Judging from the amount of space I devote on this website to our vacations, you might assume that we spend much of our retired life visiting wildlife refuges. (Un)fortunately, as much as I would like to lead that lifestyle, it ain’t true. At times I actually feel like I spend most of my retirement sitting at the computer working on blog entries, but looking back at the calendar to see how few posts I have made that’s obviously not true, either. In fact, I’m never sure where all the time went, just that it went a lot faster than I ever thought it would.
Our regular routine in the rainy season includes three days working out at the YMCA, which we occasionally supplement with walks in nearby Pt. Defiance or trips to local wildlife areas. One of our favorite walks in late Spring or early Summer is at the Dunes, a new extension of Pt. Defiance Park is named after Frank Herbert.
Built on the ruins of a historic lead-and-copper smelter it is covered with “prairie grasses and flowers,” and most of those flowers are at their prime in early spring. The trail from the upper parking lot is filled with these striking Rhododendrons.
Rhododendrons are native to Washington, but I don’t think these are a native variety.
Common Hollyhocks line the trail section that overlooks the marina.
If you can take your eyes off the beautiful flowers, and it’s clear enough, you can see Mt. Rainier in the distance lording over Point Ruston.
You know it’s a good day here whenever you can see The Mountain.
You can also find flowers like Columbine
and Tough Leaved Iris
on the Dune Peninsula Pavilion.
We usually finish our two-mile walk by going back through the Japanese Garden. That’s twice as far as we usually walk at the Y, but only seems half as long.