Trails and Paws in Point Defiance

Gig Harbor View

Gig Harbor

What is one to do when bringing a Scotsman to see Washington state for the first time?

A Scotsman who loves the outdoors, cool weather, hiking, mountains, trees, and water?

You show him everything! I think Washington was custom built for Brian. As soon as we got off the plane and he felt the crisp spring air, he let out a huge sigh and smiled. He was already in love.

We’ll be here for eleven days. I’m already loving the look on his face as we go to each new place. He’s relaxed, happy and eager to go outside to try it all.

First stop after settling in to my dad’s spare bedroom? Point Defiance Park in Tacoma.

We’ve been very lucky. The weather forecast for the week is sunny and warm. Have you ever been to the Seattle area? This is not normal! We were prepared for rainy and chilly, so this is a really great surprise. Even so, we’re packing umbrellas just in case.

The 702 acre Point Defiance Park covers a peninsula on Puget Sound. It has a very nice five mile drive with plenty of parking spots at the most scenic spots, and is dotted with hiking trails.

Hiking trails, you say? Let me out of the car! We’re ready to hike.

So was Willy. Dad brought his dog along for the ride and he was one happy puppy sniffing his way through the forest.

Brian and I both like dogs, but moving around as much as we do means we can’t keep one of our own. Having a dog to ‘borrow’ has been really fun this weekend and I think Brian is having more fun tossing balls and scratching ears than anything else.

We picked a fairly easy trail which cut up the middle of the park. Willy got us safely to the end, sniffing out chipmunks and bumblebees as he went.

Did you know that fallen and rotting logs are doggie crack?

This trail brought us out to the point of the peninsula where you can see across the water to Gig Harbor. Look at those amazing snow capped mountains! I haven’t seen a snow capped mountain in years.

We decided to keep to the trails and walk back to the picnic area near the entrance to the park. Walking along the southern edge of the park leaves you with wide open views across the sound, and Brian had to stop every chance we could to smell the salty sea air and smile some more. The man loves the sea.

Just be careful as you’re gazing across the water while you walk. It’s a long way straight down.

Just before the trail cut into the forest again, we had a beautiful view of the famous Tacoma Narrows Bridge. Have you seen the video of the old bridge flying apart in the wind? Yikes.

Near the end of the trail is the Fort Nisqually living history museum. Want to see how the community lived here in the 1830’s? The whole for has been restored and stocked with actors to show you how it all worked.

We took a quick peek, but didn’t go in this time. Stomachs were rumbling, it was time for lunch.

That night we stumbled across the website for the Tacoma Musical Playhouse. We scored tickets to see a musical production of “Happy Days”, which was really fun. Local community theater is quite an experience! They had some really talented singers, and it was fun to see.

So Brian’s first taste of the area was a success. Fresh air, a dog to play with, trails to hike, ocean breezes to feel, some local culture, a play, and some history to boot. It was a good intro into the Pacific Northwest.

Day one was most definitely a success. It’s been really nice to stay with my dad and his wife, who I don’t get a chance to see often enough. We’ve got the best of all travel experiences this week. Family and a beautiful place to explore.

We can’t wait to see what else the week brings. Bring on the trees!

On the map: Click here to see this location on our Google Map.

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About akil3655

A Scotsman and his American photographer wife traveling the world and writing about it. Tales, reviews, photos, interviews and crazy goings on. Because you never know what's going to happen.

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4 Responses to Trails and Paws in Point Defiance

  1. Sean May 14, 2012 at 10:00 am #

    I agree with you. There are a lot of nice places in Washington to keep a Scotsman happy.
    Sean recently posted..awesome dance dvdsMy Profile

  2. Angela
    Twitter: Acook2121
    May 20, 2012 at 2:14 am #

    Beautiful pics Peg :)
    Angela recently posted..Scottish Recipes – Mum’s Rhubarb TartMy Profile

  3. Gexie August 3, 2012 at 12:12 am #

    What a great blog you have going on here! Best wishes on your adventures and thanks for letting us travel with you :D
    Gexie recently posted..Tacoma Nature CenterMy Profile

    • akil3655
      Twitter: kiltandacamera
      August 3, 2012 at 2:05 am #

      Thanks! Glad you like it.