Day 6 – Critters and Northern Neighbors

Birch Bay, Peace Arch, and Larrabee

May 20, 2015 by Megan

The sunshine seemed sharper and the breeze sweeter this far north, as we tackled three border area parks: Birch Bay, Larabee, and the Peace Arch. Having stayed the night in Mt. Vernon, the day began with a brief drive during which I was able to complete a handful of business calls and e-mails on my phone. I’ve been surprised how much of our trip has been outside of cell service or data range, so we have to hustle to sneak in correspondence in small windows of connection. So, thanks to everyone for their patience with us during this experience!

birchbay state park
birchbay state park
birchbay state park

First up was Birch Bay, where the old cedar growth and low tide made for a dynamic and beautiful sight. Talking to the locals, it sounds like the tide shifts quickly and dramatically, at least this time of year.

birchbay state park crab
birchbay state park crab
birchbay state park kids playing
birchbay state park kids playing

Heading further north to Peace Arch State Park, we were struck by the care and commemoration in the 20-acres of parkland designated at the boundary of the U.S. and Canada.

peace arch state park

The 67-foot high monument for which it was named, was the first structure in the world created to commemorate lasting peace. It was constructed to commemorate treaties following the War of 1812, signed by the king of England and President Monroe, which provided for an unguarded boarder between Canada and the USA.

peace arch state park
peace arch state park

The State Park maintains the grounds in collaboration with the Canadian Peace Arch Provincial Park, with whom the park was originally planned and developed. To think the arch was constructed over 100 years ago to celebrate 100 years of peace… It feels fitting to share about this park and reflect on gratitude for peace, being that it is Memorial Day Weekend. The sacrifice and grief that accompany conflict create lasting scars for the nations involved, but more deeply for the families affected by loss. By celebrating the beauty of peace, and honoring what we all share in common, we will hopefully soothe old wounds and help avoid future pains. In the meantime, we thank those willing to serve and protect our country, and we remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty.

peace arch memorial day

To conclude our journey of the day, we headed to Larrabee State Park for what felt like luxury: a legitimate RV hookup site in the middle of wooded wilderness and a short walk to a glorious sunset over Samish Bay. And for my nostalgic heart, there was even a railroad track going through camp, the tunes from which helped put Dane and me both to sleep. Dane was especially tired with so many rocks to climb!

coast of washington
larrabee state park
larrabee kayaking

If you are in need of another dose of inspiration aside from pretty sunsets and peaceful structures, here is a fun fact: Larrabee State Park was officially named in honor of Charles Xavier Larrabee a pioneering businessman of the 19th century. His family donated 20 acres to the State of Washington soon after his death, and in 1923 the area became Washington’s first state park. It seems the generosity and pursuit of legacy continued, as we’ve encountered similar stories throughout the state. Larrabee State Park now comprises 2,683 acres, a size that meant we would have a full morning covering some of the hiking trails in addition to what we shot the night before.

larrabee state park
larrabee state park
larrabee state park

Rob went alone to capture Lost Lake up Mt. Chuckanut (love these names, right?), and I grabbed some fun shots of clamming before we headed out to continue Day 7. At this point, the numbers stand at 18/58 parks in 6/25 days. Not too shabby!

larrabee state park clams
larrabee state park clamming
larrabee state park clams


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Megan Kennedy

Written By Megan

With over 15 years of video production experience, Megan invests heart and mind into every project, from directing and editing PSA campaigns, to producing complex human interest documentaries, to developing extensive digital and multimedia campaigns. She also leads the team’s photography services, specializing in crafted portraiture as well as creative and conceptual imagery for marketing. She is an active member of Executive Women International, and she is dedicated to community stewardship and placemaking through her work within the City of Spokane and North Monroe Business District. In 2015, she was named an Emerging Business Leader by Inland Business Catalyst magazine, and, in 2018 and 2019, Rogue Heart was honored with the Dussault Community Impact Award as a result of her commitment to projects that make a difference.

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