Another summer day and another walk in the woods, my first at Flaming Geyser State Park. Now before you get too excited, I must disavow you of the notion that there’s an actual flaming geyser in the park. No. Sorry. It petered out many years ago; see empty depression in the ground below for confirmation.
But I am promised by the brochure that it did in fact exist once in this very spot. Yes, in 1911 some miners tapped into methane gas and saltwater 1,000 feet underground, and fire and water shot up 25 feet in the air! I wish I could have seen that! They also say that the fire continued for many years until the methane gas finally ran out, so all that’s left is the name, Flaming Geyser. But no matter what they call it, the park is still quite wonderful. First of all the Green River flows through it with good accessible shoreline for swimming, fishing, boating and inner tubing. It has a designated area for remote control model planes (and drones these days), as well as horse trails and large grassy picnic areas.
And there are wooded trails with river access! What more do you want?
And so we walked the easy path through the woods, alongside of giant ferns and berries and shrubs and trees of all sizes and shapes, most of them dripping with moss.
Along the path I saw this tiny orchid like flower which added a nice splash of color to the mostly green landscape. It’s called impatiens capensis, or more commonly, orange jewelweed or orange balsam. Pretty isn’t it?
After a mile or so the trail connected to the river and we stopped to rest and watched the happy drifters go by.
We also watched a flock of ducks swim furiously up river in the opposite direction. They seemed to take turns being the leader, running to get to the front of the pack while the others hung back. They bobbed underwater when the mood struck them (for food I assume) and stopped by the pools to hang out. They seemed to be having as much fun as the human drifters in their inner tubes.
The 65 mile long Green River flows from the west side of the Cascades, passes through the Green River Gorge, then through Auburn and the Kent Valley, and finally becomes the Duwamish River which flows into Elliott Bay in Seattle. Last week I walked an urban trail next to it in Tukwila. I seem to keep bumping into this river and it’s all good.
This contrasts with my own walks in the local tiny woodland, next to the equally tiny river. Everything in America is indeed bigger, as the old saying goes!
Best wishes, Pete.
Thanks Pete. I find the pictures of your woodlands in England wonderful too with their own charm. But we do seem to have bigger here especially in the West. And I’m rather partial to the Pacific Northwest with the mountains and forest and rivers nearby. 🙂