Once upon a summer day, Captain wifey and I were looking for a land adventure. We were in the area and discovered Meadowdale Beach Park in Edmonds. It turned out to be a strategic visit, I'll explain more later, and we ended up hiking from the upper parking lot down through the woods following Lunds Gulch all the way to the beach (about 1.4 miles down hill, one-way). The whole park is around 100 acres of valley/trees/beach.
You're almost to the beach when you come upon a quaint little park ranger residence (pictured above). There did appear to be a parking lot down here too - that might be a good idea if you had a lot of beach gear for the day. However, with limited parking spaces, I bet it fills up pretty quick so plan accordingly! Pictured below - the beach.
What's so strategic about this little picnic visit you say? Well, captain wifey thought this was just a nice summer walk for the sake of summer walking…turns out I was scoping out possible stops for a future paddle - Edmonds to Mukilteo. I'm actually trying to paddle northward from Seattle in small sections - I've done Golden Gardens to Edmonds, and I'm looking at the next leg of the journey (and places to stop along the way). Edmonds to Mukilteo, then Mukilteo to Everett, Everett to Camano Island, etc… Meadowdale Beach Park - a nice stop along the way!
~Paul & Amber ETC
Kayak launch at Sail Sand Point, Seattle [North Shore Recreation Area/Magnuson Park/Pontiac Bay/Lake Washington]
Looking for a great place to launch a kayak, SUP (stand up paddleboard), or canoe on Lake Washington? Cruise over to Magnuson Park and head north to the North Shore Recreation Area (a.k.a. Sail Sand Point). With tons of free parking, this free launch site on Pontiac Bay is perfect for trips in the north section of the lake. Journey across the lake (northeast) to St. Edward Park or south toward Leschi and beyond. I always knew this launch was here but hadn't taken any pictures of it until recently.
When you get there you'll notice all of the Sail Sand Point boats dry docked near the parking lot and a few of their office buildings near the launch. Sail Sand Point is a non-profit community boating group that offers all kinds of sailing lessons & more. You'll see a lot of member boats in storage here and depending on the time of year, there'll be plenty of Sail Sand Point members hanging about the place. Don't be shy when you are there with your boat, even if you're a new paddler. Always feel free to ask questions and ask for help if you need it - these people are fellow water-loving-folk and from the community, just like you. Hey, they might even invite you to the occasional onsite BBQ! Interested in joining Sail Sand Point? Check out more info here.
We leave you with two sight-seeing possibilities right next-door to this launch - a few pics below of the boat graveyard along the trail behind the Sail Sand Point office & another of the gi-normous Arena sports complex next door. The graveyard? It's just awesome. The gi-normous Arena sports complex? It's important to us because of the rumored bar inside…perhaps a light beverage after a long day of paddling on the lake?
~Paul & Amber ETC
Last summer we moved our home, Kingsley the sailboat, north to the town of Port Townsend, WA. We spent a good part of a week walking the streets, taking photos, eating out, exploring the neighborhoods, & enjoying this amazing seaside town (well, almost the sea anyway).
These pics are from the historic clam cannery building on the waterfront. It was more recently remodeled from its clam canning days and briefly turned into a hotel (now closed). It is now a private residence. The bottom floor is still zoned commercial so who knows what will come of it. Here's a cool article about the new owners. Enjoy the pics!
~Paul & Amber ETC
P.S. - I used a little black & white and color-splash to make the old seem new…& the new seem old!
Last spring we shared my epic battle against low tide in the mud flats of the Skagit River mouth. On that trip I left the South fork of the Skagit River and paddled out into the shallows of the Puget Sound. After a long day of paddling (and walking in the sand dragging my kayak) I eventually made it up the Swinomish Channel to the town of La Conner.
What I didn't know at the time, but suspected, was that there was a shortcut into the Swinomish…this would have cut at least an hour off of my trip…or more…it's called the Hole in the Wall.
To prove the Hole in the Wall exists, we put in at the sweet little public launch kayak dock under the bridge in La Conner and paddled south to check it out. Tides/currents are a big deal when paddling in the Channel, make sure you check - it feels like paddling upriver if you're going against it.
Above, paddling next to McGlinn Island…below, a shot of Ika Island past the wall. Also, here's a link to a great aerial photo of the entrance to the Swinomish (and just how shallow it can get).
There it is. The Hole in the Wall. We paddled through it - the current was swift. While we were there we saw a small powerboat make it through as well. Just know that at low/ebbing tide the other side of the wall could turn super shallow.
Our paddle back was a breeze thanks to the current pushing us along. Once you hit the bridge you know you're back to for launch site. Check out our spring Skagit to La Conner post here…don't forget to check the tides!
~Paul, Amber, Ann ETC
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