One of the nice things about traveling is seeing friends
and family. The natural beauty is reason enough to go but
visiting those you haven't seen in a while is icing on the
cake. We spent the morning enjoying the company of our son,
daughter-in-law, and grandson at their home in Poulsbo (photo
Today is the Fourth of July, Independence Day, and we have
plans to go to Anacortes. There are bound to be lots of people
on the road and waiting for the ferries. This sparks the debate
that travelers seem to constantly have with themselves; do
we go the short route or the scenic route? We opt for the
scenic and head north to Pt. Townsend.
Brian is now a local so, as such; he knows some of the local
back roads. We leave Poulsbo on Big Valley Road, which we've
never been on, a great little road that is a short connector
to the larger, faster SR 3. When I tell the boy, scenic, he
takes me at my word. As with most of western Washington, there
are a plethora of greens and yellows and earth tones enough
to please every nature lover's palette. You like plethora?
See what watching the Three Amigos can do for your vocabulary?
Western Washington is like eating a gourmet meal. It is just
too rich and too exotic to consume quickly. You want to savor
the flavor. We cross the Hood Canal Floating Bridge and when
we get to the first turn, we make a right and take Paradise
Valley Road to Port Ludlow. Port Ludlow is a planned development
without gates. It overlooks Ludlow Bay and temps me something
terrible. I wouldn't mind owning a condo here. I understand
the salmon fishing and crabbing here is great. Hell, I could
spend all of my time either fishing for salmon or smoking
We take SR 20 East to Port Townsend and get in line for the
ferry to Whidbey Island (photos 2 & 3). Now here's
the nice thing about riding a motorcycle in Washington. They
try and let you on the ferry first. That way you can fill
up the small spaces up front and they can get more cars on.
At least that's what I've been told. Maybe they just like
motorcycles. As we're waiting and I'm taking pictures, I meet
Bob, a worker for the Washington State Ferry System (photo
4). He's a Harley rider, or a least he was. He just recently
sold his Harley so he could put some money down on a house.
That tells you something about the prices of Harley's compared
to the prices of houses in Washington. Bob still has a shovelhead
he's trying to restore but he's got a ways to go yet. Bob
put some serious miles on his Harley, and it was the only
transportation he had for about four years. What he really
wants is to do some intense long distance touring and he thinks
maybe his next bike will be a BMW. He says that he really
wants to get another bike soon. It is clear the man has the
obsession. Good for him.
They finally load the Keystone ferry; we pass the Pt. Wilson
lighthouse (photo 5) and leave Port Townsend behind
(photos 6). What a great day to be on the water (photos
7 & 8). We lounge around the deck and take pictures
of each other (photos 9,10, 11) before docking 30 minutes
later on Whidbey Island, then head north to Anacortes.
One of the reasons for starting this trip by going north,
was to attend the Northwest Gold Wing Touring Association's
state rally in Anacortes on the fourth (photo 12) and,
of course, we thought it would be a great excuse to stop in
Anacortes. Stop we did. This is the first ever rally for Linda
and I and it was fun to see the vendors (photo 13),
and of course I bought a couple of tee shirts. I've never
seen so much Goldwing stuff in one place. I'm glad I'm visiting
from out of state because it keeps me from buying anymore
than I did. No room to carry it. I have no idea what they
do at other rallies but there were sure a bunch of tent campers
camped out on the local high school football field (photos
14 & 15). We kept passing Goldwings all over town.
Now I know how the Harley guys feel when they see so many
others riding their chosen bike.
We grabbed a little dinner at the Flounder Bay Café,
a place I recommend (photo 16) and headed out to Washington
Park to play a little softball, skip rocks, and just enjoy
the day. Washington Park would be a great asset for any city.
Remember the three keys to success, location, location, and
location. Well, Washington Park definitely has location. It
jumps right off to the San Juan Islands, for those who have
a boat, and you can camp for a very reasonable price. There
are lots of things to do for the family. Brian, Tami, Chris
and Linda hit a softball around while I took pictures of the
island scenery (photos 17, 18 19 20). I may need to
get a part time job with the Chamber of Commerce if I don't
stop praising this place. Of course, I'm retired, so a part
time job may not be so bad.
It was time to try and find a spot to see the fireworks on
the other side of the island; this is the fourth of July after
all. Since it doesn't get dark until about 10:00 this far
north, this made for a cool evening as we waited on some steel
steps of a local office complex. Finally, at about 10:30 the
fireworks started and we couldn't have picked a better spot.
To our surprise and delight they were going off directly over
our heads. The concussion from the explosions could be felt
and must have had every dog in Anacortes hiding under the
bed. I did the best I could trying to capture on film some
of the grandeur of the fireworks, but it was an impossible
task. Here are a few of what I got (photos 21, 22, 23,
Another end to another perfect day. Damn! I'm really starting
to enjoy this retirement stuff.