Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Cama Beach State Park

We couldn't have picked a better day for an outing to Cama Beach! I met Karen at Terry's Corner on Camano Island yesterday morning and we drove south 13 miles to Cama Beach State Park. One of the state's newest parks, Cama Beach was a family fishing resort from the 1930s till 1989, when it closed.  It reopened as a state park in 2008, with its rows of upgraded cabins along the beach, a camp store, and a branch of the Seattle-based Center for Wooden Boats in the middle of the park. More recently the beautiful Cama Center Great Hall was built on the bluff above the beach. With high open-beamed ceilings and a stone fireplace, it provides a lovely space for events as well as the Cama Beach Cafe and Catering. That's where we started our adventure, enjoying a cup of coffee and a scone on the deck overlooking the cabins.

Life in the cabins and on the beach is slow and simple. We saw families gathered around their picnic tables, a lazy dog lying in the shade, and folks playing on the beach. A group of young children barely old enough to read carried GPS devices and were learning how to geocache! No private cars are allowed in the cabin area, so all supplies are shuttled down from the parking lots on the hill above the cabins. Summer reservations fill up fast, though the park is open year-round.

We poked around in the Center for Wooden Boats, where toy boat building classes are held during the summer and people can rent boats to take out on the sound. I stepped into the large boathouse and saw the beautiful boats stored there, the sliding door at the back of the building opened to the boat launch, and I felt so calm and peaceful. I remembered the joy I experienced last summer as I read The Boys in the Boat. One of these days I hope to go to the Connibear Shellhouse to see the Husky Clipper from that amazing book! For today, it just seemed so welcoming to step inside this boathouse.

Outside the sliding wooden door there was access to a boat ramp -- a set of railroad tracks that went down into the water, covered with kelp and barnacles. Inside the building was the remnant of the mechanisms (cranks and pulleys) that were used to get the boats launched. The system is clearly not in use today, but here's what it looked like years ago.

Here's another indication of the popularity of Cama Beach in years past:

After I returned home, I got an e-mail from Karen, calling me her "amiable rambling friend." She says they're hard to come by. So glad we found each other!

If you're interested in learning more about Cama Beach, click here. It includes a nice video you'll enjoy.


Karen S. said...

I relished the day all over again with your blog post, Ginger.
I hope you interpreted "amiable rambling friend," you caught my meaning--a pleasant person with whom I can ramble, not someone who rambles (as in whose conversation takes off on confusing rabbit trails).

Ginger Kauffman said...

Oh, Karen, it never occurred to me that you meant the rabbit trail kind of rambler! I knew you meant it as someone who "walks for pleasure, often without a definite route." You know me well, that I like to do that, and I especially enjoy rambling with you!