Tag Archives: State Park

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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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.

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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Ginkgo Petrified Forest Museum

9519078987_09b46847d8_bOn 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.

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Cape Disappointment Lighthouse

We continued exploring the Long Beach Peninsula with a visit to Cape Disappointment Lighthouse. To be fair, the ranger guy did say that it was a 1.2 mile hike each way and the terrain was steep in places and slippery with rain. Both of those facts proved to be true and it didn’t help that just as we reached the lighthouse, it began to rain in earnest.

This lighthouse was the first to be built in the Pacific Northwest. The ship that carried the original pieces of the lighthouse sank in view of where the lighthouse was eventually built in 1856!  The first time they built it the tower was too small to hold the lantern, so they disassembled it and rebuilt it. That process took two years.

There is a Coast Guard observation station in use next to the lighthouse and it was staffed with two men that got there in their truck by using the special Coast Guard road.

Despite the dampness, it really was a lovely hike with amazing views along the way. I believe that on the weekends in the summer it is possible to go into the lighthouse. The photo below is taken of the lighthouse from Waikiki Beach, which is another lovely spot in Cape Disappointment State Park. The last photo shows a view from the top of the trail by the lighthouse.




A lovely day at Penrose State Park

Penrose State Park is one of the prettiest parks around. Situated on Mayo Cove at 321 158th Avenue Kp South, Lakebay, WA. the park offers over two miles of shoreline, picnic tables, shelters, a grassy area and a rocky beach. It is obviously a popular spot for pleasure boats and kayakers. Dear daughter and I walked a fair distance along the beach, discovering that flip flops were a poor shoe choice considering the slippery mud and rocks/shells filled with barnacles.  But we went slowly and did OK. The best part was wading in the water and flipping over rocks to catch little crabs, both regular and hermit. In the picture of shells below some of the shells house hermit crabs and some snails.