Monday, August 5, 2013

Washington Trip~ Day Five, Wednesday, July 24th~

We drove to Discovery Park, knowing that only families with small children (ages 7 and under), could park on the beach.
We walked quite a ways- 1.5 miles - but the views were so spectacular once we reached the trail, the walk didn't seem so long.
Wild blackberries grew along-side the trail, making a delicious late morning snack! :)
Richard shared his boyhood memories of picking (free) wild blackberries, for his mom to make homemade desserts. "This is paradise!", he said, offering me a handful of berries. :)
MMmmm, they were the sweetest I'd ever tasted- no sugar needed.
 I had not expected mountainous views from the trail, and exclaimed that it was the most beautiful park I had ever seen!
Richard thought the trail looked a bit like Prince Edward Island (Anne of Green Gables).
"I tell you, it's paradise!"
The kids just laughed and sighed at us.  :)
The mountains in the distance, by the way, were the Olympian & Cascade Mountains

The trail took us through a bit of forest- where ferns grew wild!
Richard said July was Washington's dry season, but I thought everything still looked very lush.
This view took our breath away, and
Richard titled this photo: "Garden of Eden revisited"
The beach was at low tide, perfect for exploring tide pools.

The sand was the color of mud... so I couldn't bring myself to take off my shoes. :)
 [there was seaweed, too!]

I was amazed at the perfect little ripples in the sand ... such detailed artwork by an awesome Creator!
 This beach ended up being the sandiest one we visited on our trip, possibly due to such a low tide.
The children enjoyed exploring the beach, slightly disappointed Washington's beaches were very different than Florida's.   :)  One plus, was the abundance of clam and sea shells the kids could collect. Signs warned not to eat the clams, though.
{Do not eat seaweed, either.   :)
The ocean's "salt" smell will not make one nauseated, as long as he does not try sampling dried seaweed from a local store.}

We spent a total of three hours exploring the beach and walking trails.
What a special time!
 Before we left, Ashlyn sorted through her clam and sea shells.
A view of Mt Rainier, before heading back to our vehicle (photo below).
The 1.5 mile return trip was a bit harder, since it was up-hill, and we walked away from the spectacular views.
We made it- and were surprised at how very little we had sweat walking that far in the sun!
When we finally reached our parked vehicle, it was not hot and stuffy inside!!!
The Pacific Northwest became even more attractive.
Leaving the park area, we  thought these "one-laners" were fun... 
  Our next stop: The Locks & Dam, and Salmon Ladder [Hiram M. Chittenden Locks].
[There was also a small botanical garden at the Locks!] 
Puget Sound (Ocean water) was on one side of the locks & dam; Salmon Bay was on the other side (Freshwater).
 We hadn't seen a saltwater/fresh water locks & dam before!
The salmon ladder was built since the dam interfered with spawning salmon. Building a ladder was easier than informing the fish to use a different route. :)
We were anxious to see salmon  jump up-stream.
Well ... fish were resting along the way, but not swimming up-stream.
I think they were tired and taking a break. It takes a lot of energy to swim against the flow!
In one section of the Salmon ladder, local Native American Indians are allowed to catch Salmon for ceremonial purposes. We couldn't tell how many they were catching ....

What a long, but lovely day!

Back at the hotel, I took care of the laundry, while Richard went to the store.
Our plan was to leave our Seattle hotel the next morning, enjoy a whale tour, then travel to the Bellingham area.
Our vacation was already nearly half over!

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