Dear husband and I were recently in West Seattle and I took the chance to check out some folk art, roadside attractions. The first stop was at 5274 44th Ave. SW, Seattle, WA and that home had some wonderful tree carvings in the front. Dear husband especially enjoyed the fairy hanging out on the chimney. The roadside attraction info can be found here. This is a private residence, but the art can readily be seen from the street.
The second stop was the nearby Walker Rock Garden at 5407 37th SW, Seattle, WA. I remember going to see this rock garden more than 20 years ago when it was open one Mother’s Day. I was so impressed. Here are some older photos from when I begged a peek. The amazing rockery was created by Milton and Florence Walker and the property has since sold. I’m not sure of any future plans, but it would be so wonderful if it was again opened up to the public on special occasions. The roadside attraction information can be found here and there is an Atlas Obscura entry, with some good photos, that can be found here. This is a private residence and not open to the public.
The boulders were dropped on the parking strip on Earnest S. Brazill Street between Tacoma Avenue South and Altheimer Street in June 2015. The strip is between Tacoma Public Library Main Branch and a public parking lot and indeed it was often full of people prior to the great stone drop. Prior to the drop, the area had been identified as one of seven “hot spots” for homeless encampments in Tacoma. When I went passed this evening there was a small group of folks on the still green strip uphill to the west of the boulders. The move was seen as controversial and it is indeed a difficult issue. It is the second boulder drop in Tacoma this year with the other drop being under I-705 near the Dock Street offramp.
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.
Today I took a quick stop at the Tacoma Central Police Substation, Sector One at 1524 Martin Luther King, Jr. Way. What attracted me to the building was the stones in a metal cage art, of which there are at least three. I’m not finding information on them, though they seem to be designed to be educational. I did find this document about other art at local police stations.
For years I’ve wondered about Saltwater State Park in Des Moines, WA. I mean I like parks and one with saltwater just has to be good, right? And yet I’ve only seemed to think about it as I drove by on I5 on my way to or from somewhere with no time to stop. Well, today after dropping my dad at the airport, I finally went!
It is lovely. There is plenty of Puget Sound shoreline (1,445 feet) with rocks to turn over and look for sea life, a stream that goes into the sound, some wooded trail areas, picnic tables, restrooms and a seasonal concession stand. I visited with a woman who was getting ready to scuba dive and she told me about seeing octopus and seals. There is an underwater artificial reef for scuba divers. My only caution would be to wear sneakers or other thick soled shoes because the beach area is covered with barnacles and broken shells.