Scenes from Hood Canal – Dosewallips, Bald Eagles, and Camp Parsons

Hood Canal is one of my favorite places in Washington, wild and beautiful and chocked full of memories. But Hood Canal is not a canal at all but a fjord, a long and narrow inlet of Puget Sound. Originally called Hood’s Channel by Royal Navy Capt. George Vancouver in 1792, it ended up on his charts as Hood’s Canal, and finally became Hood Canal in 1932.

I spent many summers at my grandparents’ place on Hood Canal at Pleasant Harbor, in Brinnon,

and later at my mom’s after she moved there too. I also spent a few days every summer at Camp Parsons not as a camper but as a counselor for summer camp.

Despite my familiarity with the area there’s always something new to discover as we found out on our recent trip to Port Angeles, when we took the scenic route home around the canal. Ha! It’s all scenic!

We found a new hike at Dosewallips State Park and what a hike it was! Over the river and through the woods! Well, over a creek, and through the woods, with the river in the distance.

“Dosewallips State Park is a 1,064-acre, year-round camping park with 5 miles of shoreline on Hood Canal and the Dosewallips River.

“The park’s moss-carpeted forest and glacial river slope down to a shell-strewn delta on Hood Canal, a delight for clam-diggers, anglers, boaters, birders and beach explorers.

Guests may share space with the local elk herds that wander through camp. (Stay back 100 feet, and never offer food.) Bald eagles have been seen on the beach and great blue herons flock to the river.”

Washington State Parks website

We didn’t see elk this time but we’ve seen them before. Or should I say, they saw us?

We did see bald eagles and great blue herons as we continued on around the canal.

By then we were past Camp Parsons but I have pictures to show you of that beautiful place from an earlier trip.

One of the oldest Boy Scout camps in America, Camp Parsons has been in operation since 1919. For many years our church rented it for a few days every summer for Bible Camp and Bob and I went to serve as counselors.

Back in the last century we had boundless stores of energy. We rose up early, hiked all over the grounds from cabins to dining hall to craft lodge to campfire and back to cabins again for (hopefully) a good night’s sleep, surrounded by happy kids.

We slept in rustic open air cabins, fished off the dock, sang around the campfire, listened to the Word and made many lasting friendships.

It was wonderful; I’d do it again in a heartbeat.

And that’s enough for Hood Canal.

Till next time.

~ Susanne

21 Comments on “Scenes from Hood Canal – Dosewallips, Bald Eagles, and Camp Parsons

  1. I love these pictures but you shattered all of my dreams when you revealed that it’s NOT a canal…I have to figure out how to process that!

    • Right? πŸ˜‰ πŸ™‚ We’ve said ‘canal’ our whole life, never once did I hear it called a fjord, but that indeed is what it is! πŸ™‚

  2. Your images are stunning. What a lovely area to explore and enjoy. Loved the Bald Eagle! Extraordinary, xxoo, C

  3. My wife and I have spoken about visiting the Pacific NW one of these days, and I’m gonna have to put Hood Canal on the places to visit list. This was a beautiful tour of a beautiful location.

    • Thank you so much. It’s definitely worth a visit on your way to Olympic National Park which is another must-see. 😊😊

  4. It’s a beautiful area, Susanne. Thanks for the memories. Seeing the elk was always a highlight of any trip down that way.

  5. What a beautiful area, no wonder you love it! We crossed the Hood Canal on our way from Seattle to Port Townsend but didn’t make time to explore – now I wish that we had! Dosewallips looks like a perfect place for a hike and I love your bald eagle shots πŸ™‚ And it was interesting for me to see the photos of the summer camp and hear about your experiences there – it always seems such a quintessentially American thing to me!

    • Thanks so much, Sarah. It’s a special place to me with so many family memories. Surprisingly, it’s changed very little in my lifetime, remaining undeveloped. It was a treat to see the eagles, too and coming across the herd of elk is always wonderful!

      And Camp Parsons. is the best camp I’ve ever been to, rugged, rustic, and indeed quintessentially American! πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

  6. As I have written before my daughter and I spent one week each summer for nine years at Seabeck. I have wonderful memories of everything about being there as well as the drives to and from Portland. Thanks for the photos. They took me right back.

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