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Showing posts from January, 2016

Musings: Advertisements in State Parks

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While visiting Rasar State Park recently, my husband and I walked past many empty frames like the one above. Normally, we'd expect to find some kind of informational poster there, perhaps pointing out some interesting plant life or historical tidbits about the scenery in front of us. I expect that those frames were empty because the displays were being updated. Or perhaps Rasar State Park has adopted more of a philosophical, existential "make your own nature interpretation" approach, which is also great! But what if those frames held something altogether unrelated to the state park's history, flora or fauna? What if it displayed an advertisement for the newest gotta-have-it cell phone, or discount car insurance, or the latest in outdoor gear and fashion?

This sounds odd, but it could become reality. A recent KOMO news story brought to my attention a proposal that might adversely affect future visits to my favorite Washington State Parks. The Washington State Parks C…

Wanderings: Rasar State Park

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As most of you may know after reading last week's Nature Nerd Wednesday post, my thirtieth birthday was last Wednesday the 20th. I took the day off work, and what else would a nature nerd do but spend the day in the great outdoors? But what was I to do? There were so many amazing options: do I go up to the mountains and tromp around among the snowy trees? Do I go visit my favorite place, Saint Edward State Park? Do I tackle a new hike? In the end, I decided to head north to see all of the bald eagles currently converging on the Skagit River to feed on the salmon runs. That seemed like a pretty cool way to spend my thirtieth birthday.

So my husband and I drove up north to Rasar State Park in Concrete, and like me, the park is also celebrating its thirtieth birthday this year! The land was donated to Washington State parks by the Rasar Family in 1986. I chose this park for our eagle-seeking adventures because it has a nice long trail that follows the Skagit River and should offer o…

Wanderings: First Day Hike at Cama Beach State Park

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New Year's Day dawned freezing cold and frosty here in western Washington, with clear blue skies and brilliant winter sunshine. Bundled in layers of polar fleece, my husband and I headed out to Cama Beach State Park to participate in our third annual First Day Hike. What better way to kick off the New Year than exploring the natural scenery of one of our state's many wonderful State Parks?

In past years, we participated in First Day Hikes at Deception Pass State Park (2014) and Wallace Falls State Park (2015). These parks also hosted First Day Hikes this year, but I wanted to explore someplace new, to become further acquainted with the parks closest to my new homeground in Snohomish County. With its 15 miles of trails, Olympic Mountain views, and picturesque setting overlooking Saratoga Passage, Camano Island's Cama Beach State Park was an enticing option.

We arrived at the park and found a parking spot on the frozen asphalt of the Birch lot. Each lot A-D is named after a…