Here is an idea. Gather up some friends and head south on I-5 through the disgraceful political achievement known at the JBLM bottleneck. Soon after you cross over the Nisqually River bridge from Pierce County into Thurston County, take Exit #114 off I-5. Make two right turns and you will find yourself heading into an area called the Nisqually Delta. The park-like area you drive into is named Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge located at 100 Brown Farm Road, Olympia, Washington 98516. T: 360-753-9467 or toll free 800-344-WILD. This area is where the fresh water of Nisqually River meets the salt water of Puget Sound.
In the 1800s a nineteenth century mover and shaker thought to himself,”Hey, I have an idea. I will build an earthen dyke to keep the salt water out thereby creating more farm land. Years ago when my wife and I first visited the area, there was a five-mile walk around on the old dyke. You could see some fresh water and farmland on one side and salt water and Puget Sound on the other side of the dyke.
As time passes, ideas get recycled. Along came some twentieth century movers and shakers and they said, “Hey, we have an idea. Let’s dismantle the earthen dyke and let the salt water return. We will return the land to what it was before the white man arrived. The walking path has now changed from a five-mile circle to about 1 1/2 miles out to the end and 1 1/2 miles back. Much of the walking path is built over the water and mudflats. You might have another 1/2 mile or so to walk to the trail entrance from the parking lot.
I am not going to choose sides and get into which idea was better. All I can tell you is that the Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge is an interesting place to visit, at least once. For a measly $3.00 total, you and three of your friends can hang out. Parking is free. There is a small visitors center that is open with old fashioned bankers hours. There are hundreds of birds and animals of various kinds that populate the refuge.
Oh, one more thing. Do not forget some essentials. #1. Bottle of water. #2. Camera. #3. Binoculars. If you do not have binoculars, the visitor center can fix you up. #4 Sunscreen. #5. Snacks or a lunch. #6. Dogs are not allowed. At times there are so many birds and animals for a dog to chase, they are fearful your dog might have a heart attack.