OUTDOORS: Parks-a-plenty in Jefferson County’s Irondale

Changes in longitude, even if it’s only one degree easterly, are significant.

Recently, circumstances dictated that I pack up and leave Deer Park, the name I gave to the five-acre parcel neighboring the mother-in-law rental I called home for nearly eight years near Lincoln Park in Port Angeles.

Full of quail in the mornings and evenings and an ever-present supply of deer at all times thanks to the size of the field and a neighbor who provides seed, I’ll miss time on the deck watching the sun set over the airport. And the cool walk-in shower with circus-animal level water flow.

With available housing nonexistent or not worth the exorbitant prices in Port Angeles and Sequim, lines were cast across the North Olympic Peninsula and a bite came on a unicorn of a location in Irondale — back in Jefferson County.

I bit as soon as the place was offered — living out of my car or storage unit just wasn’t enticing enough for me to want to try out.

Location is what the real estate agents focus on, and that’s what I got handful of blocks up from Irondale County Beach Park and you can see Indian Island pop up in view along with Port Townsend Bay, Mount Baker and Port Hadlock as you walk down the hill to the water’s edge.

The park is a great picnic location, or a solid spot to walk your pup, as trails lead to the mouth of Chimacum Creek and toward Port Hadlock.

Hand crabbing could be a possibility on low tides, something I’ll have to check on going forward.

I’m not one for climbing mountain peaks with names like Misery Point such as our intrepid sports editor triumphed over last week. A brisk walk through the neighborhood or along the beach is all I seek — so I’ve adapted easily to my new easily walkable neighborhood.

Especially considering Irondale Community Park, another Jefferson County park located at 41 Alma St., is less than a mile south of the new digs.

This is a park I long confused with Irondale Beach but includes an irrigated soccer and football field where Jefferson County Recreation hosts some youth soccer practices and games and a baseball and softball field with a dirt infield.

There’s a playground for kids, picnic tables, tall trees that provide plenty of shade in the afternoon and evening hours and a restroom.

Outdoor basketball courts also are available.

I haven’t ventured over to Chimacum’s HJ Carroll Park yet, another park that opened and flourished after I left Jefferson County to attend college in 2000, but I’ll add a review of it and other area spots that I have yet to discover another time.

Crab catch cards

Summer crab season ends Monday night with completed catch record cards, regardless of whether any crabs were caught, due to the state Department of Fish and Wildlife by Oct. 1.

The winter crab season starts after Labor Day, and all catches must be recorded on a winter catch record card due back Feb. 1.

For more information on catch record cards, visit here.

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Sports reporter Michael Carman can be contacted at 360-406-0674 or [email protected]

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