Salmon Beach might just be the best-kept secret on Puget Sound. I’d been dying to do a sketch there, and I finally got my chance a few weeks ago. The entire area is private property, and only residents and their guests are allowed. But my friend Ethan lives there, so I asked if he’d be willing to give me a tour. I had no idea that I was in for one of the best adventures I’ve had since I moved to Washington.
Salmon Beach is a neighborhood of 80-odd homes arranged in single file along the shoreline of the Tacoma Narrows. There are only two ways to get there: by boat or by descending (on foot) several hundred wooden steps leading down from the parking lot at the top of the cliff.
The way down is dizzying, and the return trip is a heckuva workout. I’d imagine that if I lived here, I’d learn quickly not to forget my keys in the car.
At the bottom is what feels like a time warp, or some sort of alternate dimension. The residents of Salmon Beach live in their own world, secluded but also open and extremely welcoming. Friendly household pets of every stripe wander around the boardwalk (they don’t run away, because where would they go?), and people greeted me with stories and tips on the best drawing spots.
I was so excited to share their world for an afternoon. Big thanks to Ethan for the grand tour, and to everyone I met that day—it feels so good to be in on the secret.