Susan Leinbach's / scarlatti's Memorial Benches
As I am writing this, it is Susan's Birthday. She would have been 40 years old today.
Nancy Chambers (Susan's and my mother) is organizing the
project to erect two memorial benches in Susan's name. She is having the benches
put in the
Salt Creek Recreation Area on the Olympic peninsula near Port Angeles,
WA in two scenic vantage points overlooking the Straight of Juan de Fuca, which
is the channel that passes between Washington State, USA and Victoria Island,
Canada. One bench is being erected with donations from Susan's friends and the
other bench is from her family. Thanks to dougs for organizing the collection
of funds from Susan's friends.
Work on erecting the benches has begun. The family bench has been put in place and work on the friends' bench has been started. It was supposed to be completed today on Susan's birthday, however 18 inches of snow is delaying completion. I was in Port Angeles for the Thanksgiving holiday (Nov. 22-26) and got to take some pictures of the site that I wanted to share along with pictures my mother took. I was actually on the last flight out of town before the snow closed the airport.
This is the view from where the bench will stand. You can see the coast of Canada across the water. The post holes are partially drilled and the cones are in place to prevent anyone from stepping in the hole until the bench is in place. This area has picnic tables to the right and will provide a pleasant area for people to visit.
Another view from further back
The site is now a park, but because of its ideal vantage point over the straight it used to be Fort Hayden, a military lookout and 16 inch gun battery during WWII to protect from Japanese invasion. You can read more on the history here.
I'm sure Susan would be happy that so many men in uniform used to guard this location. This picture was taken during WWII from about the spot where Susan's bench will be. Below is a picture I took last weekend.
You actually drive through the bunker to get to the parking lot. This picture is taken looking behind the bench's location.
Below are some pictures Nancy took during construction of the family bench.
This is the crew of volunteers that helped put the bench up.
Weather was bad, but the crew was dedicated to getting the job done.
The following are pictures I took after the bench was in place.
This is the trail to the family's bench for Susan.
Nancy and Sara (my wife) enjoying the view and peacefulness from the completed bench. Some of the branches will be cut back.
There will be a similar plaque on the friends' bench. Thanks to everyone who contributed to the bench fund.