Tag Archives: Park

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.


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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Olmstead Place State Park

IMG_3031On my way back from visiting dear daughter, I stopped at Olmstead Place State Park outside of Ellensburg (921 Ferguson Road, Ellensburg, WA 98926). I was pretty excited to be able to use my Discover Pass, but I didn’t spend too much time since I was worried (rightfully so) about snow on the Pass. The park has 217 acres and plenty of pioneer artifacts. Perhaps my favorite part was the red winged blackbirds. There was an entire flock of them on the overhead wires. More information 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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The Rose Garden at Point Defiance

IMG_1723I was trying to squeeze the last little bit of summer in today and thought to take the five mile loop through Point Defiance Park. On my way in I noticed the amazing display in the rose garden. So I looked around, parked and took a stroll. It is mostly roses, of course, but there were a fair number of dahlias in bloom and other plants as well.

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A Especially Lovely Day at Enatai Beach Park

14986119982_4f32d91867_kI went off today with dear husband to find the the Village of Beaux Arts because its such a cool name. The village has about 300 people and no commercial buildings. Since I’d rather not take photos of people’s houses, I only snapped the sign and then drove out of the tiny village to discover the lovely Enatai Beach Park, which is located in Bellevue. What a great park. It has a beach with people sunning (I was in a jacket!) and fishing off the dock. There were kayaks available to rent also. There was a lifeguard (also in a jacket) who told me that while there were no people swimming today, there often are when it gets warm. The park is practically under the I-90 Bridge, but I didn’t notice any traffic noise.

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Bridge of Locks, University Place

IMG_1269A quick survey of my Facebook friends let me know that there are four Tacoma area bridges/overpasses that are being used as Bridge of Locks. On Sunday, which had glorious weather, I went to Bridge to the Beach that crosses the railroad tracks at Chambers Bay Regional Park in University Place. I hadn’t realized that I could drive down to the bottom of the park and I also didn’t know there was a bridge to the beach. What an amazing park it has turned into! There were families and couples with plenty of dogs. There were huge kites and picnics and music. Really it was splendid. I was there in August 2011 and it has significantly updated since then!

A short stroll took me to the modern bridge and at first I only saw a lock or two, but then there was a little cluster of them and at the end of the elevated pathway there were a number of them. Unlike many of the other Bridge of Locks, the arrangement of the Bridge to the Beach is such that each locks does not have its own little area, but instead can slide back and forth. This was a pretty exciting discovery for the four year old next to me!

Bridges of Locks are relatively new on a wide spread basis. The tradition is that those in love put their name on a lock then attach it to the bridge and throw the key away to symbolize their unfailing devotion.  This is a worldwide phenomena, as can be seen here.

The Bridges of Locks have not all been well received, with the weight of all those locks pulling down and damaging several structures. In University Place, there are no plans to remove the locks. Pierce County spokesman Hunter George said “We’re not encouraging it or discouraging it (the hanging of the locks). But we do think there are better ways. If people really want to demonstrate their commitment to each other, we’d love to see them get married at Chambers Bay. We have great rates. Or get a tattoo. Or both.”

Oh, and there is a picture of an osprey, just because they are such cool birds! Their wing span can be almost 6′ across, though I don’t know about the one on the nest.

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The Grotto, Portland, OR

IMG_1055The Grotto, also known as  is National Sanctuary of Our Sorrowful Mother, is a 62-acre Catholic shrine and botanical garden which is administered by the Order of Friars Servants of Mary.

The Grotto is lovely and peaceful. By far the most unique part is the elevator, which is built adjacent to the 110′ cliff and has only two stops. I got on at the bottom, the location of Our Lady’s Grotto, a gift store, and the largest of the churches. and got off at the top, the site of the gardens, other smaller churches and religious artwork.  The grotto is a rock cave carved into the cliff and feature a life-size marble replica of Michelangelo’s Pieta.

The complex is free to visit, but there is a $5 charge to take the elevator. It’s well worth it. To learn more, look here.

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