Sunday, April 3, 2016

Slices of Local History: West Hylebos Wetlands


End of March brought us a treasured gift of sunny and summer-like warm days with temperatures around 70 F. When sun arrives, the whole Puget Sound drops everything they were doing and goes outside to play. And so did we. We took so many walks, that now our legs hurt. I have many pictures to share of places and outfits, and I've decided to start with the most recent ones - our today's trip to the West Hylebos Wetlands Park which is located  in Federal Way, a city between Tacoma and Seattle, and features one of the last remaining peat bogs in the Puget Sound area which volunteers lovingly restore since 1983. There is a blog dedicated to West Hylebos (last updated in May 2015), Blog from the Bog, and an Earth Corps' page dedicated to this park as well - http://www.earthcorps.org/hylebos.php. If you are local and haven't been to this marvel of a nature, please do so soon, I am sure you will be pleasantly surprised.



Other than observing nature and taking a relaxing walk on an easy boardwalk over the bog (with peat that reaches up to 30 feet thick!), you can also discover pieces of local history, such as the Barker Cabin built in 1883, the oldest preserved building in Federal Way (photo above), and Denny Cabin built in 1889 as a real estate office, brought to the park from Seattle (photo below). The park features a beautiful 1.5 mile trail, view of a lake, and a couple of open spaces with picnic tables. In my years of volunteer community work, I used to organize tours and bring families with children to this park to enjoy hiking and scavenger hunting, looking for skunk cabbage (which is in bloom now), ancient Sitka spruces, tires unexpectedly found in the forest, and many more big and little marvels on the way. It is hard to believe that this tranquil park is located in the middle of a city, with a busy highway within 5 minutes from it. Come rain or shine, but watch your step on the boardwalk on a wet day as the surface can be slippery. 


The silver pendant depicting a romantic couple with flowers I bought in Russia many years ago.

Today I enjoyed sharing this park with the man I love. We had a nice stroll together, took photos, spotted a snake. Justin read all those signs that tell the history of the place, he loves stuff like that. And I learned what is "peat" (торф) - not a word that used in everyday English a lot.




  

I hope you enjoyed the photos of our little outing and my simple, yet romantic outfit. I've missed you all and will be visiting. See you soon!

Dress and cardi - Old Navy
Hat - Lane Bryant
Sandals (super comfy!) - Merrell via Nordstrom Rack
Bag - Coelacanth
Pendant - from Russia

14 comments:

  1. russian and german use the same word for peat: "torf"!
    wonderful park and gorgeous real adventure couple!!! you both look so summery already :-)
    had to smile about the age of the buildings - this is such a young country! my rail road house is from 1893 and nothing special around here..... some people live in houses from the 16.century!
    tons of hugs!!! xxxxx

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    1. English has a word "turf", apparently, so we can understand each other without a dictionary here! :)

      Yep, it's a young nation, and especially the West Coast. On the East Coast, we also had some historical buildings dated back to 17 century. Here it all started happening in the mid to late 1800s. Krasnoyarsk, the city I am from in Siberia, was founded as far as 1628, but I doubt we have buildings much older than a couple of hundreds years old. Moscow, Kiev - different story all together.

      And your sweet house is VERY SPECIAL, for many reasons. :)

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  2. We had unexpected warmth and sun yesterday after a biting cold on Saturday. You look like you made the most of your good weather. Lovely outfit!

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    1. Spring is sooooo unpredictable! Almost like me. :))) We too have milder temps now, but for almost straight 2 weeks it felt like early Summer, fantastic!

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  3. Hi
    Found your blog via Sam I love your writing and your lovely colourful outfits.

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    1. Thank you so much for stopping by and leaving a comment, Wendy! Your words touched me. Sam is wonderful. Welcome to my blog, hope we'll become friends.

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  4. Amazing pictures Natalia. You look like a girl in summer. I've got summer feeling, but outside it's cold and rainy.
    Wish you a good day, kisses Tina

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    1. I am... well, I was a girl in Summer. :) It felt great! Wish you could enjoy this glorious weather with me, Tina!

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  5. Simple yet romantic! That is the kind of outfits I like best. That striped dress is lovely and I really like how you paired it with that bright red cardi. The necklace really caught my eye, it is very arty. You look very pretty. So nice you and Justin went for a walk here. It seems like a perfect park to take a walk in. Amazing photograhy, that photo of snake made my day. I don't like the idea of snakes as pets, because I don't think it is safe to keep them that way but I do enjoy seeing snakes in their natural habitat, in the nature.

    I'm happy to hear you're enjoying sunny days. Here the weather has been fantastic for the last few days. The Spring is truly in full bloom and the beauty of nature at this time of year always amazes me. Speaking of which, I can't believe that park is actually located in a busy area. One would not assume to find such places nearby, but I think we can always find beauty if we look for it. Often it is not necessary to take a long vacation to experience some wonderful location. Most places, cities and villages have their secret gems and all we need to do is look. I really like those cabins---and they are really old! So cool to see them preserved like that. History always has a lot to teach us, I love reading about history. Good to hear that the families are taking advantage of this lovely spot!

    Once again, thank you so much for your sweet comments. They mean a lot to me.

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    1. I love it when villages and cities open their little secrets to me... I am a grateful friend.

      Thank you, Ivana. You are always very thoughtful in your comments, and I appreciate it. I think I am drawn to simpler outfits now, as inside of me things are a bit tangled these days. I need to be clear and happy for my creativity to bloom. Winter is always a hard time for me, I am glad it's over.

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  6. What a beautiful forested area to spend time in! You too look very chic and adventurous! Love the striped dress and bright cardi, perfect look for a bright and casual day!
    Looks like a great destination!
    That last photo, so evocative!!
    xx, Elle
    http://www.theellediaries.com/

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    1. I love long walks, they always evoke feelings... Thank you, Elle!

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