~Hood Canal Adventure: Chapter 3 – Theler Wetlands
As I dipped my paddle into the warm cloudy water, with a slight wind coming up from behind, my thoughts took me back to a few days before as I explored the Theler Wetlands by foot. The sky was full of threatening clouds and yet the water was perfectly calm. This shot was taken at the farthest point you can go by foot. There are 139 acres of protected salt marsh and estuary wetlands, with a variety of trails to explore.
While the tide is out, the shoreline expands and the shorebirds search for something yummy to eat.
We launched from Belfair State Park around 5pm. The tide was moving in, but the shoreline was mostly exposed when we started.
Mike was just coming back in to join us.
Linda certainly is in her happy place! She and a few others paddled from their rental houses a few miles up the canal.
The breeze was making small ripples in the water as we headed towards the wetlands.
Well, hello Mr. Eagle. I almost missed you.
The farther inland we get, the more narrow the Union river becomes. You can see the bridge off in the distance, which is accessible from the wetland entrance off Hwy 3.
This flock of Least Sandpipers was busy nibbling up insects before the water hid them from view.
As the river became narrower, the sun warmed us and the wind an afterthought. You can see the waterline on these old pillars. I’ll bet these were from an old dock from years gone past.
We paddled about 6-7 miles today and the wind started to pick up as we made our way back to the put-in. But the smiles on Debbie and Jody’s face say it all. It’s a good day when you’re on the water.