Burfoot Park, Olympia, WA

This past Sunday we decided to check out the area north of Olympia called Boston Harbor Marina. We wanted to maybe get an ice cream and walk along the rocky shore. Unfortunately the soft serve ice cream machine was turned off for the day. Also, the marina’s shore area was pretty small, including a small boat launch on one side and a tiny beach area on the other.

Boston Harbor Marina in Olympia, Washington

On the way to Boston Harbor, we had driven past two parks that looked interesting; Priest Point Park and Burfoot Park. We decided on Burfoot which was maybe a mile before Boston Harbor. This is a Thurston County park that looks out onto Budd Inlet. Besides having a huge inner grassy park area, there are several trails that all end up at the beach.

Burfoot Park in Olympia, Washington

The trails are very cool. Dense, mossy forest and ferns everywhere! Some trails have casual grades while others have steep steps, choose your own adventure. The weather was pretty sunny this day, but these trails would definitely come alive in a more moody atmosphere. As you get to the beach area, signs for poison oak are posted, so stay alert.

The beach is a rocky shore with tons of clams spitting streams of water straight into the air, some several feet. To the south you can see the top of the Washington State capitol building. While we were there, low tide was happening and there were tons of things to look at while exploring.

Burfoot Park in Olympia, Washington

Even for a warm sunny day, there were’t very many people on the beach. As we were wandering around, most had left and had been replaced by a couple of people arriving to watch the sun set. Since it was our first time at this park, we didn’t know exactly when the gates would shut at the designated ‘dusk’ closing time, so we headed back to the car, along the mossy forest trail.

In-camera multiple exposure at Burfoot Park in Olympia, Washington

Next time we’ll stay and watch the sun set, since it seems to be a popular spot for that. As long as we’re out of the park by nightfall we should be fine.

Burfoot Park in Olympia, Washington

This park will definitely be on our list for many future visits, as it’s very close to home. Can’t wait to go back and explore around more! Thanks for reading.

All photos made with a Panasonic Lumix LX5


Tumwater Falls, Olympia, WA

Cinco de Mayo afternoon we took a short drive over to Tumwater Falls Park. The upper and lower falls of the Deschutes River empty out into the very southern end of the Puget Sound in the heart of Olympia. It’s the home of two derelict Olympia Beer breweries and a great little trail that makes you forget you’re right in the center of town.

Tumwater Falls in Olympia, Washington

There are two upper falls that have a few pieces of dead fall hanging around, I’m sure someday they will rot away or be hit by other pieces and swept downstream. The sound of the falling and rushing water is so relaxing. The latter of the two beer breweries is perched right above the upper falls. It has tons of broken windows in what would have been pretty coveted office spaces back in the day.

Tumwater Falls in Olympia, Washington

My wife claims to have seen a salmon making a jump for it, as soon as we arrived. I joked that she was telling me a fish story, but she was sure of what she saw. There were quite a few salmon steps along this part of the river due to the falls.

Tumwater Falls in Olympia, Washington

The lower falls were just as cool to see, and had a couple different vantage points. There was a foot bridge over the falls that led to a trail on the other side of the river and to a small side-spring waterfall. Below the main waterfall there was a great viewing deck that was in a constant misty spray from the falls.

Tumwater Falls in Olympia, Washington

After that, the river makes a short trip past the original beer brewery and then on to Capitol Lake and into the sound. Such a great park in the middle of our city. We want to go back and explore the area on a foggy or wet morning in the future.

Tumwater Falls in Olympia, Washington

Here’s a link to my wife’s blog post, check out her take of Tumwater Falls, Washington.

iPhone 5s photos edited with the Hipstamatic app (Jane lens, Irom 2000 film)

Woodard Bay Conservation Area, Olympia, WA

Over this past weekend we took a walk through Woodard Bay Conservation Area, just north of Olympia. And we actually got our son out of the house and on the trail with us, nice! This area is a piece of local logging history, it was nice to learn a bit about that and all the critters that call this area home.

Woodard Bay Conservation Area in Olympia, Washington

The trail from the small parking area to the logging railroad jetty is a nice wide paved trail that wanders through tall, mossy trees. There’s a side trail that goes through a Newt breeding area, sounds interesting, and we’ll have to take that trail next time. Lots of great bird action along the main trail, we even saw a chipmunk.

When you get out to the end of the trail, what’s left of the old logging railroad jetty lays out into the bay in front of you. It turns out that a colony of bats calls this place home now. My wife wants to go back in the evening to see the bats fly out for the evening to score some dinner, and I agree, that would be cool to see.

Woodard Bay Conservation Area in Olympia, Washington

There’s a few picnic tables and a reproduction logging foreman cabin for education purposes on site. Down a side path is another viewing area with benches where you can relax and just take in the nature and peaceful water ways. I could stay there for hours and just listen to the birds and look out for otters, etc.

Woodard Bay Conservation Area in Olympia, Washington

Unfortunately, since the park is a conservation area, you must stay on trails and cannot walk along the beach. But, it’s beautiful and peaceful, so that’s just fine.

Woodard Bay Conservation Area in Olympia, Washington

Do you know of any other spots in the south sound area like this? Comment below, thanks for reading!

iPhone 5s photos edited with the Hipstamatic app (Jane lens, Irom 2000 film)

Tolmie State Park, Olympia, WA

This past Sunday we visited a place where we had previously only scoped out very quickly. Tolmie State Park is in a small cove in the Olympia/Lacey area, pretty close to home. On our scouting trip we didn’t have our parking pass yet, but one look at the parking area alone meant we had to come back and walk around. And since it’s so close to home, we plan on making this a frequent place to visit and relax.

