to fish for salmon in the
area south from the line between Foulweather Bluff and Olele Point,
Lothrop said. This section of Marine Area 9 was closed during the
chinook fishery. Anglers fishing in this section have the same
daily limit for salmon as the rest of Marine Area 9.
Photo: Anglers cast off Point No Point on Kitsap’s north
end. Tristan Baurick/Kitsap Sun
A cyclist trying to “leave no trace” sparked a wildfire that has
burned more than 70 acres near Boise.
Firefighters say the cyclist made a pit stop in a ravine in the
Boise foothills yesterday. After relieving himself, the cyclist lit
his toilet paper on fire. An ember caught the wind and set a patch
of dry grass ablaze.
“He thought he was doing the responsible thing by getting rid of
the toilet paper but quickly realized the fire was out of his
control,” Boise firefighters said in a statement.
An interagency firefighting organization issued a very earnest
public advisory urging people to “bury human waste” and refrain
from burning soiled toilet paper.
The cyclist confessed to the TP torching and apologized. He was
cited, fined and may be held responsible for some of the Boise Fire
Department’s costs once they are tallied.
Photo: Wildfire in Hulls Gulch Reserve near Boise, Idaho.
Courtesy of the Boise Fire Department.
“We wanted to know our share of that $22 billion,” said Peter
Herzog, assistant director of Washington State Parks.
The spending is on everything from wedding bookings and camping
fees to gas and food.
I’ll have a story about the report later this week.
Park officials will be sure to send the report to the state’s
elected leaders. The Legislature has been chipping away at
tax-supported funding for state parks for years. To fill the gap,
state parks instituted the Discover Pass, raised fees and took a
more “entrepreneurial” approach to park management.
Showing state parks’ big dividends could sway some leaders to
invest more in the park system, Herzog said.