Westport Light State Park

Wesport Light State Park is just a happy walk south of Westhaven State Park, so if you visit one, you should likely visit the other.

WAIT! you say… it’s been near 3 years since your last update and then you start out without even giving so much as an explanation?!!?!?!?

Answer: Money/Life/Priorities/Choices.

Okay, so moving on. It is really a blissful jaunt to get from one park to the other, and on a paved path no less. This means you can rollerblade (as if anyone really still does that right?), bike, or just be generally happy that you are not getting sand in your shoes due to your sand phobia.

IMG_3113

This walk is actually not in the registered state park land, but it may as well be since you can’t tell difference. The real reason you want to come to Westport Light though; is because of the proclaimed “Tallest Lighthouse in Washington.” Which will instantly confuse you; since it is about 0.5 miles from the beach itself, but none the less its worth checking out.

IMG_7892

There was a small fee for entering it and being allowed to kill your thighs and travel to the top of it. However, it has lots of character and will brighten your dull day once you stop and admire the details of the construction. Along the path to the top they have pictures that tell the story of the lighthouse, and give reasoning’s as to why the beach has moved itself farther out into the sea (I’m sure you’re relieved to know the lighthouse didn’t move itself, or that by the off chance was a poor decision by someone who doesn’t understand the purposeĀ  of a lighthouse.)

Back to the shiny details of the innards. They are intricate and well planned, and made for some great and unique pictures.

IMG_3109

 

Once you’ve managed to get yourself to the peak of this towering concrete cylinder, you’ll find a decent view of the surroundings, but honestly the inside has a bit more charm. It should be noted that we did get there on a pretty cloudy type day, so our view was slightly limited.

Also for the sake of this being a “review” blog there is a picnic area at the parking lot for those who feel they need such accommodations to find their inner peace.

IMG_3102

Conclusion of the matter: 3 out of 5 Stars. It makes a decent stop if you’re in the area, and it’s a bit off putting to have to pay to go up the lighthouse, even if it’s understandable. But in the end it has great beach access and that is likely the real reason you strapped yourself in your car and headed west anyways.

Fort Worden State Park

I’ll admit it. My wife and I are actually scouting the state for places we can escape to in the event of a zombie apocalypse. And we may have been successful in that endeavor with our visit to Fort Worden State Park. What a wonderfully different location than the places we have been so far. It truly has something for everyone; from panning vistas of the Puget Sound, to sandy rugged beaches, to huge grassy landscapes, to camping, to exploration… I really could keep going, but I think you’d get bored with a list of its features. Let’s delve deeper into the site and see what I can show you through the lens of my camera. Now this is only seven pictures, and I took hundreds here. It is a dream come true to those who love black and white; and I’m the leading sucker in the category.

Stairs

I mentioned beaches and vistas in my list, and there is definitely no shortage of places to stop and soak the scenery up. First you should know you’re basically on a peninsula jutting into the Puget Sound, so you have a near full surrounding of panoramic awesomeness. Top that off with the fact you’re on top of a hill. It’s simple to understand why the military placed this fort here. And exactly why I will be fleeing to this location when the face eating flesh walkers come my way.

Beach

Now let’s talk about the battle fort itself. You do have to hike to it, but it’s a rather leisurely hike on a blocked off road. It is worth the small amounts of effort required to reach the “summit”. It’s a hill, not a mountain, so summit might be stretching it for a descriptive reference. None the less it leads to the crown jewel of this state park. A pile of concrete decaying into modern works of art.

I’ll explain that in a minute; but here is the fortress that the survivors will hold up in while the warriors are out fighting the hordes of hordes. Also you should know that there are multiple areas to visit, this is just a small piece of the pie. Removing those that are disrupting the peace to their own designated area shouldn’t be a problem.

Fort

Alright, about the modern art. Thankfully there has been many artist here who have visited the fort. They have spruced up the walls with living color; and profanity, which I decided I wouldn’t share with you, simply because I don’t want to the spoil the surprise if you visit this place yourself. Some though do stand out as interesting and mind-boggling. I can’t say I’m in full appreciation of them defacing such a place. However, if something intrigues me I can’t help but clap my hands to their efforts to appease those they will never see enjoy their art. Although I don’t think they are really trying to impress anyone; you be the judge.

Tree

Beware of Kong. As he may be lurking in the shadows. Thankfully, again, the artists have given us a glimpse of what to look for.

