Monthly Archives: February 2013

Tumwater Falls Park

IMG_0853Located just south of the capitol city of Olympia, Washington is the historic town of Tumwater. Just east of I-5, exit 103, sits the Tumwater Falls Park. The river that runs through it is the Deschutes River, which ends in Capitol Lake.

Once it was an area where Native Americans gathered. Years ago I took an archaeology class through South Puget Sound Community College and we took a field trip to the shores of the Deschutes River, to a spot just north of the park. There we were shown an old shell midden, which is basically a dump area for meal leftovers for local Native Americans. It was fascinating to find and touch old shells that were remnants of the people who had once inhabited the area.

Then in 1845 a group of pioneers settled in the area and built around the falls. Later, as it becameIMG_0828 famous for its artesian water, the Olympia Brewing Company was built right next to the falls. The building now stands empty but doesn’t detract from the beauty of the falls. The park is now on the historic register and is maintained and operated by a non-profit organization, the Olympia Tumwater Foundation.

You enter the park through the parking lot, located at 110 Deschutes Parkway. This part of the part has a nice lawn, picnic tables, restrooms and play structures for the kids. Nearby is a fish hatchery-holding area to process migrating salmon from the fish ladders. Until 1954 fish were unable to get over the falls so fish ladders were built.

There are actually three falls on the river – Upper Tumwater Falls, Middle Tumwater Falls, and Tumwater Falls. It’s easy to quickly get out and look at the Upper Tumwater Falls first, and to think that’s all there is, but plan to take the time to explore all of the falls. There is a nice lightly IMG_0836graveled walking trail that goes along the river and falls for about ½ mile with two foot bridges to get you over the water. Benches along the way provide a comfortable way to relax and take in the vivid, almost glowing greenery of the surrounding native plants or to be mesmerized by the sound of the rushing falls.

If you are looking for a quick outdoor experience, whether you live in the area or are just passing through, Tumwater Falls Park is the perfect stop. It provides the fresh air, exercise and beautiful northwest foliage that can improve even the most gray-dreary moods!IMG_0835

Categories: Historical, Outdoors, Parks, Washington | Tags: , , | 1 Comment

I’ll Take 3 Passports, and What on Earth is that SMELL?!

Ready for Passports

Ready for Passports

March 10, 2012 – Passport Day. We read in the Seattle Times that March 10 was Passport Day and several locations would be open to help with processing applications for passports. At first we thought we would head to Seattle for the day but then when we went online, it showed that the Long Beach, Washington post office would also be participating. So we decided to make it a day at the beach.

We arrived about 10:15 and there was one other woman before us getting her passport processed. We waited our turn, presented our documents, signed the forms, paid our money and were on our way.
We drove up the peninsula to Jack’s, our favorite grocery/hardware/variety store. They have so many interesting things that it’s fun just to go in and look around. They have so many interesting things that it’s fun just to go in and look around. From there we drove back down to Long Beach looking for a place to have lunch and decided on Castaway’s. Good choice! Being safe as usual, I ordered a cheeseburger. Josh ordered a Philly Cheese Steak Sandwich. He loved it. Said it had “everything in the world on it.” David ordered a Clam Chowder Bread Bowl. When it came I asked to try a bite. I have never liked Clam Chowder, but boy, this was good! It had a bacon flavor to it, and the bread was soft and flaky. David said he bet it was local so he asked the waiter and he said it came from the bakery across the street. Apparently it was a very popular place because it got very busy, very fast!



While in Long Beach we HAD to go to Marsh’s Free Museum. It was getting very windy and cold so we hurried on in there and started looking around. I finally told David, “There’s nothing I need in here and what is that smell?” He said he smelled it too and we decided to get out of there.

We drove down to Bolstad Street to access the beach. As we drove onto the beach we saw a crowd of people and cars to the left and looked over there and at the same time said, “Hey, there’s a dead whale!”

So of course we had to Dead Whale 2go and see it. We parked the car and walked over to the whale. It looked fake. There was what looked like entrails in a few piles around it, and a hole about 8 or 9 inches square and a couple of inches deep cut into it’s side. I started wondering if this was a leftover from some sort of sand building competition because we didn’t hear a single person in town talking about it.

I asked one guy if it was fake. He said, “No, it’s real, can’t you smell it?” I couldn’t. weird. So walked around it and took pictures just like everyone else there. Then we got back into the car to go, and THERE was the smell! In our car! That’s when we realized that was also what we were smelling at Marsh’s. We drove away and then opened the windows the let the smell out. It wouldn’t go! A couple of blocks off the beach David said maybe one of us had stepped in something so we quickly pulled over and all jumped out and ran over to the grass to start rubbing of our shoes. We got back in the car. So did the smell.

It was SO bad. David was about gagging. We kept driving with the windows down trying to air it out. We drove all the way to Ilwaco and it was STILL there so we stopped at a store and David ran in and bought one of those little tree car air fresheners. Normally, I REALLY hate those things but we really needed it. We drove to the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center to hike up there and hopefully rid ourselves of the smell and let the tree do it’s work. It sort of helped – when we got back in the car the majority of the smell was gone but we continued to catch whiffs of it every once in awhile all the way back home. Yuck.
Dead Whale 1
Once home, I think I may have been the one to step in something because Maya, our dog, suddenly started getting all interested in and sniffing my shoes, which she’s never done before.

Oh well, another day out, another unexpected adventure. I just prefer the better smelling ones!

Categories: Keatons Out and About, Washington | Leave a comment

Create a free website or blog at

%d bloggers like this: