They’re Back

After an interminably long and dry summer the rain and clouds have returned to the Pacific Northwest just in time to welcome fall. Though we desperately needed the rain, the change was rather abrupt and will take some getting used to.  Still, I love the clouds.

~ Susanne

Wonderful Whidbey Island

Forgive me in advance for overdoing it with the ‘W’s, but we had a Wonderful visit to Whidbey Island on Wednesday this Week!  Since my husband and I are no longer working (I don’t like the “r” word; retired sounds old, even to me) we like to take mid-week excursions and avoid the crowds and traffic.  This week we opted for a day trip to Whidbey Island, an hour or so north of Seattle.

On the way we stopped by Anacortes, an unassuming working town on Fidalgo Island, known mainly as the gateway to the San Juan Islands.

From Fidalgo Island we crossed over to Whidbey Island at Deception Pass. The view from above is amazing but neither of us had the courage to cross the bridge on foot.  With the skinny walkway and at 181 feet, it’s too high up for us!

On the other side, we stopped by Deception Pass State Park, the most visited state park in Washington, complete with campgrounds, beaches, lakes, hikes, and views of the bridge.

Then it was on to the charming town of Coupeville, first laid out in the 1850’s and part of Ebey’s Landing National Historic Reserve.

In downtown Coupeville, Penn Cove has great views of the floating Mt. Baker to the north.

The next stop was Fort Casey.  According to the Washington State Parks website: “Constructed in the late 1800s, Fort Casey was equipped for defense and used as a training facility up to the mid-1940s. The fort houses a pair of rare 10-inch disappearing guns. While the guns were the height of technology in the early 1900s, improvements in warships and the advent of airplanes soon rendered them obsolete.”

A boy’s playground, no?

We left the fort as the cloudy sky was preparing for sunset.

We headed toward Clinton on the southern end of the island where we took the ferry to Mukilteo, for dinner and home, just as the sun was setting.

A wonderful Wednesday trip!

~  Susanne

Late Summer Hike

Sunshine and still summer according to the calendar, but it felt like fall on this recent hike along the Middle Fork of the Snoqualmie.  Over the river and through the woods and under the watchful eye of the Cascades we went; a familiar river but our first time together on Trail  #1003.  The trail is open to mountain bikes (we saw none) and horses (we saw evidence) but we encountered only a few hikers like ourselves on foot.

We passed a corner of the plush forest floor

then crossed the river over the footbridge.

Bob took the lead through the tunnel of dense forest canopy

and I followed slowly, distracted as always by my camera.  Here I got a peek of the peaks through the trees,

and here a Fomitopsis Pinicola, a common type of fungus where children may carve their names onto its soft white surface (don’t ask me how I know this.)

We walked an hour or so through the forest, stopping to rest by the river and eat our snack (candy bars and water, everything tastes better in the woods), before heading back.

We got a late start today so will have to return another time to make it to the hot springs, the promised reward at the end of the trail.

Susanne