Last Day in Washington
Mar 29, 2010
Over the past few months, I've sent out a couple of quick mass emailings to friends and family to keep everyone up-to-date on our location, but it's been way too long since I posted anything on this Trip Journal (primarily due to the lack of a regular internet connection). Although we have been in some very beautiful spots, being surrounded by lots of tall trees has prevented us from setting up our internet satellite dish until we arrived here at Belfair State Park on the Hood Canal in Washington. So now it's time to catch up.
First some old news and a few photos from last summer. After cutting our Canada trip short, we spent the month of June in Anacortes, WA where we shopped for, and purchased, a new tow vehicle and met up with friends, Robin & George, from Sacramento. The first photo is of the four of us on a day trip, by ferry, to Friday Harbor.
Next is a photo of our "front yard" at Millersylvania State Park (our first WA volunteer hosting position)....and a photo of "Buster" and his mom who were daily visitors in our "back yard". We had a wonderful time at this park and have kept in touch with the ranger there to be sure he doesn't forget us. We really hope to schedule a return visit some day.
After returning north following our detour to CA, we started our current six-month volunteer stint in three other WA State Parks....October & November at Fort Ebey S.P. on Whidbey Island, December & January at Ike Kinswa S.P. in Mossyrock, and Belfair S.P. on the "hook" of the Hood Canal.
We had actually visited Whidbey Island a couple of times in the past, so I didn't take many new photos, but Fort Ebey is a beautiful park with gorgeous views across the Strait of San Juan de Fuca to the Olympic Mountains....and on real clear days you can almost see Victoria B.C. It's also a very popular spot for para-gliders and hang-gliders who take off from the park's bluffs on breezy days and sail out over the water and back. Unfortunately, it was too windy for them most of the time during our stay and the one day that we did spot them, I ran back to our motorhome for my camera only to return to find that they had quit because the winds were getting to strong.
Next we moved on to Ike Kinswa S.P. In addition to campsites and a beautiful day-use picnic and swimming area, this park has several cabins along the shore of Mayfield Lake. I think we need to return to WA in the summer time to really get a feel for these locations. One of the first things we did after we arrived on December 1st, was to head to the local hardware store to purchase a heat wrap and foam insulation for our water hose. Athough we only had a few snow showers while there, we hit a very cold spell of about 6-8 days when our nighttime temp. dropped to 12-15 degrees and our daytime highs only reached 24-26 degrees. I even unpacked my long underwear and it came in real handy when we were outside raking leaves....which we did a lot of while at this park that is full of maple trees and Douglas firs. Even Murphy found an unusually warm spot for a nap...check out the photo (#4) of him with our Christmas lights. We pulled the rope lights out of our storage bay, plugged them in and laid them on our bed to warm up so that we could uncoil them. This is what I found when I went back to check on them a while later.
The Silver Creek/Mossyrock area is kind of in the middle of nowhere on Hwy. 12 as you head East towards Mt. Ranier. Whenever possible, we combined errands and grocery shopping with geocaching outings and sightseeing drives, but it was still pretty costly to stay there since it was about 25 mi. (one way) to the nearest major supermarket. There was a small local market in Mossyrock, but the pickins were slim and pricey.
The highlight of our time at Ike Kinswa was having our cousin, Carole, visit with us for about 10 days. She took the train that left Sacramento, CA at midnight on Christmas Eve and arrived in Centralia, WA around 6 p.m. on Christmas day and stayed with us through New Years. As usual, when she visits us, we played games, laughed a lot, ate too much, and loved every minute of it!
Our last stop in WA is Belfair S.P. We will be leaving here tomorrow morning. This is another beautiful campground and day-use park located almost on the tip of the "hook" of the Hood Canal. The one photo I've attached shows our waterfront at low tide. The park is a very popular spot to dig for clams and oysters. While here we have seen as much of this area as possible on our days off. Although we had been to Olympic Nat'l Park before, we had never driven the entire circle around the Olympic Peninsula. One day, we spent about 11 hours making the 350+ mi. drive stopping to take many photos (including the three I've attached for you Twilight Saga fans). We also took this beautiful shot of Crescent Lake. The good news is....after I downloaded all of my photos from the camera to the computer, I pulled these four out to include with the Trip Journal. The bad news is....I accidently deleted all the others along with several other photo albums that we burned onto disks. Unfortunately, that day's photos did not get burned first. Oh well, we'll be back again.
We've taken a few shorter drives around the Hood Canal, up to Port Gamble, the Point No Point Lighthouse, Bremerton (great Naval Undersea Museum), Silverdale, Poulsbo, and too many other places to mention. All-in-all we have had a great time and met a lot of wonderful rangers and fellow volunteers. We most certainly will be back to spend more time in WA in the future....maybe we will try for summer or fall the next time!!!
And, of course, everywhere we go, there are geocaches to be found....166 found so far.
Tomorrow we head for Oregon. After a brief stopover at Fort Stevens State Park, we will be hosting for two months each at Beverly Beach S.P. (near Newport), Lowell Marina (near Eugene), Coquille River Lighthouse (Bandon), and Crissey Field Visitor Information Center (Brookings).
Until next time....
Scotty & Kris