We looked for someplace new to enjoy the warmest day of the year to date – temperatures in the mid 70’s and it’s still winter! We didn’t have to look far; Point Defiance Park just 30 miles south in Tacoma, fit the bill. At 760 acres, with old growth forest, hiking trails, gardens, a living history museum, beaches, zoo and aquarium, it has something for everyone. We’d been to the zoo before but never explored much else. We had a map of the park and decided to start with a visit to Owens Beach on Puget Sound.
We walked the path along the Sound and enjoyed this unexpected view of Mt. Rainier. (I seem to lose my sense of direction when visiting new places and so never know where the mountain might pop up!)
Nearby there was ferry service to Vashon Island. (Maybe we’ll take that trip next time.)
Today was a walk on the beach, looking for pretty rocks to add to my collection and absorbing the sunshine. It seemed like a few other folks had the same idea and may have even called in sick for this foretaste of summer.
We continued the drive around the park, enjoying the views of the sound and mountains on the way. We stopped to walk the Spine Trail into the deep quiet of old growth forest. The green color of life and the fragrance of the woods were therapeutic as always.
We saw some enormous Doug Firs which reminded me of walks through the Redwoods.
I liked how the sunshine lit up the red bark of this fallen tree.
We didn’t have time to walk the entire trail so half way through we retraced our steps and returned to the car. We continued on through the park and stopped by Fort Nisqually but it was closed.
A replica of a Hudson Bay Company Fort and first non-native settlement in Puget Sound, Fort Nisqually was first established in 1833 in nearby Dupont. In 1933 some of the preserved structures were moved to this location and now serves as a living history museum. We’d have to come back later for that. Perhaps when we return to visit the gardens as each of them come into bloom – rhododendrons, roses, fuchsias, dahlias, and more! But now we were hungry and it was time to head out for lunch. On our way home the temperature read 73 degrees. Really? On March 12th? Perhaps that’s what global warming looks like in the Pacific Northwest. We’ll take it for today. Temperatures expected to be back in the forties and fifties the rest of the week.