When the Dog Days of Summer kick in full strength in the Puget Sound everybody runs to their favorite watering hole to find relief from the heat, we did too. We had family who found a little spot on the Cowlitz River down south of Centralia just off I-5 where we met up with them Saturday morning to begin our weekend adventure. A Northern Flicker decided to say hello while we meandered down the short trail to the river. After deciding that the Cowlitz River was just a little too fast and furious for our younger tribe members, we made our way back north to a Salmon Hatchery where I have learned through experience that many raptor-type birds like to hang out in hopes of getting nicely fed. Not to disappoint, we found a pair of nesting Osprey not far from the hatchery and the male put on quite a show protecting his female, we didn’t see any young. This hatchery was less accessible to those birds and us humans than others we have visited, but the young girl tour guide more than made up for it with her speil. We were easily sidetracked for a bit.
Our next stop was Mayfield Lake and Ike Kinswa State Park where Tammy found her inner child at a popular rope swing spot and if the video tape evidence ever gets passed around…. her AARP membership that she qualifies for this year will surely be declined. I also had the opportunity to watch a Great Blue Heron feed himself behind some tall grass while the noisy crowd of jet skiers and boaters entertained themselves not far off. Before we got back to Mossyrock, we found a cool bridge on the Cowlitz River again to stop and snap a few shots.
As the afternoon progressed into early evening we traveled back east off the beaten path on Highway 12 through Morton and stopped at their Gus Backstrom City Park to walk along the rocky shore of Tilton Creek. Judging from the RV and tent city that has sprung up here and the amount of kids enjoying the small wading pools along the river, this is a much safer river to let small ones run free and have fun in the water. We stopped off at Elbe on the way back north toward home to get a bite to eat at the Bar & Grill just as you get in town to turn and continue on Highway 7 where 706 meets. We barely made it to Sunny Beach Point on Lake Alder to enjoy a beautiful sunset before getting back home.
There are plenty of places to cool off in the South Sound and we enjoyed several of them this outing. Here is the bullseye list of pictures from today’s camera roll… Enjoy!