Category Archives: Parks

The town of Moncton is Under Rattlesnake Lake

 

My friends and I had a meeting at the Cedar River Watershed Center in North Bend, King County recently and I was delighted to discover a teal colored Rattlesnake Lake. Random facts:

  • When the Masonry Dam was put into place 1915, it flooded Rainy Season Lake which became Rattlesnake Lake.
  • The small  town of Moncton was flooded by Rattlesnake Lake which was a surprise to the builders of the dam and to the residence of Moncton. There is a terrific slideshow of the town slowly flooding here.
  • There are no rattlesnakes near Rattlesnake Lake, in fact there are no rattlesnakes on this side of the Cascade Mountains.
  • Rattlesnake Lake and Rattlesnake Bluff got their names from the tall plants that had been plentiful in the area. When these plants dried, they had a rattle sound when in a breeze.
  • The color of the lake is because of the glaciers.
  • There is a top notch education center at the Cedar River Watershed and the meeting room was great too!
  • The green roof at the visitor’s center was so interesting.
  • It was raining, again. We have set all records for rain this year! (so, so tired of rain!)

 

 

 

A smooch on Grays River Covered Bridge

Sometimes it is good to have a small, doable goal. My goal of the day was to take a photo of every working covered bridge in Washington State. The Grays River Covered Bridge in western Wahkiakum County, Washington is Washington State’s only such bridge, though there are several others that are not operational or not public. This bridge was constructed in 1905 to facilitate the horse and wagon traffic of nearby farms. The cover was added in 1908 to protect the wood trusses. It was placed on the national registry of historic places in 1971 and the historic nomination form can be found here. Over the years, the bridge fell into disrepair and was renovated and reconstructed in 1988 and rededicated in 1989. The bridge span is 155.5 feet and the height of the bridge is 22.5 feet. The bridge is part of the Ahlberg Park which is the site of an annual covered bridge festival. A much better photo and more information can be found in the Wikipedia article. It was raining so hard and for so long that I just couldn’t bring myself to go out in the wet field for the photographic shot! Though I did include a bonus photo of a nearby barn!

Dear husband remembered the tradition of covered bridges being kissing bridges and claimed a kiss mid-span. It use to be, back in the day of wagons, that young folks would take advantage of the privacy of the covered bridges for a kiss or two.

It has been about 10 years since I’ve been on a covered bridge, with the last one being Emily’s Bridge in Vermont. Vermont wins the contest for the state with the most covered bridges. I actually have a photo of that Vermont bridge from ten years ago.

Emily’s Bridge

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Wreck of the Peter Iredale, Fort Stevens State Park


On October 25, 1906 the four-masted steel sailing vessel, the Peter Iredale, sank near the mouth of the Columbia River. No lives were lost. Dear husband and I had seen the ship before when we stayed at Fort Stevens State Park near Hammond, Oregon about 25 years ago. At that time we had our red chow, Yum, with us and we enjoyed the adventure of camping. And here I was years later with Lilly, our cairn terrier. I had dropped dear husband off at Astoria so that he could peruse the antique stores. There was less of the ship now, but still in all I was impressed that so much of it remained.

Graveyards of the Pacific lists some of the other ships that have gone down in this dangerous part of the Pacific.

While at Fort Stevens, Lilly and I also enjoyed two wildlife view areas, one with a boardwalk/concrete viewing area that overlooked an estuary and another with a viewing platform that overlooked the crashing waves of the Pacific. There is also the fort part of Fort Stevens State Park, which operated from the time of the Civil War through World War II. All of the photos are mine with the exception of the historical view of the ship.

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Bresemann Forest, Spanaway

I wanted to spend some time with my dog, Lilly, so I asked her what she wanted to do. She suggested a full day of doggie treats and napping. But taking a walk was a solid second choice. So off we went to Bresemann Forest in Spanaway Park, next to the Sprinker Recreation Center. Just the word forest brings up an image of mysterious woods to me, so I was pretty excited. There is a lovely metal archway leading into the forest and plenty of parking next to it. The trails were clean, well maintained and unmarked, so we just set off along the main trail. Almost immediately I noticed a big dog coming toward us on a leash. Knowing that my dog is insane and will bark her head off  (its us, not you), we veered to the smaller trail and didn’t see anybody else the rest of our stroll. Despite the fact that the weather guy promised only clouds it started to rain, so we didn’t stay as long as originally planned. I hear there is a quaint bridge and a pond, but that will have to wait.

