Discovering a new park, not far from home.

Periodically, Hubby and I drive from our home in Everett, Washington to the town of Leavenworth, along US Highway 2.  For years, I have noticed the roadside sign, pointing to the exit to Flowing Lake County Park.  I have always wondered what was there at the park, but we were normally in a bit of a hurry, so never took that exit.  Now that I am retired, I have had it in my mind to take some time to go exploring, and see what I could find there.  First, I made an easy journey to the Web site of Snohomish County Parks.  I found an entry for the park, and its very interesting story.  It seems that this park was the site of a private resort from the 1920s, family owned and operated.  When the resort declined, the family sold the land to the county, and it became a park and campground.

So, last weekend I got in the car and drove up to Flowing Lake County Park.  The exit off Highway 2 turned out to be pretty scenic, and the park itself was about a dozen miles away.  The road was lined with small farms, ranches, and some newer subdivisions.  When I reached the park, I paid the day fee on the way in, and found a very good parking spot.  I did notice that the lot was pretty full, so I expected crowds.  It turned out to be a pretty big park, and the shoreline of the lake was lined with people’s picnic canopies, tents, and other paraphernalia.  The sign at the entrance said the the campground was full, as was the boat-launch area; understandable on a hot summer day, at about 4:30PM.  First, I took a paved trail through some forest along the shore.

ForestGlade

I noticed the play of sunlight among the trees there.

BigTrees

Those are very large Western Red Cedar trees, so they had been growing there for many years.  I am always impressed by the many huge trees we still have, here in the Pacific Northwest.

As I walked further down the trail, I came out into a clearing, where I found a nice fishing pier, and some kids with their fishing-rods.  There were also some benches, so I set up my towel and sat down for a while to admire the scenery, and take some pictures of the lake and its environs.

FishingPier

Aside from the park at one end of the lake, the rest of the shoreline was lined with private homes.  It must be nice, living near such a picturesque lake.  Now, it may not be too quiet there, what with all the motor boats and jet skis I saw that day.

Motor boat

One of the ways people use this lake I found quite unusual.  Whole families would bring their own canopies and furniture, and set up “camp” on the lake shore.  They would cook on their little barbecues, play music on their boom-boxes, and the kids would swim around in the shallow water.  The entire shoreline was lined with these family “homesteads”, and I imagine they had to arrive pretty early to get a good spot!

Tents

Beach

Along with the motorboats, there were rafts of little kayaks and inflatable boats on the lake.  Everyone seemed to be having a good time.

Lake-paddlers

My little corner by the fishing pier was filled with water lilies, forming a round-tiled little green carpet that rose and fell with the waves churned up by the motor boats.

LilyPads

Water lily

I was very glad to discover this nice park, so close to home.  I do plan to bring Hubby along next time.

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