Sunday, July 20, 2008

The Pacific Northwest - June 16 - June 30 2008

Leaving Newport, McMinnville (about 40 miles southwest of Portland) is our first stop. Honey gets a chance to finish our taxes (how late is that?) and Bob visits the Evergreen Aviation Museum, now home to the Spruce Goose.

Home to the Spruce Goose, McMinnville, OR

After a day of shopping in Portland, we leave Oregon & go up to The Tulalip Casino, right off Hwy 5 near Arlington, then over to the Northern Lights Casino in Anacortes, on Fidalgo Island. Our favorite RV park is booked, but we have easy access to all of Whidbey Island, my favorite place so far, in all of the U.S.

Whidbey Island is home to Deception Pass State Park. If you have already downloaded Google Earth (if not, do so now!) you can "fly" there & see the famous bridges & stunning views. The pictures on Google Earth were taken last year. How do I know? The road in front of the North Whidbey RV Park, about a mile south of the bridge, was being paved while there last year. Follow the road through town & down to the end of Hwy 20 at Fort Casey, just west to Coupeville. Here are a few pictures of Deception Pass.

Entrance to the State Park where "Snow Falling on Cedars" was filmed

View as far as Vancouver Island, in background

View of Lopez Island in distance

Maid of Deception Pass, Whidbey Island State Park

Whidbey Island is ideal for ferry riding. Bob has marching orders to put me on a never ending ride on WA ferries if I should ever become senile. At least he would know I'd be happy! Fort Casey is the port for the Keystone Ferry, a half hour ride to Port Townsend, on the Olympic Peninsula. Fidalgo Island is the port for the San Juan Island Ferries, and also is available for the Victoria BC ferry. Am I in ferry heaven or what!

First chance we get, we head for Ft. Casey & the Keystone Ferry. Here is the view, while waiting for the ferry at Fort Casey:

View of Campground & Olympic Range while waiting for the ferry

The picture below is a "borrowed" ferry from Tacoma, as new ferries are under construction.

"Borrowed" ferry at Fort Casey, Whidbey Island

Hopefully, the "new" ferry will also feature the harpist who played for us on the lower deck. We have two of his CD's. They're fabulous!

David Michael, "Heart of the Harp"

The best part of leaving from Fort Casey, Whidbey Island to sail to Port Townsend, is the ferry docks right in downtown Port Townsend. The town is one of Washington's oldest, & has beautiful brick Victorian buildings all along Water Street, the main drag. Regrettably, they haven't removed the overhead power lines, and getting great photos of downtown is nearly impossible unless you're a pro with Photo Shop. The picture of Bob walking along Water Street doesn't show off the buildings, but you can get an idea of how pretty this little town really is.

Water Street, downtown Port Townsend, WA

When in Port Townsend, we always climb the hill up to Panne D'Amore, the best bakery on the Peninsula. They have focaccia to die for, loaded with fresh roasted veggies. I get hungry just thinking about it.
After a day walking the town, all the way down to Fort Hudson & back, looking at all the docked boats & site of the new heritage museum, it's time to head back. When you visit, be sure to book campground reservations way in advance. Port Townsend is home to both the Kayak Symposium, right around Labor Day, and also the Wooden Boat Festival, I believe in August. Be sure to check out Port Townsend on Google Earth. When I learn how, I will attempt to include the links.
These pictures are what you may see on the way back. Quite a ferry ride! Due to a temperature inversion, the days were not particularly clear.

Here comes the ferry!

Small by Comparison. View of Mt. Rainier

View west of the Olympic Range

Traffic on the Straight of Juan de Fuca

Coming into dock, Fort Casey, Whidbey Island

Alaska bound - "Hey, stop the ship. I want on!"

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