Next to the forest is a huge rock designed for climbing and there were about 25 people there learning the ropes (so to speak).

The forest has its own Facebook Page 🙂

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Holladay Park, Portland

Holladay Park at the NE 11th Ave & Holladay St. in Portland, Oregon is named after its creator, Benjamin Holladay who was “a sharpster, a con man, and a rake” according to the City of Portland Parks and Recreation Department. The park occupies an entire city block and features three cast-bronze sculptures by artist Tad Savinar and a spouting fountain (I just got caught once!) designed by designed by Tim Clemen and Murase Associates.

There is a video of the fountains here.

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Deep Lake at Millersylvania State Park, Olympia

I found a little bit of winter at Deep Lake at Millersylvania State Park in Olympia. And while I’d like to write that I took a long healthy walk on the trails, the truth is that I stood admiring the lake for about 10 minutes and then gave in to the cold and trotted back to the heated car. I haven’t seen a lake completely frozen over in decades and it brought back memories of ice skating in New Jersey during my high school years.

The image below is on a shady rural street. I thought the ice configuration was interesting.

Kids Don’t Float, Life Jacket Loaner Station

I was delighted to see a couple of seals swimming in the icy cold Puget Sound while dear husband and I enjoyed our lunch at Anthony’s at Point Defiance. Afterward lunch I took a brisk stroll and found this Life Jacket Loaner Station. A little research informed me that stations such as these are fairly common. A list of many of them (but not this one!) can be found here.

Vicious Weasil at the Museum at Longmire, Mt. Rainier

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Dear Daughter, home for her last Thanksgiving Break, needed to visit Mt. Rainier as part of her geology class. OK, fine, I like Mt. Rainier. I pack up my emergency backpack,  extra blankets, water in case we hit bad weather and dear husband and off we went. Luckily there are many pullouts from the street near the mountain and DD got her photos. Not the full glorious mountain, of course, because it was raining and even snowing, but some close ups of rocks that seemed to make her happy. We got as far as Longmire and had lunch and checked out the small museum (the Longmire Museum at Mt. Rainier). I was so busy staring at the vicious face on this little weasel that I didn’t notice his poor prey until I reexamined the photo!

So here are the photos. Beside the Longmire Museum there are two shots of the Mountain taken on clearer days, a photo of the road going through the National Park, the porch at the lodge and the graffiti rocks approaching the park.

BTW, you need to have chains in your vehicle to enter the park after November 1st. It gets dark at about 3 pm in the winter (its all those trees!). There is no cell service on the mountain (at least the part we were at). Here is a link to Longmire.  And Happy Thanksgiving.

 

 

 

A Barn at Fort Steilacoom Park

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Steilacoom Barn

Western State Hospital for the Insane, later shortened to simply Western State, opened in 1871 and soon after included a farm with animals. The farm included several barns and this one, near the entrance to the dog park in what is now Fort Steilacoom Park in Lakewood, is one of them. The farm workers were patients of the hospital and the farm supplied much of the food for the hospital. The farm closed in 1959.

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I went in the evening and there was a lovely sunset and a flock of geese.

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Marlake at the West Hylebos Wetlands Park

Marlake

Dear husband and I wanted to stretch our legs today so we went to the West Hylebos Wetlands Park in Federal Way. Our intent was to walk along the boardwalk path, but we turned right instead of left and ended up at Marlake (that’s what Google Maps says it is called). It is really a beautiful spot and some of the surrounding area must have been an orchard at one point because we found plum, pear and apple trees, as well as grapes and blackberry bushes. The blackberries and plums were delicious!  The lake itself has a dock with a bench on it to contemplate life. Many of the trees leading up to the lake were actually labeled and my favorite was a ginkgo tree. Such lovely leaves. The park really is a perfect place to take a walk.

On an amusing note, the handwritten sign that greats visitors asks us to protect the wetlands and no dogs (I get it), bikes (still get it) or Pokemon (what?!). I’m not sure what damage the not really there Pokemon could do. Perhaps they meant no Pokemon players. But there were a bunch of players and they were all respectful and having a good time with their families. Perhaps the highlight for me was that I won my first gym (it’s a game thing) and let out a yell of victory. An older teen smiled at me and we talk about the game for a while. He even set it up for me so that I could really win the gym since I obviously don’t know what I’m doing. I love that the game gave two very different people a chance to visit and work together. What fun. 🙂

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