Food Finds · Local Adventures · Trail Cooking

Local Adventures: Mystery Bay State Park & 3 Meals Reviewed

We ended up visiting Mystery Bay State Park out of almost desperation, while out on a day of visiting a couple “bigger” state parks. It was lunchtime, and we had gone prepared to do outdoor cooking for lunch, but the winds were rather never ending. Every picnic table we passed at the previous park was in the most scenic of places, and had zero wind protection. Facing the Salish Sea, oh the views of the Cascade Mountains and volcanoes were simply amazing, but I knew I was going to be frozen if I tried that. Muttering to myself for driving the gas sipping car, rather than the gas hog truck, that I can cook on the back of, I was hangry and muttering defeat – we’d head off the island we were on, and go pillage the local QFC grocery store deli.

Then Kirk asked “Let’s check out that place you mentioned, Mystery Bay State Park” as were coming up to it. I wasn’t sure what we’d find, it was marked as a marine state park (boat dock and day use), but I was pleasantly surprised driving in. It has a very ample parking area, with a turn around loop. It has a boat launching area and a large dock to walk on/fish/moor boats to. It has a pit toilet and a number of picnic tables/park benches to sit at, and enjoy the views of the Olympic Mountains from. Mystery Bay is tucked away from the main body of water that separates Marrowstone and Indian Islands, so is more protected, especially the winds.

There is a lovely short spit of land to walk out on.

Our middle son with our dog “Killer” (She is a Manchester Terrier, and is our farm’s vermin killer. She’s also a Couch Terrier when it’s cold……and Princess has a wee couch to sleep in on car rides, and enough sweaters to make people gag. She was a puppy breeder that we adopted 2 years ago when she was dumped, she is pure bred, but isn’t “show perfect”. She is though the biggest little love bug you will ever meet).

I noticed an old fruit tree (well actually a number of), that you can see 2 photos above. My guess is a larger variety of crabapple. They were about 2″ long. I was reading up on the history, and the area was presumably homesteaded, before it came into state property in 1972. Nordland, the nearby community that is much of Marrowstone Island, was a homesteading area. The trees would be at least 100 years old, and looked to be in decent shape (cared for).

Behind the spit is a very sheltered area, I’d love to see it in Spring when the birds return.

If you need to stretch legs, have a picnic without the blasting winds off the sea, don’t pass up on Mystery Bay. It’s not big, but it is pretty and well worth stopping by.

Discover parking pass is required, or a $10 daily fee.

For lunch we had a couple meals from PackitGourmet.

All American Works Burger.

Protip: Add a bit more water than called for, the worst is you drain it off and drink beef flavored “soup”. I mixed the included ketchup, mayo and mustard packets in, and we topped it with the relish as one child was crabbing about eating it. Serves it on tortillas (the street taco size), and each bag made 4 tortillas worth. For mine, I added a bit of the Queso dip from below on the tortilla first.

The beef mixture would also be great served over hot rice or tossed with hot pasta.

For a trip down history lane……

We reviewed the first version of this meal back in 2009, before the packaging was changed and a few changes in ingredients. The now version has lots of tasty cheese added.

We were on a hiking trip in the Olympics, along the Skokomish Trail, when we stopped for lunch. The original review was lost when we had to rebuild the website and blog 2 years ago.

Queso Rico Dip.

It’s a cheese dip with a salty and slightly spicy kick. Great with chips, but also would be good served over rice.

Pico De Gallo Dip.

If you are craving fresh veggies on the trail, this is the one meal I’d tell you to pick up. Prepped with cool water, it is ready to nosh on in 1o to 15 minutes. It’s got a fresh citrus boost in it, and pairs well with salty crunchy chips. You could share it, but it won’t last long if you do.

If you are feeling flush with cash, bring it along for burrito night, and serve on top before you wrap the burritos up. You won’t regret bringing this ultra light pack along (the desiccant pack might weigh more than the veggies).


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