|Typical fall/winter/spring day in Seattle - drizzle and uniformly gray|
One fine weekend in January, Van Kid and I decided we needed to get out and do some camping so we boarded Westly and departed ever-gray Seattle. Our destination was Mayfield Lake. One could drive on Interstate 5 south to Centralia, then US 12 east to Mossyrock to get there, but Westly urged us to keep to the blue highways. So it was that we followed Hwy 167 through the contiguous suburbs south of the city, merged to 512 at Puyallup (in the Puyallup Tribe tongue - "the generous people"), then headed south/east on Hwy 7 at Parkland. Hwy 7 leaves the valley, making a slow climb into the foothills alongside Alder Lake, a reservoir of the Nisqually River Project providing hydro-electric power to Tacoma. There are several camp grounds along here, but we continued on to Elbe (you can stay overnight here in a caboose), where 7 jogs south again (continuing east will put you on State Route 706 to Longmire at Mt. Rainier National Park - that's another trip for later this year). Hwy 7 winds along to terminate at the old mill town of Morton which once boasted the worlds longest railroad tie dock. From there, US 12 west leads to Mossyrock, named after a big mossy rock (go figure). Just west of downtown, Harmony Road (Hwy 122) brought us to...
Ike Kinswa State Park
It was originally called Mayfield State Park when 2,250 acre Mayfield reservoir was established by the construction of Mayfield Dam in 1963 (supervised by Boss Mayfield?). It was re-named Ike Kinswa in 1971 to honor a leader of the Cowlitz Tribe. The tribe lived in the area, and had their sacred burial ground in the valley that is now flooded by the reservoir. The campground is located on a wooded point with some 46,000 feet of shoreline. But all the lake-side camp sites were closed due to trees and branches that had fallen during a heavy wind the week before. We selected a site away from the lake and were the only campers there, except for 5th wheel rig of the campground host who was away when we arrived.
View Larger Map
|Van Kid gets some rock skipping practice in|
We made a small camp fire, ate some tortellini, looked at the stars, played some music, then read The Hobbit by kerosene lantern light before retiring for the night in sleeping bags buried under piles of blankets.
|Night falls softly at Ike Kinswa State Park|
|What did the girl mushroom say to the boy mushroom?|
I like you, you're a real fungi.
(yeah, I know "fungi" is the plural, it fits the picture though)
|The yellow sign says something about a one lane road ahead|
Not the best situation for turning around when the snow gets deep