Adventure Awaits On the Olympic Peninsula

Goal: Camp at every State Park on the Olympic Peninsula in Washington State.

Started: March 2017

Follow our progress on Camping the Olympic Peninsula

List of State Parks – and the Plan

  1. Potlatch State Park – a 125-acre camping park with 5,700 feet of saltwater shoreline on Hood Canal.
    1. 0.2 miles of hiking trails
    2. 38 tent sites & 35 utility sites (max length 60′)
    3. 1 Cascadia Marine Trail Site
    4. POtlatch.jpg
  2. Dosewallips State Park – a 1039-acre, year-round camping park with 5 miles of shoreline on Hood Canal and the Dosewallips River. All camp areas are grassy and located in scenic, rustic settings.
    1. 5 miles of hiking trails
    2. 75 tent sites & 48 utility sites (60′ max length)
    3. 3 platform tents & 12 cabins
    4. Dosewallips-State-Park-Map.mediumthumb.pdf.png
  3. Fort Worden Historical State Park – a 433-acre multi-use park with more than 2 miles of saltwater shoreline
    1. 11.2 miles of hiking trails & 8.3 miles of biking trails
    2. 50 full-service site (beach campground) & 30 utility sites (upper campground)
    3. Reservations are highly recommended
    4. Fort Worden.jpg
  4. Bogachiel State Park – a thickly forested 123-acre camping park on the banks of the Bogachiel River. “It isn’t the end of the world, but you can see it from there.” So goes a popular Northwest saying about this vicinity.
    1. 1 mile of hiking trail
    2. 26 standard sites & 6 power and water sites (40′ max length)
    3. All sites are first come, first serve
    4. Bogachiel-State-Park-Map.mediumthumb.pdf
  5. Schafer State Park – a 119-acre camping park on the Satsop River, midway between Olympia and Ocean Park
    1. 2 miles of hiking trails
    2. 41 site total – 9 water/electric, 27 standard, 1 primitive, 4 walk-in, 1 ADA
    3. Part reservation, part are first come, first serve
    4. Schafer_State_Park_Map
  6. Jarrell Cove State Park –  a 67-acre marine camping park with 3,500 feet of saltwater shoreline in the northwest of Harstine Island, in south Puget Sound
    1. 1 mile of hiking trails & 1 mile of biking trails
    2. 22 tent sites
    3. 1 Cascadia Marine Trail site
    4. jarrell-cove-state-park-map
  7. Sequim Bay State Park – a year-round, 92-acre marine camping park with 4,909 feet of saltwater coast in the Sequim “rainshadow,” just inside Puget Sound on the Olympic Peninsula
    1. 2.5 miles of hiking trails
    2. 48 tent site & 15 utility sites
    3. 2 loops of forested, dry camping site – some very near the water
    4. Sequim-Bay-State-Park-Map.mediumthumb.pdf
  8. Pacific Beach State Park – a 10-acre camping park with 2,300 feet of ocean shoreline. The beach provides a variety of wonders, from dramatic surf to beach exploration
    1. Beach exploration and walking
    2. 18 standard sites & 42 utility sites
    3. 2 yurts and 26 unshaded waterfront sites
    4. Pacific_Beach_State_Park_Map
  9. Joemma Beach State Park – a 122-acre marine camping park with 3,000 feet of saltwater frontage on southeast Key Peninsula
    1. 0.8 miles of hiking trails
    2. 19 primitive tent sites
    3. 2 Cascadia Marine Trail sites
    4. Joemma-Beach-State-Park-Map.mediumthumb.pdf
  10. Manchester State Park – a 111-acre camping park with 3,400 feet of saltwater shoreline on Rich Passage in Puget Sound. Nestled in woods of Fir and Maple, Bainbridge Island is visible from the beach.
    1. 1.9 miles of hiking trails
    2. 35 tent sites & 15 utility sites
    3. 2 Cascadia Marine Trail sites
    4. Manchester
  11. Illahee State Park – a 75-acre marine camping park with 1,785 feet of saltwater frontage on Port Orchard Bay
    1. 0.5 miles of hiking trails
    2. 23 standard sites, 2 full hook-up sites, 5 hiker/biker sites
    3. Children’s Plat Area
    4. Illahee-State-Park-Map.mediumthumb.pdf
  12. Deception Pass State Park – spreads over 4,134 acres, a marine and camping park with 77,000 feet of saltwater shoreline and 33,900 feet of freshwater shoreline on three lakes. Deception Pass and the high bridge connect Western Washington’s mainland with Whidbey and Fidalgo islands, creating a gateway for exploration
    1. 38 miles of hiking trails & 3 miles of biking trails
    2. 167 tent sites, 143 utility sites, 5 hiker/biker sites (over 3 locations)
    3. 4 primitive sites on Hope Island north shore bay
    4. deception_pass_state_park_map
  13. Fort Casey Historical State Park – a 998-acre marine camping park with 10,810 feet of saltwater shoreline on Puget Sound (Admiralty Inlet); it includes Keystone Spit, a 2-mile stretch of land separating Admiralty Inlet and Crocket Lake
    1. 1.8 miles of hiking trails
    2. 22 standard tent sites, 13 water/electric sites
    3. 4 beachfront pull-thru sites
    4. Fort_Casey_D1_Plan
  14. Twanoh State Park – situated on the shoreline of Hood Canal, features one of the warmest saltwater beaches in Washington state. This is because Hood Canal is one of the warmest saltwater bodies in Puget Sound. The 182-acre marine camping park has 3,167 feet of saltwater shoreline
    1. 2.5 miles of hiking
    2. 25 tent sites & 22 full hook-up sites (35′ max length)
    3. 1 Cascadia Marine Trail site
    4. Twanoh-State-Park-Map.mediumthumb.pdf
  15. Fort Ebey State Park – a 645-acre camping park on Whidbey Island, was originally built as a coastal defense fort in World War II
    1. 25 miles of biking trails & 28 miles of hiking trails
    2. 39 standard sites & 11 electric/water sites
    3. 1 water trail site
    4. Fort-Ebey-State-Park-Map.mediumthumb.pdf
  16. Kitsap Memorial State Park – Proof that beautiful things come in small packages: this 58-acre park north of Poulsbo serves up inspiring sunrise and sunset views. On clear mornings, the east-facing Olympic Mountains reflect pink and orange. On warm summer evenings, their peaks are often cast in silhouette by the glowing red sky
    1. 1.5 miles of hiking trails
    2. 21 standard sites & 18 water/electric sites
    3. 4 cabins
    4. Kitsap-Memorial-State-Park-Map.mediumthumb.pdf
  17. Penrose Point State Park – 165-acre marine and camping park on the shores of Puget Sound. The park has over 2 miles of saltwater frontage on Mayo Cove and Carr Inlet.
    1. 2.5 miles hiking and biking trails
    2. 82 tent sites (big enough for a small trailer)
    3. The campground is in the woods, and all sites are shady or partly shady. None of the campsites are on the water, but the beach is only a short walk away.
    4. Penrose Point State Park Map1

