2009 Vacation

All Good Things Must End

August 27, 2009

We are wrapping up our longest vacation ever. We’ve been so busy living in the present that it’s feels strange to look back at the posts from the first part of our trip. They seem like so long ago. Did we really do all those things on this same vacation? Amazing!

Yesterday, we drove to Bellingham to return the bikes we borrowed from a friend. The box with all our bike stuff, bike carrier, helmets, etc will go to UPS this afternoon and then we’ll take the red eye out of Seattle at midnight.

The view this morning from the patio outside our door:

It’s a bittersweet experience as we leave one of the places we love to go to the other.

There are still a lot of places we went and things we did that have not been chronicled here…yet. I fully intend to do that when we get back but, in the hustle and bustle of everyday “normal” life, plans made on vacation seem to diminish in importance. We’ll see.

The night before last, I traveled the eight miles to Deception Pass State Park in hopes of catching the last soft light of sunset illuminating the bridge over Deception Pass. Later, as I was driving to West Beach inside the Park, I discovered something unexpected, the reflection of the after-sunset sky in Cranberry Lake. In fact, the reflection looks so perfect, you may be tempted to think that it’s a Photoshop trick but it’s not. (click on the image to see a larger version)

PS: A special thanks to Pam and Jerry, our hosts in Anacortes, who so graciously endured our company.

Deception Pass State Park

August 25, 2009

Every year, we spend some time at Deception Pass State Park. It’s one of most beautiful State Parks imaginable and only eight miles from where we stay in Anacortes. Park Facts: 4,134 acres, 14.5 miles of saltwater shoreline, 38 miles of hiking trails, over 300 campsites and three lakes with 6.5 miles of shoreline. Below is a picture of what the Park’s Bowman Bay looked like yesterday afternoon while some boats waited out the thick fog in Rosario Strait that had crept into the bay as well.

The bridge at Deception Pass State Park connects Fidalgo Island and Whidbey Island. It consists of two spans, one over Canoe Pass (511′ long) and one over Deception Pass (976′ long) for a total length of over a quarter mile! The bridge is about 180′ above the turbulent water below. The exact height depends on the state of the 14′ tide. Caution: looking straight down from the bridge can be a little scary. In the picture below taken from a park trail, you can see a rivulet of the fog sneaking in under the main span of the bridge.

At peak current (sometimes reaching 9.5 mph), there’s a 4.5′ water level difference from one side of the Pass to the other and almost 900 million gallons of water rush through with every change of the tide.

By evening, the advection fog in Rosario Strait had dissipated so I went up to the ridge at Marine Heights to photograph the sunset. The building lot where I took this picture is available for $499,000! I think it’s worth every penny since my picture only represents about a fifth of the overall panoramic view from the spot where I took it. (On a really clear day, you should be able to see Vancouver Island from here.)

The image below is the full 180° panoramic view from Marine Heights. Hold your arms out sideways – the view in this panorama extends from your left hand all the way to your right. Click on the image to see a larger version.

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Biking Lopez Island

August 24, 2009

“Lopez Island is a wonderful place to ride a bike; some say it’s the best of the San Juan Islands for cycling. It’s not very hilly, like Orcas Island. It’s smaller, flatter and more intimate than San Juan. And it’s the first stop on the ferry from Anacortes. “Pauline Leedy, a fit and trim 80-year-old […]

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Moran State Park

August 21, 2009

The only way to get to our place in Olga is to drive though Moran State Park and along the shore of beautiful Cascade Lake. The park has 5250 acres and includes 5 mountain lakes, 30 miles of trails, and 2400′ Mt. Constitution. It’s one of the nicest parks for hiking and camping that we […]

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