Tolmie State Park

It was such a nice day, that Kelly and I took Parker to Tolmie State Park just north of Hawk’s Prairie today. Just as the sun was beginning to set, we hit the beach at low tide. The Olympic Mountains were glorious and there wasn’t a cloud in the sky.

The beach was pretty busy with clam-diggers, explorers and pets running around. We made our way through the bevy of families to the tidal zone and began to head toward the water. A pleasure boat was anchored just offshore, which Parker repeatedly pointed out to us.

Sand dollarsWe only got about halfway to the water. With Parker on my shoulders and Kelly at my side, we encountered hundreds of thousands of living sand dollars. They had been left stranded at low tide. A lot of people may not know this, but sand dollars are only bleached white when they’re dead. When they’re alive, they’re covered in a sort of “fur” that’s a reddish-brown color.

We stopped for a while to show Parker the sand dollars, the seaweed, the barnacles, and a baby clam I found. Then we turned around and headed back to the car, often unable to avoid crunching a few sand dollars on the way back. As my dad pointed out however, sand dollars are not an endangered species. Not even close.

All in all, a great way to spend a rare weekend during the 2010 legislative session and a beautiful day all around. It continues to be a blessing to live in a place where you are an hour’s drive from the mountains, the desert, the ocean, or the city. Next time, we’ll bring a camera!


  1. Use your phone camera in a pinch. Not as good in quality, but at least you can share the scenery with everyone.

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