Heading to the Olympic Peninsula, we are looking forward to visiting the Bloedel Reserve. Named by USA Today as one of the top ten gardens in the US, we can’t wait. But first, we have to travel about 800 miles to get there. This is a big country!
We stop at Nugget RV Park in St Regis, Montana. Once again, a great site (#10) is scored by Dale. With very few people at the park, we get a nice long walk on their not-so-well-marked trail. Seriously how do you get lost on 50 acres? Luckily we get back on course quickly.
Our next stop is Whispering Pines RV Park in Cle Elum, Washington. The only thing whispering is the Interstate traffic roaring by all night. Although, Gibbs enjoys the biggest dog park we have seen so far.
Dash Point State Park is a gem
We are keeping with our tradition of moving campsites at least once. And Dash Point State Park is no different. Mostly we move because the site is not level or too muddy. In this case, the site was both slanted & mucky. But we persisted & got a great site (#37).
Dash Point State Park is right on the Puget Sound halfway between Seatle & Tacoma. And talk about great hiking trails!
There is a 2-mile hike to the water through wondrous forests of moss & ferns. And the infrastructure along the trail is amazing. Walkways, bridges, and steps help us move over the many streams and gorges.
Turkey tail mushrooms
Along our hike, we find these cool turkey tail mushrooms. The forest is alive with various mushrooms & fungi.
And speaking of fungi, if you haven’t seen Fantastic Fungi by Louie Schwartzberg, you have missed a fabulous film. We can’t recommend it enough! Just Google it to see where you can watch it (Amazon Prime, Netflix, etc). We plan on watching it again once we get enough signal to stream movies (which may be never in the RV!)
In it, you learn about mushrooms that help clean up oil spills & underground fungi that help trees communicate. Plus the time-lapse photography is absolutely breathtaking.
But back to turkey tail mushrooms. We wonder if they can be eaten. Well, yes & no. Even when cooked, they are too tough to eat.
However, when dried and ground, they become health wonders. From fighting cancer cells to helping your gut bacteria to building your bodies immune system, they are some of nature’s powerhouses.
Finally, we get to the Bloedel Reserve!
As we drive up to the gate, we are informed we must have timed tickets. The nice woman says I can go online and order them. But we have no Internet. Damn! I am really kicking myself for not doing my homework before arrival.
Have we driven all this way, only to be denied entry? I ask if they accept reciprocals from our hometown garden, the NC Arboretum? After conferring with an associate, they say yes and we don’t even need a ticket. Whew, we dodged a bullet!
The Healing Power of Nature
The Bloedel Reserve was originally the private residence of a lumber tycoon who also happened to be an environmentalist. Fascinated with the ability of nature to evoke powerful emotions, Prentice Bloedel funded research on nature’s healing effect on our psyche. Pretty cool stuff!
Gathering New Ideas for our Garden
We are always looking for new ideas to use on our property. These stick fences are used throughout the Bloedel Reserve. And cut logs define pathways. Both ideas we will incorporate in our gardens when we get home.
Everything done in the gardens is for a reason. Old stumps are used for replanting, tree roots are filled with colorful gourds for fall and ferns are planted on decayed logs. To learn more about some of their conservation methods, read their blog “Old Trees, Stumps & Logs”.
Next up? Port Townsend. Probably our favorite city in the world.