We have been to Twanoh State Park, so the big question is…which one next?

WA State Parks

All descriptions and maps from parks.state.wa.us

Tattoos, Trailers, Coffee, and VooDoo

Adventures with Cassandra and Fitzwilliam

I had an appointment on Saturday the 4th to get work done on my sleeve, so Friday night we decided to hitch up the trailer Saturday morning and tow it down to Portland with us.  We left Gig Harbor at 8:30 am under beautiful blue skies that turned to rain by the time we got to Portland.  Cassandra (my 2017 17′ Coachmen Clipper travel trailer) was so easy to tow with Fitzwilliam (my 2014 Ford F150 V6 Ecoboost).  We made good time and arrived with time to go to my bank and then make a stop at Big Lots to load up on $85 worth of fun trailer stuff (more to follow in a different post).

I sat from 1:00 pm until 6:00 pm while Draygon at Star Tattoo in Milwaukie, OR added color and shading to the lower half of my sleeve.  It was a total of 4 1/2 hours of actual tattooing, and by the end I had about enough being poked for a while, but I love how it turned out.  He is so skilled, I would recommend him to anyone!

Here is part of it the next day.  I will have better photos of it after it heals, but right now it is at the gross pealing stage, so I will spare you all that sight.

We were starving after my appointment was finally over, so grabbed Domino’s pizza and garlic bread knots and headed south to Champoeg State Park.  We ate the Bread Knots on the way, but managed to wait on the pizza until we found a campsite and leveled the trailer.  It was so easy to set up (even in the pitch dark for the very first time).

The trailer worked great and was super comfy and cozy.  On Saturday morning, two pots of french press coffee later, we packed up and headed to Voodoo Doughnuts before driving home.

We waited in line at Voodoo for about 30 minutes and then bough 17 doughnuts (we of course shared them when we got home) – that’s $57 worth of sugary goodness.

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I tried a jelly filled Voodoo doll for the first time.  It was so sweet that I could only eat half of it.  Poor little guy lost his head and arms and was stuffed back in the box.

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So excited for the next adventure in my trailer, and tonight when I finally get to put away all the new fun stuff I bought for it.  My plan is to keep it fully stocked so all I have to do is throw in some clothes and take off!

Sunday Fun Day: Ocean Shores, WA

I missed my weekly Tuesday post…again.  Sadly I have had the cold from hell that’s going around and am just now starting to feel normal – although my lungs still feel like they are filled with wet cotton balls. Like that image??  Here’s a better image for you…

After racing Friday and Saturday night in the barn in the freezing cold, we decided Sunday was an adventure day and headed off to the beach.  This time it was to Ocean Shores, WA.  It was a beautiful day, but by the drive home I was starting to feel pretty crappy with this stupid cold…it was a quiet return trip.

