Point Defiance park 5 mile drive and Des Moines Marina (non animal post)

Although a bit off topic, in my opinion, a trip to the Point Defiance Zoo is not complete without taking a stroll along the famous 5 mile drive.

Map of the 5 mile drive on Google Maps:
Picture of the 5 Mile Drive at Point Defiance park (the route highlighted in green)

Here is a picture of the 5 mile drive, typical view

Here is another picture of the 5 mile drive.  You know what is interesting about this road, legend has it that this road is haunted by the ghost of a girl who died in Tacoma back in the 1980s.  Here is a tidbit about the road I found on the Shadowlands Website:
Tacoma - Point Defiance Park - 5 Mile Drive - In the late 1980's a 14 year old girl named Jennifer B disappeared while riding her bike in the park. Her body was later discovered and her killer was never caught. Late at night the sound of a bicycle can be heard around the 5 Mile Drive. Several years later a couple flagged down a Park Police officer and admitted she had been driving on the drive after the park was closed. She said as she was rounding the turn by the Narrows viewpoint, she observed a young girl standing next to the side of the road with a light colored bicycle. She pulled over and her boyfriend got out to ask the girl if she was okay, since it was late and the park was closed. The boyfriend screamed and jumped back in the car and kept screaming at her to go. As she was leaving, in the red tail lamp glow, she saw the girl vanish. The boyfriend was shaking and later told her the girl had no eyes but was smiling at him. Several other people have said that they have seen a girl riding alone near dusk and whenever they stop or look back at her, she vanishes.  (source: http://www.theshadowlands.net/places/washington.htm) 
Although I drove the 5 mile drive, I didn't notice anything out of the ordinary while I was there (and I did the loop twice while I was there).  But I bet that would be good for ghost stories.  You know what would be an adventure: driving the road on Halloween Night in October.  I bet thee road can get really spooky at night with everyone gone and being out in the woods.

Along the 5 mile drive are pull out vantage points where you can pull over and take pictures of scenery in the distance.  In this photo, I got a picture of the Tacoma Narrows bridge in the distance.  Note that I didn't actually go across the bridge that day (there is a toll on it anyways and didn't feel like spending the extra money).

Here is another picture I took.

Picture of the Point Defiance Park Map.  Picture taken at one of the pull out areas

I stopped by Fort Nisqually while at the Point Defiance Park.  I didn't actually go into the fort but got a few pictures of the exterior.

Here is another picture of Fort Nisqually.  By the way, I wonder what it would be like working there?

Here is a statue at the park.  Forgot the name of the person in the statue though.

Picture of the Lodge Building

Here is a bulletin that talks about the Lodge 

Picture of the Pagoda building at Point Defiance Park.  By the way, as with the 5 mile drive, apparenly the Pagoda is haunted too.  Here is another quote from Shadowlands:
Tacoma - Point Defiance Park - The Pagoda - The Pagoda used to be the trolley terminus at Point Defiance in the early part of the 20th century. The building was remodeled and is now rented out for weddings/parties. Visitors, workers, and the Police have reported hearing footsteps made with hard soled shoes walking around the building after dark. The footsteps seem to be walking down the stairs on the east side of the building, then abruptly stop. Sighing can be heard at other times and there are cold spots in the storage area below the building. A tale has been told about a young newlywed couple during the 1920's. The husband and wife would catch the trolley to Point Defiance and the husband would see his wife off for the day to visit her parents on Vashon Island. Small groups of boats would shuttle people to the island for a fee. The husband would return in the evening to meet his wife. As the small launch she was riding in approached the Boathouse area, it took on water. Many people were thrown overboard in the confusion and the husband observed with his pocket spyglass his wife flailing in the water in her heavy period clothes as she went under. Overcome with grief, he walked down the stairs to the marbled restroom, pulled out a small pocket pistol and shot himself in the head. It is said it is his ghost that haunts the Pagoda. (source: http://www.theshadowlands.net/places/washington.htm)

I didn't notice anything out of the ordinary while I was there though.  It seems to be a popular place for meetings though.
Picture of the Japanese gardens at the Point Defiance park

Here is a picture I took of a pond there

Picture of the puget sound in the distance

More pictures of the Pagoda

Picture of Vashion Island in the distance.  There is a ferry that you can take from the Point Defiance area to get to the island, though I did not actually go to Vashion Island that day.  That will be for another trip.

Another picture of the Sound

 Des Moines Marina - note I wanted to take pictures of highway 509 too, but it is hard to take pictures and drive at the same time.
Picture of the route I took heading back from Point Defiance park.  The route is in blue.  509 was definitely a change of pace in comparison to going 5.  Starts out as a freeway in Tacoma but turns into a scenic 2 lane highway going along the south puget sound area (reminds me a bit of highway 11 from Mt Vernon to Bellingham barring some obvious differences.  Took 509 all the way to Burien and then hopped on interstate 405 and headed home from there.

Picture of the sidewalks at the marina

Boats in the distance

Here is a long pier you can walk down.  At the end is a dead end though you do get lots of people fishing from the dock, at least during the summer.

Picture of the beach in the background

Picture of the puget sound.  When living in the Seattle area, you are never far a way from the puget sound, which is basically an extension of the Pacific Ocean.

I couldn't resist visiting the beach closeby, though the sun was starting to set at the time.

Picture of an old school house.  

Another picture of the old school house

Condos along the Marina.  I wonder what it would be like to live along a beach like that?