Pioneer Trails RV Park was our chosen home for about a week in beautiful downtown Anacortes. The park was nice and spread out in the hills and trees and a good base to work out of. Our site was level gravel pull-through, FHU’s, but thick in the trees which put the kabosh to our satellite TV reception. And since they had no cable, I did not even try to catch over-the-air antenna reception and we “went commando” all week, aka: “unplugged”.
Our first order of business was some exploring, so we headed out toward Whidbey Island. Crossing the bridge over Deception Pass, we wanted to stop and give it a good look but quickly discovered the way of the world in the state of Washington. Just about everything worth sightseeing they charge a $10 day use fee. But the great state of Washington to the rescue! They offer a yearly Discover Pass for all state sites/parks for the mere price of $30. So we buckled and bought a pass (which paid for itself in the first 2 days for us). Just one of the ways they make up for having no state income tax I guess…We returned later to walk the bridge. In the meantime, we continued south on Whidbey Island to Oak Harbor. We strolled the “downtown” area and walked along the boardwalk/shoreline. Whidbey Island NAS is in/near Oak Harbor and we were treated to numerous groups of fighters flying our friendly skies. Continuing S/B on Hwy. 20 we cruised on into Coupeville and the Fort Casey area. We needed to check out the ferry terminal in Fort Casey that runs across to Port Townsend on the Olympic peninsula for our eventual escape from this area heading south. Ferry information and schedules in hand, Coupeville became our lunch stop. After a walk around town and the Coupeville public pier/dock we ate lunch at Toby’s, a little quaint bar/restaurant.
Our return trip brought us back to the Deception Pass bridge. We walked the bridge and watched a group of fishing boats below catch some fish. They were also being surveilled under the watchful eye of what was probably one of the local harbor seals. It was a very scenic view on a clear day.
A run to Bellingham, WA found us stopping off at the Trader Joe’s for a little shopping. We also found out there is a Bellingham Tap Trail so, twist my arm, we HAD to hit just a few of them. The whole trail consists of about 30 not just breweries but cideries and tap houses as well. Of the six we visited, we picked lunch at the Bellingham Beer Garden, affiliated with Twin Sisters Brewing Co. This turned out to be a great choice, both food-wise and beer-wise. Jeanne had their cauliflower tacos and I had the pork belly tacos, both outstanding! And the bourbon barrel aged Stouting Thomas was very good. We did find Bellingham to be a pain in the #&$% to drive in the downtown area – all the one way streets and the sheer number of drivers driving HUA made it a true chore.
A drive to the opposite end of Fidalgo Island found us driving the Washington Park Loop, a short loop in the park with ocean views. German immigrant Tonjes Havekost owned this area back in the 1870’s and his gravesite is on a short walking trail off the loop.
Rosario Beach is next to Deception Pass State Park. We walked out to the beach and a small tidal pool area. It seems the tidal critters were critically damaged during a low tide event in 1995 where some 1,200 human visitors trampled over the sea life in one day. Time is allowing the critters to return and we saw many tiny what I think are urchins (if I’m wrong, go ahead and sue me). Also, a wayward red rock crab kinda crossed our “path” in the shallows of a nearby cove.
We met up with our friends Bud and Meredith (fellow Texans) when we relocated our homestead to the Fidalgo Bay RV Resort, still on Fidalgo Island. This was a bit different RV park from Pioneer Trails. Fully open sky, sites stacked like cord wood, views of the bay, and a nice bicycle/walking path that runs right through the park. There is a part of the path that is on kinda like a jetty with a footbridge over the channel which we used for Woody’s walkabouts. It provided us opportunities to see some of the local critters like harbor seals, blue herons, red rock crabs, a colorful starfish, and a whole bunch of clams “spitting” during low tide. Now, the last time we were with Bud & Meredith, it was at the opposite end of the world in Bar Harbor, ME. At that time, I can say I have never stuffed my face with so much lobster and steamed clams than I did then. Being on the left coast this time, substitute Dungeness crab for lobster and I can pretty much say the same thing. Mmmmmmmmmm…
One day we did a bicycle ride into town to wander their Farmer’s Market. It was relatively small as far as F.M.’s go, but we still managed to pick up some tomatos and tomatillos for future salsa. After hitting the market, we stopped off at a place called “Gere-a-Deli” for lunch and had some outstanding chow; Jeanne had a quinoa salad and I had a pastrami sandwich. I would highly recommend this place if you are ever in the area…
We made a short trip to check out the small hamlet of La Conner. This was another quaint little seaside town, home to a cool little antique shop called “Nasty Jacks”. We strolled town and some of the plaza/boardwalk areas along the docks and ended with some nachos at the La Conner Brewing Co.
Bud & Meredith took us up to Cap Sante Park where we were treated to some pretty good water and island views, as well as snow-covered Mt. Baker. As far as views go, we also hit Mt. Erie right in the middle of downtown Anacortes. There are a couple of viewing platforms at the top, as well as non-developed platforms which are frequented by mountain climbers and rapellers.
Our big excursion here was a ferry ride over to Friday Harbor on San Juan Island. The boat ride was just over an hour one-way, cruising through the islands, ever watchful for whale activity (but, alas, we got skunked). Friday Harbor was fun to cruise on foot, Jeanne and Meredith poking their heads into several of the local shops. We lunched at San Juan Island Brewery, of course testing out some of their brews, then ice-creamed our way back to the ferry. The scenery on the ferry rides was gorgeous, if you can stand to look at oceans, mountains, islands, and whole fleets of sailboats.
Well, tonight will be our last night on the island. A huge thanks to Bud & Meredith for all the good times, good food, and good “tour guiding”. A special shout out to Bud & Meredith’s friend “Bull”, a commander from Whidbey NAS who was staying at Fidalgo Bay RV Resort. He smoked some pork ribs, jalapeno poppers, and corn for dinner one night, all of which were OUTSTANDING! For our escape we have reservations for the Coupeville/Port Townsend ferry to float us across to the Olympic Peninsula, then from there, the fun begins—to find a place to park it for a few days…on Labor Day weekend no less! But hey, that’s the fun part of full-timing, ain’t it?!? Until next post…