This past Valentine’s day, looking for a quick but not overly ambitious little day jaunt, we found ourselves pulling into the Breazeale Interpretive Center in the Padilla Bay Estuarine Reserve. After a curbside picnic in the warmth of the waning winter sun, we loaded up London in the hiking pack and headed down to the beach. The trail down is great, short & paved all the way, and it leads to a bird lookout above the beach before descending to the sand below via a spiral staircase.
Padilla Bay is a tidal bay which means that it floods during high tide and lies almost completely exposed during low tide. This allows the eelgrass which covers the bottom of the bay to grow unusually large, thus creating an ideal environment for many different marine animals and plants to thrive in. It is also an estuary, that murky no man’s land where fresh water and salt water meet. I’ve always liked estuary’s; a unique place where two worlds collide and somehow meld together to create a whole new environment. That and the mud. That silky, smooth, stinking mud which exists in estuaries the world over. I would have gladly let London cover himself head to toe in it had it not been high tide in February.
On our way back towards the car, London and I ducked into the Interpretive Center and were pleasantly surprised at all it had to offer. There are a few well done aquariums as well as a hands on learning room, with lots of things for kids to touch and explore all while learning about the local Padilla Bay environment. A little edification thrown into a Valentine’s day adventure? Now that’s my kind of romance.