Kong

And the last thing to show you, is this boat that is down by the beach on the way to the lighthouse. It has been there for countless ages, and no one will remove it because the person had their name put on it. It stands to reason everyone is just waiting for him to come back and claim his boat and remove it from the premises. Or maybe someone is saving this for a quick get away from the zombies when they come. Either way, stop marvel, and take a picture.

Chets

Conclusion of the matter. Easy to give this 5 out of 5 stars. It truly was one of our best visits yet, and you don’t need to be a diehard hiker to enjoy it. Just go and be happy, and take in the sites, and snicker that you have indeed found a place of refuge if indeed the T-virus escapes the Umbrella Corp.

Bottle Beach State Park

This place is less than interesting on paper, and even more bleak once you arrive at the parking lot. All you see is a marsh landscape and a sturdily built outhouse. But there it is taunting you, an elevated pathway to the beach. Coaxing you to leave your valuables in your car and head off to the unknown; I ofcourse assumed it was going to be a death march. Before we headed off we read the plaque telling us about the history of the park and why it was important to save the land. Then off we went down the grey Boardwalk of Doom. Once we reach the end of the elevated walkway they provided us with this lovely bench, as though the less than a quarter-mile walk had destroyed all hope of making it to the beach.

Bench

Then we pressed on using the paved pathway. Finding our way to what I had decided was going to lead us to treasures untold. Because after all we had already survived the Boardwalk of Doom. The journey was uninspiring to say the least. Nothing but pesky birds jeering me on, and more marshy landscape than I could shake a stick at.

Speaking of birds, that is the point of this state park. It is a refuge for birds, a place for them to gather and plan their evils on the world; it is apparently the first place to be “state approved” as a refuge.

Marsh

After what seemed like miles of the same boring landscape we came to a structure that as a builder I was very intrigued by. It was designed by every imaginable left over item one could have lying around their house from projects abandoned. From huge over sized timber posts to retaining wall blocks for foundation. It impressed me so much that I took a picture. Ofcourse, in this picture you won’t be able to see the awesomeness I’m talking about, but you’ll still be impressed I’m sure.

Shelter

Here is where the experience can be vastly different; at high tide, it would end here basically, but if you get there at low tide, the options will abound. We happened to get there at low tide, maybe even a very low tide, and were able to walk deep out into the beach. There we found all kinds of things to look at. Old docking posts, huge open views of the Olympic Mountains, crabs, sea weed, algae, rusted strange objects, even sand! It was all there for our viewing pleasure. There was no treasure to be found though, so don’t bother heading there with hopes of striking it rich. Unless you like failure, then I highly recommend you seek this place out for treasure hunting.

Sand

The strangest thing we came across was this “pit.” After much thinking and mind bending thoughts I’ve come to the conclusion that this spot is possibly where the Ninja Turtles were really turned. Beside the green “ooze” being some strange algae, there was the pipe of never-ending water. So if it wasn’t where the turtles came into the contact with the ooze, then clearly I have stumbled upon the fountain of youth.

Fountain

Ooze

There you have it. The fountain of youth is near Grays Harbor and Aberdeen, and you must be there at low tide to find it.

The conclusion of the matter: 2 out of 5 stars. HOWEVER, if you are there at low tide, and get to see all the cool stuff out in the sand, you may just get lucky like us, and obtain the 4 out of 5 star experience. This is a nice place if you are on your way to Westhaven or Westport, but as a single destination, it’s probably not worth your time. Also, the walk to the beach is not miles, like I implied. It’s very easy and short.

Grayland Beach State Park

If I say the word, “beach.” What would come to your mind? If your mind lacks imagination and you have never browsed an article called, “Greatest Beaches in the World.” Then the likely conclusion is that all you’ll come up with is wind, waves, and sand. Welcome to Grayland Beach State Park. It’s not that it isn’t pretty here, or that there isn’t ample activity going on by the hustle and bustle of people. It just lacks any real wow factor. There is sand to your left and right for about as far as the eye can see.

Grassland

Straight away we were rushed by a rabidly happy golden retriever. Following closely behind was its owner who saved us from his slobbery intentions. We skipped the option of flipping a coin to pick a direction of travel and headed left. A slightly poor choice since that put the wind into our face, but once our mind is made up we couldn’t change it. Not true ofcourse, but more likely we just didn’t put enough thought into it after the pleasant interaction with the dog.

