I really needed to stretch my legs and for a couple of minutes it wasn’t foggy, so I sent off to see the Chambers Bay Labyrinth off of 64th Street. The labyrinth is based on the Chartres Cathedral labyrinth in France. At first I saw no discernible pattern, but after a while it became apparent and I walked its twisting ways to the center. More information on the labyrinth can be found here.
Yauger Park in Olympia has a lovely wetland area that doubles as a storm water retention pond during times of heavy rain. Per their website, the area can hold 27 million gallons of water which is slowly released into Percival Creek and eventually into Budd Inlet. One comment I noted on Yelp said that the rain water will sometimes cover the parking area also, which is better than local streets! The park also has picnic facilities, sports areas and playground equipment.
Today the Worldwide Photo Walk toured Ruston Way this morning. These stairs leading to this scuba diving beach were donated by the Washington Scuba Alliance. That little black dot in the water is a scuba diver
So the other day when I was near Baltimore Park, I went past this wooded lot between a new house and a vacant lot available for sale. I was intrigued. Was it a little park? A pathway? To be honest it seemed like a bad idea to go explore it by my lonesome, so I drove away. But today I was in the general area with dear husband and I talked him into going with me. It was a steep little trail down, but I made it and it was pretty except the trash (only two pieces), There was a culvert for draining water. I walked on about five feet, really no more, and found this
Well, OK. That was fun. I climbed back up (dear husband had sensibly waited at the top). We did get to see some deer, two does, a fawn and a shy buck, so that was cool.
The Mima Mounds Natural Area Preserve is a designated National Natural Landmark near the Capital State Forest and Maytown. The 3′ to 6′ high mounds themselves are kind of cool, large, rounded hills. The Mima mounds appear in parts of Washington, Oregon, Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana and California, and also in Kenya, Mexico, Canada, Australia and China. Scientists don’t really know what caused them, but theories include pocket gophers, wind blowing around vegetation, seismic activity, shrinking & swelling clay and, my personal favorite, space aliens.
Fair warning, this park requires a Discovery Pass which can be purchased online here.
On my way home from dropping dear daughter off at college, I stopped at the Ginkgo Petrified Forest State Park in Vantage, WA.There are over 40 species which have been petrified in the 7,470 acre park. Per Wikipedia the area had originally been lush and wet, but much of the vegetation was covered in volcanic ash and eventually became petrified. The park opened in 1938 and much of the work had been done by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC). I didn’t realize that petrified wood is the state gem for Washington! The site is one of 594 properties to have the National Natural Landmark Designation. I would have liked to have stayed longer, but I wanted to get home, I didn’t have the right shoes for rattle snakes and it was really hot!
Two of the photos below are from the nearby gem shop, which was also very cool.
There is a statue of John Rankin Rogers in Sylvester Park in Olympia, WA. Mr. Rogers was Washington State’s third governor serving between 1896 and 1901. He died towards the beginning of his second term. He is best know for supporting the “Barefoot Schoolboy Act” which he had first sponsored while in the state legislature. The Act provided a mechanism of state funding to equalize support for free public education between counties which had a large tax base and those without. (thanks Wikipedia!)
Tangalooma Wild Dolphin Resort is a magical island place. The resort is situated on Moreton Island, about 70 minutes by boat from Brisbane. The majority of the island (98%) is National Park, though it had been a whaling station between 1952 and 1962. The resort is well known for its wild dolphins which come in every evening to be feed by visitors. Another major feature is the Tangalooma wrecks, 15 vessels that were deliberately sunk to create a dive and snorkel site. For some great photos of those, go here. Oh, and how could I forget sand tobogganing!? A long walk up and a few very fast seconds coming down. Note to self…wear the goggles when they offer them next time!
Our first full day in Australia we set off to snorkel the Great Barrier Reef, which is a World Heritage Site as of 1981. We went on a catamaran to a large pontoon and the boat ride was very choppy! I’m guessing that about 70% of my fellow adventurers were sea sick and it was not a pretty sight! I has on my wrist bands and had taken ginger tables and a Dramamine and came out without an problems — surprising myself. Our adventure included:
Return air-conditioned fast catamaran transfers to Outer Barrier Reef Pontoon
Morning and afternoon tea and coffee*
Use of buoyancy vests
Reef education presentation
Hot and cold buffet lunch
Semi-submersible coral reef viewing tour
Guided Eco Reef Talk
It was my first time snorkeling and, again, it was pretty choppy. But despite that it was very wonderful! I don’t have photos because my camera is not waterproof.