Kennedy Creek  LbNA # 3807

Ownerhoopoe      
Placed DateJan 19 2003
CountyMason
LocationOlympia, WA
Boxes3
Found ByMike and Elaine
Last UpdateSep 25 2005

Clues

Name: Kennedy Creek Letterboxes (3)
Location: West of Olympia Washington
County: Mason (county line)
Placed 01/19/03 By Hoopoe (scribenbirder@msn.com)

Kennedy Creek is a small Dept of Fish and Wildlife area devoted to
education of citizens about the salmon and the habitat. Peak season
for a visit is late October through November. This facility is used
for school education so may be busy during this time. However, it
is a very nice venue anytime.

Visit www.wa.gov/wdfw/fish/chum/viewingchum_kennedy.htm to learn
about this venue, and to read more about fish culture and populations
in Puget Sound.

Nearby Letterboxes abound in the greater Olympia, Thurston County
area. Fudrick's "Frye Cove" boxes at the Steamboat Island Rd. exit
are closest.

Driving directions: From I-5 in Olympia take exit 104 (Aberdeen,
Shelton, Ocean Beaches) westbound. Watch for the whimsical Bovine
Family on the south (left) side of the road. After you spot them
will be the junction of Hwy 101 and Hwy 8. Continue on Hwy 101 to
milepost 356; be in the left hand lane to make a left hand turn at
this point. This road crossing will be after a gradual right hand
turn and you will just start to see the water of the Kennedy Creek /
Puget Sound confluence. Turn left across the highway onto the Old
Olympic Highway. Continue on this loop road for 0.7 mile to a gravel
road on the right. A sign "Kennedy Creek" will be on a tree high on
the right. The road has a gate and there might be a sign posting the
road as closed. While there is logging activity at this time, it is
permissible to pass. On weekday visits be aware and prepared to
stop. Drive 0.5 mile. As you pass through the power line clearing
and past another smaller gate swing right into a parking area that
has two stone circles in the middle. You have arrived.

These boxes were placed for a Boy Scout event and there are boxes by
other South Puget Sound LBrs here. We hope you enjoy your visit.

Salmonberry

Alive and well 2/19/2005

Salmonberry was so named as it was widely used by the local people to
cut the oils in preserved salmon. Many fruits were used in this
fashion.

From the parking lot head 340* and through the old house frame.
Swing left and follow the trail straight to the junction. Turn left
and go across the bridge. Soon a sharp right, but wait, a tempting
green trail goes up the hill. So let's go see!

Keep going up the hill until you come to the cut log. Stop, turn
around and take 25 steps back the way you came. At 235* there is a
fir and a skinny cedar who are close buddies. Go look behind them
for two stumps that hide what you seek.

All around here are Salmonberry, Salal, Oregon Grape and our native
blackberry Rubus ursinus, also known as the Dewberry. This tiny, low
growing blackberry is exceptional so keep an eye out for a sweet
snack in season. Come March the Salmonberry will start blooming
bright magenta to pink blooms. This will welcome the return of Rufus
Hummingbirds from the south. Males will guard this open area full of
food. Watch and listen for them until late July.

Who Goes There?

Return down the trail the way you came up and at the junction with
the main trail go left. Next choice is a left then down a little
hill. At the fork keep left. After passing through the cut log you
will notice a huge Nurse Stump on your right. Go back into this
viewing area and look for the log that played with fire. Inside is
Who Goes There?

To find who comes and goes in this environment, return to the main
trail and go to the right. Keep veering right until you reach the
creek side. There are several areas along the bank where you will
find sand and mud. Here look for hoof, foot and paw marks that might
tell you who is here for a drink, to eat a fish or to cross to the
other side of the forest. Herons, gulls and eagles, mink, river
otter, coyote, bear and deer are all possible.

Return back the way you came to the Nurse Stump and cut log.

Alder Wood, Smoke and Dye

Alive and well 2/19/2005

There are many fine trees here. Western Red Cedar is abundant. The
bark of the cedar was used to make fishing nets and the wood was
often used to make weirs, piers and platforms for fishing. Red Alder
is a familiar wood for many Salmon lovers. Alder wood smoke is still
a popular way to prepare Salmon, often planked on cedar. A red dye
was made from the bark to dye fishnets and was thought to make them
invisible to the fish. Wood was used to make poles and spears for
catching the fish.

Continue back along the trail through the cut log and at the top of
the hill go left through the viewpoint and the wonderful trees
there. At the next trail turn left and you are back at the familiar
bridge. At the junction go right and on your right a tangle of
stumps is full of promise. Continue back to your car or seek the
other boxes that are here.

To return to Hwy 101 you may turn right or left at the paved road.
By turning left you will return to the junction you came in on.
Across the highway there is a pull off that will give you an overview
of the estuary. If you have binoculars or a scope you might be able
to find shorebirds, hawks, harriers, eagles, herons and perhaps a
river otter, deer or coyote.

Heading east on the highway will take you back to I-5. Don't forget
to laugh with the cows as you go past.