Dog

And so we wandered. Slowly, methodically, decisively. Crushing the various shells under our shoes we marched down the beach with great purpose. The purpose was not actually known though, we just wanted to be confident people walking down the beach. Who wants to be the embarrassing city folk at the beach? Not this group. Speaking of group, we were fortunate to bring along my mother to this barren landscape. Infact, we could blame her for the destination, as it was her idea to go to the beach. I may make it sound like she beat us with a willow tree branch, but we actually consented in a free will sort of way. And we did say “All” state parks didn’t we?

shell

There was actually plenty of things to see on this beach. Dead carcases from crabs and sand dollars where every where. Finding a whole sand dollar was near impossible, but my mom kept picking them up as though it was a challenge that must be overcome. Success was granted to her mission after a mile or so, and a childish smile of happiness glistened in her eyes. No reward beyond satisfaction though; as it just led to even more walking.

crab

What do you find at the end of the beach? probably another beach. We can’t know for sure as you can’t bring your legs to continue when there is no hope on the horizon. Coming up to a small river, we decided it looked like a solid place to end our journey and turned back towards home. This time we stayed up away from the beach and followed a small water bog that lines the upper edge. It was eerie to walk beside it, I could feel my feet sink about two inches as the ground literally caved under my feet. All I could think was a sinkhole could form any minute. I’m actually shuttering alittle bit just thinking about it.

edge

The normal birds were out around the beach as well. Some seagulls, crows and some other tiny birds. They are there to both collect your drops of food and crap on your car. Drive with caution, they are of vicious intent indeed.

Crow

So what is the conclusion of the matter? You’ll be shocked to see a 3 out of 5. But this beach has trimmings you need for a lazy beach vocation. This beach allows driving on the beach, and has ample wind for your kite. I didn’t go with 2 stars, cuz I know there will be more barren beaches than this one. (I’m looking at you Long Beach!)

~Me.Greedy

Deception Pass State Park

This is going to feel very, and I mean very, anti-climactic. I mean doing Deception Pass second seems like a joke. Anyone who knows about big attractions in our state of Washington knows about Deception Pass State Park; It’s right there with Pikes Place, Mt. Rainier, Space Needle and ofcourse Forks. I do feel alittle sadness come to me by putting Forks on that list, but Twilight did just that didn’t it? Enough about things familiar! Lets talk about the complexity and awesomeness that is Deception Pass State Park. The first thing you’ll notice and be drawn to is the bridge. Its old, its famous, and it makes you want to vomit when you walk across it. But the best part about it, is being able to go on the island that supports the two bridges. It’s a complex structure of steel and definitely a man-made marvel. Take time to wander this plot of land.

Complex Steel

Now it was just a bit of bad luck to be camping there on the tail end of winter in 50 mile an hour winds. That thankfully did not stop the beauty of the park from shining for us. Infact the wind enhanced the experience and brought wonderful tears of joy to our faces. This is ofcourse not true. The tears came from the wind blowing in our faces and making us squint like a mad scientist in a lab. It didn’t impede our progress to find fascinating things to snap pictures of. Best part about the wind was the awesome and powerful waves crashing in the rocky surf.

Tree Bottom

There is a nifty little beach that sits at the foot of the bridge for those who like to lounge about like lifeless beach rocks, and it is just long enough to take the breath out of your lungs if you go for the full walk down its breadth. It handles some pretty good angles of the bridge for pictures, and while we were there some crazy surfers tried to even catch a wave. It was pathetic to watch them in full wetsuit regalia trying to ride a 6 foot wave, but they did succeed, and their smiles showed they really didn’t care about the lack of heated water or the tiny waves. It also gave me a chance to be amused about the idea of a surfer in Washington. I say this in lightness though, as I do have a friend that enjoys the sadomasochism of surfing in Washington. Kudos to you Jesse.

The bridge

Surfer

As you can see we were blessed with an absolutely gorgeous sunset. It was pink, blue, and splattered the entire sky. For a forecast of 90% chance of rain we really got the best case scenario out of the trip. Likely this is one of those State Parks that will get a revisit long before this whole project is wrapped up. It is a gem of the Northwest, and is inconceivable of a person in Washington to never get out and see this incredible landscape. Book your reservation now, or you’ll be missing out on some summer camping. And what if you miss a sunset like this!!!!

Sunset

Conclusion: I think I already concluded my statement in the last paragraph. But here is the official standing: 5 out of 5 for sure. Stay the night at this park. You won’t regret it.

Waves Crashing

~Me. Greedy