Did you know there are over 140 State Parks in Washington State! They range from small roadside historical attractions to grand parks of pristine wilderness.
While all of the States have a state park system, I am highlighting Washington State Parks for a few reasons. The first is the most obvious, living in Washington makes access to these parks easy, but that is just the start. Washington state is one of the only states to have all major 'micro-climates' and geographical types. Coastal (both sand and rocky beaches), Rainforest (Olympic Penninsula), High Alpine (Glaciers and Mountains of the Cascades) Desert/Arid (Central Washington/Cascade Rainshadow) and Plains (eastern Washington). You can in one day drive from sea to sky, experience sub freezing and 100 degree temperatures, be in a monsoon like deluge and be in a place so dry that the ash from the eruptions of Mt St Helens and other volcanoes has not washed away. You can run rivers through great basalt uplifts and then paddle across tidal flats. You can see a dust devil kick up and roll across the wheat fields and then go and sit under 200 ft tall tree canopy on the mossy undergrowth. It truly is a state that has a little bit of everything, and it is well represented by the various state parks. The final reason that I am embarking on this is partially related to the first. I grew up in Washington, and grew up with several state parks being my playground. They have always provided a backdrop to my life. From play, to work, and now as home. Our home is backed up to what is considered to be one of the crowning jewels of the Park System.
Now, on to what this has to do with Fortuna Found? Well, I love exploring and visiting parks, and I love kite flying, so why not combine the two? Over the course of the next year I am going to visit each park and do a little write up about it including some local insight information. I will then rate each park from a kite fliers perspective. Not all parks are great for kite flying, but using this ranking system I am developing, you will be able to get a better idea of what there is at the park, regardless of your intent to actually go fly a kite there. The ranking system will work something like this:
Single Line Kite: Easy day, fun enjoyable. The kind of place you want to take a picnic to, sit down and relax and enjoy the views.
Sport Kite: Energetic, fun, challenging. This is the kind of place you go to when you looking for a little bit of adventure. Best enjoyed doing an activity such as hiking, kayaking, climbing, etc....
Inflatable/Line Laundry: Expect to find big open spaces, wide vistas. While this may be the kind of place you could just come and have a picnic and relax at, you will enjoy it the best by working for it a little bit. Might have to hike out to the open vista. Takes time to really enjoy.
Glider Kite: Small, compact, hidden treasurers. This is the kind of place you go to discover something special that could easily be overlooked. This may be a bit of history, or a small but unique vista.
Kiteboarding/Power Kites: This is for the truly adventurous. The only way to truly enjoy one of these places is through strenuous activity.
As this project progresses I may add a few more 'rating types', or even refine the ones I already have. The point is to simply highlight the amazing State Park system we have here in Washington State.