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As always, I had to put my feet in the water.  It is mandatory on EVERY trip to the beach, no matter what the weather.  I have yet to convince Nic of this though….silly boy…. It was quite chilly, so I dashed to the water, dipped my toes, and immediately hopped back in the Jeep and blasted the foot heater!

Ocean Shores is really cool since you can drive directly onto the beach.  We cruised the Jeep as far as we could drive on the beach and then drove around looking at the town and the beach houses.  My favorites were the funky little ones….especially the A-Frames.

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Another fun day of adventuring in the beautiful state of Washington!  Living each day as it comes and enjoying the moments….
 

Dirty Oscar’s Annex

Went back to Dirty Oscar’s in Tacoma, WA for a second visit Sunday night and again it did not disappoint.

First off, I am a HUGE fan of their Lemon Drops with their tasty sugared rim…definitely help contribute to the name 🙂 The Tipsy BMX Gypsy at her finest!

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The first time we visited, we both had entrees and the SUPER AMAZING tots, but the appetizers all looked so good, that this time we just split 3 different appetizers.  They were all so delicious, I couldn’t pick a favorite…  Bacon wrapped Balsamic asparagus, candy bacon, and tots! I have never had more perfectly cooked asparagus and the peppery kick in the candy bacon was superb.  And as always the tots were the best I have ever had (note: I was not paid to write this review…it is just that awesome!)

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Photo from Dirty Oscar’s Annex Gallery

The wall art is fun too with a photo of a woman holding the largest wine glass I have ever seen celebrating the end of prohibition.

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Sasquatch, Vampire, & Werewolf Hunting

I crashed my bike during a BMX race in early November (shortly after moving to the Peninsula in Washington), and am not allowed to race for 6-8 weeks.  Since my entire life is BMX, that has been rough to say the least.  However, a “silver lining” of sorts is that I have gone on some non-bike adventures and have seen some pretty cool stuff in this new state….

Left the house in Gig Harbor (ok technically, but really just outside of Wauna) at 9:30am on Sunday, December 4, 2016.  We headed out in search of adventure with the ocean being the end destination and hoping to spot some cool things along the way.  We were certain we’d see a creature of sorts like a Sasquatch in the Olympic forest, or a werewolf or sparkly vampire near Forks, WA.

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Our 335 mile loop around the Washington Peninsula was absolutely beautiful and amazingly sunny on this crisp December day.  The first stop was for coffee at the Starbucks in Aberdeen, WA.  We left Starbucks with a Grande Peppermint Mocha and Venti Vanilla Latte in hand and driving out of Aberdeen, Nirvana came on the radio…it was too perfect!

We saw a number of Sasquatch in the Olympic forest – a log carving and several plywood cutouts, but the real guy evaded us expertly as he always does.

The first sightseeing stop outside the Jeep was at Ruby Beach just south of Forks, WA.  We hiked down the gravel path to the beach fully swaddled in sweatshirts with hoods up and winter jackets.  It was still cold as we climbed over the driftwood pile and ventured out to a giant rock to peer at the ocean through the holes in it.  We made it back to the driftwood pile just as a sneaker wave soaked the spot we had been standing.

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The ocean was rough and stormy and yet the sun was shining in perfect contrast!  As with all trips to the ocean in December, I looked more like I was ready to hit the slopes than play at the beach. However, every trip to the ocean requires me to put my feet in the water, so all bundled up in my jackets, I removed my shoes and socks and rolled up my pants and padded out on the wet sand to meet the incoming waves.  I was rewarded with a brisk foot bath that hit me mid-calf.  Luckily my pants stayed dry. There is a video in existence of my squeals as the cold water hit me, but I’ll spare you that one…
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We drove through Forks in search or a place to eat lunch, but no luck finding somewhere we wanted to stop.  We hit a mini mart on the way out of time to get snacks to hold us over until Port Townsend.  Forks has such a creepy vibe to it….maybe it’s the movies or the fact that we kept talking about vampires, but either way we both had an odd feeling as we darted from the Jeep into the market and back.  I was glad to be back on the highway with the town in the rearview mirror.

Our next stop was at Lake Crescent.  We stood on the bank for a few minutes taking in the beauty of that place, but the wind soon drove us back inside the Jeep and on the road again.  I did put my hand in the water to see how cold it was, but no feet this time.

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Our final stop of the day was at Fat Smitty’s in Port Townsend for burgers and fries.  They did not disappoint…awesome cheeseburger and even more awesome steak fries cooked to perfection.  Fat Smitty himself even made an appearance and had a cup of coffee while sitting on a stool at the end of the counter…I wanted a photo with him, but alas, I was too shy to approach such a celebrity.

There are dollars hanging all over the restaurant giving an almost claustrophobic feeling to the place… After lunch we followed suit and wrote our names on a dollar and tacked it to the wall above the table where we ate. “Bethany, Nic, Tipsy Gypsy, White Fire #3”

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And of all happy things, they bring you tootsie pops with your bill! Another fun adventure on the books…until next time.  I think there is an adventure coming this Saturday, but I have no idea what it is yet!