The 3,000-acre Miller Peninsula is not yet an official Washington state park. In 2005, the State Park commission started a 6-year project to create a state park here. But when the recession hit in 2008, the state legislature put the project on hold and decided to instead direct money to existing state parks.
Some strange alien-like sea grass washed up on shore. The grass was attached to long tubes that had a large hollow bulb on the end, that when stepped on, burst open with a loud popping sound.
Miller Peninsula has a long beach along the Straight of Juan de Fuca, a 95-mile long body of water that connects the Pacific Ocean to the Puget Sound.
Protection Island is a 380-acre island sitting about a half-mile offshore from Miller Peninsula State Park in the Strait of Juan de Fuca. It’s a federally protected National Wildlife Refuge, and therefore boats are not permitted within 200 yards of the island. Approximately 70% of the nesting seabird population of the Strait and the attached Puget Sound nest on the island. There are also a few official human inhabitants from the Fish & Wildlife Service and one civilian who was granted lifetime use of his cabin on the island’s southern bluffs.
There were a couple of sea lions diving for food offshore.
We had the park all to ourselves and enjoyed the peaceful, quiet walk through the forest to the beach.
The banana slug is a shell-less terrestrial mollusk. It’s called a banana slug because it can appear bright yellow like a ripe banana or light brown with black spots like a rotten banana. Banana slugs have soft, slimy bodies. At first glance they look like dog poo all over the hiking trail, where we saw dozens of these slugs.