Monday, May 26, 2014

The Great State Park Grand Scheme

It all began with not knowing where I might be placed for my clinical rotation(s) for school and contemplating buying a camper van if I had to live far away during the week. We sort of became obsessed with the camper van idea, and although we do not have or need one (yet,) I developed a Grand Scheme that entails us eventually visiting every Washington State Park. There are something like 142 of them -- I say "something like" because the list changes periodically due to closures, etc., and there are also some that are accessible only by private boat, and I'm not sure we'll ever be able to get to those, but you never know!

Anyhow, we have visited several state parks already, so this post will be a review and update about those. I will not subject you to my graph-paper lists and notes that make up the concrete Grand Scheme, amazing as they may be.

Don't laugh at my antiquated scrapbooking skills. I thought I was very fancy with my shapes and my decorative scissors. Fort Worden S.P. is where they did a lot of the filming of An Officer and a Gentleman. I remember taking more photos than this, but this was before we had digital pics, and I vaguely remember that something happened to the camera or film.

Two very local state parks I have already blogged about, Kanaskat-Palmer and Nolte.

My mom-in-law and I cross-country skiing on part of the Iron Horse State Park trail.

One of the "rules" of the Grand Scheme is that it only counts if we visit the parks together. Ain't that sweet?

More of my expert artistry capturing us on our first-ever cross-country ski adventure at Lake Easton State Park.

In September 2013, we brought my folks out for a visit to celebrate their 50th Anniversary. Here we are on the ferry to Friday Harbor, San Juan Island, ultimately enroute to Lime Kiln State Park for some whale-spotting.

The park is beautiful even if you don't see any whales.

There are gorgeous Madrone trees.

There are seals. Really, there is a seal in this picture. Click and enlarge and see if you can spot it.

But where were the whales? We watched and watched. We hiked up to the old, abandoned lime kiln, and as we were descending the very steep stairs, we heard a strange noise. Whales spouting!! We flew down the rest of the stairs to confirm, and there they were!

Then I flew UP all those stairs to run all the way back to the lighthouse were we'd left Mom to make sure she was seeing them, too. What a thrill it was!

 Not all the parks have such exciting sights to offer, but each has something unique about it that made it a candidate for a state park. Right? Well, you'd think so anyway. I had been to this park with a friend previously, but that didn't count. Remember the rules! We visited this park just a few weeks ago.

We started on the easy 1-mile Pretzel Tree Loop, which is an interpretive trail with lots of cartoon signs for the kids. What there wasn't, however, was a sign indicating which tree was the Pretzel Tree, nor did we see any tree that resembled a pretzel in any way.

 Zuzu got to refresh her agility skills, which took our minds off the missing Pretzel Tree.

Next, we chose the Central Peak trail.

The first half is nice, like this. The second half is uphill, and by uphill, I mean there are points at which the hillside is in front of your face. It kind of sucked.

Happy-to-be-back-down selfie.

Now we get caught up to today. Well, yesterday, at Dash Point State Park. 

The Big Guy and Zuli on the beach. It was her first time on a beach! Although it looks awfully gray, it wasn't really too chilly. Way in the distance, there is a small group of people exploring the beach, who had left all their nice picnic things on a beach-side table. A murder of crows thought their picnic things were nice, too, and had scattered them all over the place. 


Pretty shell. There were tons of sand dollars, too, and I'm pretty sure I saw a geoduck spout, but The Big Guy says it wasn't a geoduck. Pffft.

Charming little tunnel connecting the parking lot to the beach area. I just love stuff like this.

It's always good to begin at the beginning. I learned that from The Wizard of Oz.

Uh-oh! Heart Attack Hill! We kept waiting for the chest pains, but it never got very hard.

Hello down there!

We Double-Dipped. It says "difficult" but it was not at all. I worry about people, I really do.

Big old dragonfly.

Heading back through the prettiness.

134 left to go!