Saturday, August 8, 2015

Whidbey Island by Vicki Rains

Roger has gotten a bit behind in his blogging so he agreed to let me write one.  I think he might be a bit uncomfortable writing about our visit to his brother’s “palatial mansion” so he let me write it.  I had a wonderful time both times we took the ferry to Whidbey Island so I am happy to describe the experiences.

Leaving Port Townsend on the Keystone ferry
We took the 1st ferry we could get up for at 9:30 AM from Port Townsend to Keystone.  Riding Washington ferries is an experience in itself.  It was a half hour ride with awesome views of Port Townsend and Whidbey Island across the strait.  We called when we arrived on Whidbey and by the time we got to their house breakfast was ready, well almost.  Both Lyle and Linda (L & L) are great cooks.  The baked pancake was really like a breakfast bread pudding with maple syrup, instead of a whiskey sauce.  It was yummy! 

L & L may not live in a palatial mansion, but it seems like it
Mt Baker from Lyle's house
compared to our 45 foot rolling home.  They have wonderful views, however.  Every morning and evening I would take the dogs out for a walk down to the bay and what I saw just took my breath away.  L & L live on the east side of the island overlooking the mainland and some smaller lesser known islands.  They also have a magnificent view of Mount Baker which generally presented itself outside of the cloud cover each evening.  Also the dreaded deer came out to feed on the neighbor’s plum tree about the same time.  Being a city girl, I enjoy the deer.  L & L don’t like them because they eat the flowers, fruit and vegetables they are trying to grow.
Deer in L&L's yard
Coupeville waterfront
Each day we went out site seeing.  Our challenge was to see if we could find places that L & L hadn’t visited.  We were successful only part of the time.  The 1st day they took us to Coupeville, a historic town known for its muscles since they are grown in the bay nearby.  One gets to Coupeville by way of the road named appropriately, Madrona Way.  The Madrona tree is a red-barked tree that looks like a giant Manzanita.  These trees line the bay along the road from the turn-off from the main road to Coupeville.

View from atop Mt. Erie
The next day we did a first for L & L. We drove up Mount Erie in Anacortes on Fidalgo Island.  It had almost 360 degree views of the surrounding islands, bays and mainland.  I believe it was built as a road for the cell and TV antennae at the top but is maintained as a city park.  On the way to and from we stopped at Deception Pass state park, the most visited park in the Washington state system.  It was named by Captain Vancouver in 1792 when he was deceived, thinking that Whidbey was a peninsula.  He sent one of his men, Joseph Whidbey, out to check and he initially failed, but then in a smaller boat circumnavigated the island.  The bridge from Fidalgo Island to Whidbey connects Whidbey to the mainland.  The turnouts near the bridge to take in the views were definitely crowded but the beaches and bays were almost empty by California standards.
Deception pass from the top of the bridge
Finally, Linda and I revisited the historic, tourist town of LaConner while Lyle went to the doctor.  Since Linda & I planned to shop until we dropped, Roger had no interest and went with Lyle.  The weather wasn’t great so I don’t have any new pictures of the town but I was interested in the crab fishing boats across the water from the town as they reminded me of the lobster boats in Maine last year.

Lyle and Vicki at Washington Park
On our next trip to Whidbey we did another first for L & L, we drove the scenic drive through Washington Park in Anacortes.  Roger & I actually drove this a couple of times when we lived in Tacoma 35 years ago. There were some nice views of Whidbey Island and Orcas Island with its Mount Constitution, as well as Mount Erie in Anacortes.

The following day, we accomplished another first, a sumptuous Sunday brunch buffet at Chuckanut Manor Seafood & Grill. This is surprising as L & L are foodies and generally have been to or know of every fine restaurant where ever they are. Well, I guess they knew of this, they just hadn’t tried it. The views of the bay from our table were lovely despite the overcast weather.

We then continued on Chuckanut drive to Larrabee State Park which was nice except for the cloudy weather. This drive concluded at Trader Joes in Bellingham, where good food was bought by all. 

West coast blueberries
Our return drive included a blueberry farm, where I was astounded by the size of the berry bushes. Last year in Maine the bushes were about 5 to 6 inches high. Here in Washington they are 5 to 6 feet tall. The berries are bigger too, although New Englanders would have you believe that those in Maine are more flavorful. Linda makes fabulous jams, which we were fortunate enough to try while we were there and bring several jars away with us. Linda bought blueberries. I don’t know if she planned to make more jam, but we were about to leave Washington so if she does we’ll never get to try it.
The weather was starting to clear as we took the ferry back to Port Townsend so I got a couple of nice pictures from the ferry as we left. As always, we had a great time with L & L.

Bonus Pics

Madrona tree
Fort Worden light from the ferry
Aquafarming mussels at Penn Cove near Coupeville

Deception Pass Bridge

1 comment:

  1. Beautiful pictures. Those blueberries look wonderful. Blueberry pancakes or muffins would make a wonderful breakfast. Safe travels.