Category Archives: Parks

Klyde Warren Park, Dallas, TX

imageCatching Up from the Texas trip.

While in Texas I got in a short visit with some very dear friends and they took me to see the recently opened Klyde Warren Park in Downtown Dallas. The 5+ acre park opened in 2012 and is constructed over the Woodall Rodgers Freeway at the edge of the city’s art district. This privately managed park features various food trucks, a children’s area with a tree house, a dog park, outdoor seating, water features, gardens and a putting green. There was a very positive feel to the place as folks enjoyed the sunshine and one another’s company. The one photo shows my ice cream sandwich with homemade cookies and ice cream :) The bee actually got stuck to my hat, making for an easy photo. Yes, he then flew away.

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Standing in dinosaur footprints at Dinosaur Valley State Park

imageWhen I was a kid my parents took me to the World’s Fair in New York and there was a dinosaur exhibit. I was startled to realize that two of those dinosaurs, the Apatosaurus and the T-Rex, had been relocated to the Dinosaur Valley State Park in Glen Rose, Texas. The Atlantic Richfield Company donated the fiberglass replicas to the park in 1970. The park did not get its name from the two replicas however, it is the site of real dinosaur footprints!

The 1,587-acre Dinosaur Valley State Park opened in 1972. Its mission:  to preserve these valuable dinosaur track sites and to allow people to learn from and enjoy them. It is situated on the Paluxy River and many of the tracks on near or in the river. About 113 million years ago, this area had been ocean front and the ground was the perfect place for creating fossils. Both Herbivores and Carnivores would come to this area to eat plants and in the case of the Carnivores each other. There was an enormous river flood in 1908 and in 1909 a young boy, George Adams, found three-toed tracks of theropods. Sometime later, in 1937, R.T. Bird, who collected fossils for the American Museum of Natural History came to the area and found tracks of the much larger sauropod (70′ long, 13′ high, 40+ tons).

Some of the park’s visitors were very interested in the tracks. One can go right up to many of them and touch them and even stand in them to get a sense of scale. Other park visitors were more interested in cooling off in the Paluxy River. I visited the two main track sites and also drove around the camping area. There were plenty of spaces available, no doubt the heat was keeping folks away.

I would have stopped at the Creation Evidence Museum, but sadly it was closed. I heard that DInosaur World was something to see, but it was too hot to do any more outside exploring. So they will have to wait until next year.

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The Peace Arch connecting the ties between the US and Canada

imageThe Peace Arch spans the United States and Canadian border and commentates the signing of the Treaty of Ghent in 1814. The arch was dedicated in 1921 and was placed on the US National Register of Historic Places in 1996. Both countries flags fly on the monument. The Peace Arch and the associated area are considered to be an international park and one does not need to have a passport to visit it. The Peace Arch border crossing never closes.  It was a pretty quick passage for us, only about 45 minutes.

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Hooked Fish Bar has a view!

IMG_3629We hadn’t been to Vancouver in well over 20 years and it was past time. So dear husband and I gathered up dear daughter and off we went. Along the way we stopped at the Vancouver Airport and picked up her boyfriend. Once at the hotel we asked for a dinner recommendation  and we were sent to Hooked Fish Bar at Crescent Beach area. I had the fish tacos, dh had the fish & chips, dd had the salmon burger and bf had the mussels. We shared some poutine, a first for dh who took right to them! Afterwards we walked along the beach and even into the water, gathering shells, admiring the view and generally playing.

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The End of the Wildflowers – Six Weeks Early

imageI finally made it up to Mt. Rainier to see this year’s wildflowers. Normally they are just starting to be in full bloom. The National Park Service’s website says “Mount Rainer’s renowned wildflowers bloom for a limited amount of time every year. The “peak” bloom for wildflowers is heavily dependent on weather and precipitation patterns, so accurate predictions are difficult. In most years, many flowers will be blooming by mid-July, and by the first of August the meadows should be very impressive.” This year because of our ongoing heatwave the wildflowers came into bloom six to eight weeks early, so I was catching the last of them. But still they were lovely and it was great to hike around and see the new to me visitor’s center. Driving up and down the mountain and even hiking around was like being in a cloud. When I crossed the bridge over the Nisqually River, I couldn’t even see much of the bridge and nothing to either side. It was a real leap of faith to keep going!

imageThis sign was displayed at the trail head and it made me wonder what the snowfall was for the year that just passed. 2014-2015 was a new record of low snowfall with only 266 inches. That is not a good thing impacting the glaciers, lake levels, skiing, fish migration and the water that will be available to Washington residents this year.

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Skookum Wulge Beach Habitat Restoration

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Driving home from Brown’s Point the other day, I stopped to admire the view along Marine View Drive. The information sign told me that I was enjoying the Skookum Wulge Beach Habitat Restoration, a 1.19 acre parcel of uplands and tidelands of Commencement Bay that had previously been the Meeker Log Storage lease. When the lease expired in 1999, the property was purchased and the title conveyed to the Puyallup Tribe. The site was renamed to Skookum Wulge, which translates to powerful salt water. There are two other sites in this project, Yowkwala and Squally Beach. For more information on the Skookum Wulge, go here.

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The dock at Thea’s Park

17750315512_5f858f945a_o(1)Thea Park hosted dragon boat races today and dear husband and I managed to see the very end of it. Not the racing part, but there was still a group receiving awards and a booth or two. I wandered on to the dock to see the new still dragon boats, their dragon heads being safely stowed.

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Velodrome at Marymoore Park

17473898391_3f8d33bc41_kWashington State’s only velodrome (a cycle-racing track, typically with steeply banked curves) is the Velodrome at Marymoore Park in Redmond, WA. Dear husband and I checked it out today. There were only a couple of folks causally biking the loop on this lovely day. Velodrome racing was a popular sport in the U.S from the early 1800s to the 1930s and has been a part of the Olympic Games since 1896. There are about 26 functioning velodromes across the country. Interesting fact, the bicycles that race the track can go speeds of upward of 50 mph and have no brakes.

While at Marymoore, we also checked out the spectacular rock climbing wall and the turn of the century Windmill in the Willowmoor farmstead area.

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Highline SeaTac Botanical Garden

17269785011_14d7690b37_oThe lovely Highline SeaTac Botanical Garden is only about 30 minutes from my house, but I hadn’t heard about it until today. It is a lovely 10 acre botanical garden which primarily features northwest flora. There is also a small Japanese Garden, a water feature and benches.  Close to the SeaTac runway, there were many passenger planes overhead, but it just seemed like another interesting part of the garden. Though I was worried about rain, it turned into a lovely day. My favorite part, beside the hummingbird, was the amazing gate! More info can be found here.

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Des Moines Creek and Marina

Man and fishA while back while we were having that string of lovely weekends, dear husband and I were exploring and came upon the Des Moines Marina and Creek. It is a lovely area with a marine (you might have guessed), a large parking lot, some public art (including a way cool mural) and to the north end trails and beach. The Fish/man in the mural is also a statue elsewhere in Des Moines.

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