Turn right at the Pleiades

Posted by Ken Campbell May 10, 2010 0 Comment 720 views

Amid the goings-on at the Port Gamble symposium this past weekend, I was able to carve out a couple of hours for a trip to see the dragon. The driftwood dragon of Hood Head is the light-hearted landmark at the top of Hood Canal, whimsical art that has lasted longer than anyone ever thought it would. It gets damaged from time to time by wind and weather, but it always seems to get rebuilt with more improvements by those who walk along the beach, adding what they find to the sculpture.

I got there by paddling out of a new boat launch (new to me, anyway), on Bywater Bay. From the launch to the eastern tip of Hood Head, the dragon’s lair, is a short trip, but the relentless winds that are common to the area can make it seem longer. The shoreline is mostly wild, once outside the bay, and the voyage from the south passes gravel beaches that are perfect for paddlers.

The launch itself is at the end of a road, with ample parking but no facilities. It’s a quiet place and I get the feeling it doesn’t see many visitors that don’t live in the local area – it just has that feel to it. Aluminum skiffs are stacked on racks above the beach and most of the cars that I saw were owned by people who also belonged to one of the boats.

I’m usually pretty free with information about things like this but I feel like I’ve said enough already. If you want to find the place, you shouldn’t have much difficulty. It’s the only public launch in the bay and I’ve certainly included enough here for anyone to be able to locate it. It’s easy to drive past the entrance, but if you keep the title of this post in mind, you should have no trouble.

The dragon awaits.

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