The marine air in the area just wasn't allowing us to visit the North Cascades Hwy. This was a high priority on Len's list of things to do in the Pacific Northwest. So we opted for a trip north west of Snohomish to Whidbey Island and Deception Pass. We took the Mukilteo Ferry over to the south end of Whidbey Island. It is the 5th longest Island in the continental U.S. It is 62 miles long. The island is very long and narrow. 1 1/2 miles at its narrowest point and 12 miles at its widest. The ferry ride cost $10.55 for the Ranger and two passengers. It is the Washington State Ferries shortest run, 15 mins.
We docked in Clinton and got gas, then proceeded to the quaint town of Langley. It was 10:30 and not much was opened, but took a stroll down to the beach and checked out their bakery. We just couldn't see paying 3.75 for danish, so we continued on. Our next stop was the Greenbank Winery (one of many on the island). The barn that houses the winery is 100 years old. We did a little sampling and enjoyed the grounds.
As we moved up the island, fog was rolling in and around. Through the years I have frequently camped at Fort Casey St. Park. The Keystone ferry docks right in front of the park. This ferry will take you over to Port Townsend on the North Kitsap Peninsula. We are heading to the peninsula next week. Fort Casey was built in the early 1900's as part of a triangle defense to protect Puget Sound. The big 10' disappearing guns could fire up to 10 miles, but where never discharged. During WWII the guns were removed and melted down for the war. There are two guns still on display. It was so foggy that we couldn't see the lighthouse, nor the bluffs edge in front of the guns. In the 50' s they turned the Fort into a state park.
We ate lunch at Christopher's in Coupeville, another charming town mid island. We stopped and talked to a very friendly gal pulling weeds in town and asked for a lunch recommendation. We enjoyed our bowl of clam chowder (she said it was the best and it was!) on the patio and then indulged in a blackberry crepe with french vanilla ice and a drizzle of caramel sauce. What a lunch!!!
The trip continued on up through Oak Harbor. Beautiful farm lands in this town and the Whidbey Naval Air Station is located here. Our last destination was Deception Pass, which is on the northern tip of the island. We took a drive thru the state park. The park has over 200 sites, but none long enough for the Dutch Star. The fog was thick, but we could see the Deception Pass Bridge in the distance from the park. We ran to the car in hopes of getting to the bridge before it was socked in. We were able to walk across the bridge and enjoy the view from up high. The fog was to the west and blue skies to the east. It was my first time walking on the bridge. It made me a little queasy. It wasn't the height, but the swirling waters below that got me. It is a very powerful current that runs thru here and changes with the tides. It was a beautiful day in the Pacific Northwest and perfect for a full day of exploring this gorgeous island.