Tolmie State Park in Olympia, Washington

The park is nestled in between private land, but heavily forested, so you’d never know there were water-front homes all around the park. Once you get out to the beach, then you can see all the homes with their great views of the Puget Sound.

There were a handful of people digging for clams out in the muddy water since the tide was out. Others were just enjoying the sunny day and relaxing in chairs or sitting on big washed up logs on the beach. My wife and I really enjoy this style of beach over the pure sandy sun-tan and volleyball beaches where we grew up.

Tolmie State Park in Olympia, Washington

This cove’s rocks and washed up logs were covered in all types of barnacle looking sea life. It’s funny to see what rocks and wood types they will attach to and what they won’t, I guess there’s a preference? I guess I should have paid more attention in science class, haha!

At some point the water calling to my wife was too strong, so I went and sat on a washed up log while she went out to walk in the water and explore the area further out. So relaxing, until a drone pilot decided to bring his thousand dollar toy out and muck up a peaceful afternoon.

Tolmie State Park in Olympia, Washington

Now, don’t get me wrong, I enjoy watching video footage and seeing photography from drones. But, this dude was flying it around like it was a child’s RC car in a dirt lot. He wasn’t creating anything visual, instead just being “that guy” with a “cool thing”. Drones aren’t a big deal when they’re 300 feet in the air and you can’t hear or see them any longer, but when you’re buzzing it around near ground level all over the place, it’s like an annoying fly!

After my wife came back from exploring out by the water line, we headed in to the forest to walk a trail. The amounts of moss and fern growth is so crazy here in Washington. Very little ground soil can ever be seen, everything is covered in some kind of plant life. And the critters are everywhere, you can hear them more than see them usually though.

Tolmie State Park in Olympia, Washington

The end of trail pops you out at the end of the park boundary where someone’s private residence beach begins. Luckily mister drone must’ve drained his battery, now it was quiet and peaceful again, yay! We enjoyed that end of the beach all to ourselves for a few minutes before lazily walking back along the trail to the parking area.

Tolmie State Park in Olympia, Washington

I think we all want to go back to the park on a nice overcast, foggy or rainy day for a completely different vibe. Can’t wait.

Here’s a link to my wife’s Tolmie State Park post, check it out for more photos and her take on our closest State Park. Thanks for reading!

iPhone 5s photos edited with the Hipstamatic app (Jane lens, Irom 2000 film)

Port Townsend, WA

This past Saturday we took a drive north on Highway 101 to Port Townsend. It was our first time visiting the small port town, and the 2-hour drive from Olympia is very beautiful. The two-lane highway is full of slow vehicle turnouts, so a steady 45mph cruise along the curvy road can be done to really enjoy the scenery.

Hood Canal, Puget Sound, Washington

There are many curves along Hood Canal that show off the evergreen scenery, so pretty. For most of the drive, Highway 101 hugs the beaches of Hood Canal, water everywhere.

Olympic National Forest Sign along Hood Canal, Puget Sound, Washington

It was raining off and on throughout the entire drive north. Sometimes just a light mist, other times full on down pours. The rain totally adds to the mood of the drive. It always puts a smile on my face to be driving through this climate!

Hood Canal, Puget Sound, Washington

Thanks to my wife for shooting the previous three photos for me as I drove. So much to look at the entire way. As we arrived and drove through the center of Port Townsend (wow, incredible old buildings downtown and uptown), we came across what looked like an old military base of some kind. It turned out to be Fort Worden, now a Washington State Park.

Battery Kenzie at Fort Worden in Port Townsend, Washington
Battery Kenzie at Fort Worden in Port Townsend, Washington

We checked out the visitor center/gift shop really quick, then continued on out towards the beach area. There we found the Point Wilson lighthouse and Battery Kenzie. What a great example of Puget Sound military defense history, and it’s completely open to exploration! The beach surrounding the area is beautiful. We recently purchased the Washington State Discover Pass, so we were able park and spend some time here.

Fort Worden in Port Townsend, Washington
Fort Worden in Port Townsend, Washington

We took a nice long walk along the coast, our first since moving to Washington a few months ago. The rocky coastline of the PNW is so relaxing and uplifting. Only a handful of people were out walking along the beach, so it was very quiet and peaceful.

Fort Worden in Port Townsend, Washington

After the nice long beach walk, we drove back into the center of town and ate fish and chips for lunch at Sea J’s Cafe. I highly recommend this spot if you’re ever in the area (yummy and affordable). After a delicious meal we drove through uptown real quick and then parked to walk around downtown a while. I didn’t get any photos, but the Victorian era downtown is amazing! Check out my wife’s blog post here to read more about the drive and to see photos of the architecture.

Sea J’s Cafe in Port Townsend, Washington

The drive home was just as amazing, seeing everything from a Southbound view point along Highway 101. The Port Townsend drive was an awesome weekend adventure, I can’t wait to go back some day and explore even more of the area. Have you been to Port Townsend? Share your story in the comments below. Thanks for reading!

iPhone 5s photos edited with the Hipstamatic app (Jane lens, Irom 2000 film)