We had a 9:30 a.m. reservation on the ferry to Whidbey Island and arrived
in Port Townsend just as the sun was coming up over the harbor.
Since we had already eaten a bit at the motel, we just split a steaming bowl of oatmeal
with fresh blueberries in a bayside restaurant near the ferry terminal and watched
the earlier ferry depart while we drank our coffee. Friendly patrons recommended we drive
through the residential section on the bluff above, just to see the old Victorian homes.
Of more interest to us were the deer just munching away in people’s yards!
We stopped right next to them and they just stared at us as if to say,
“What are you doing here?”
After doing a bit of research, it seems there are hundreds of deer
running around town all the time ~ they simply have made themselves at home.
There is a “no hunting in town” law as well as an “all dogs must be on leashes” law;
with no natural predators in the area, the deer have learned that Port Townsend
is a safe haven ~ and they prefer to dine on flowers, garden crops and landscaping,
irritating many residents, but endearing themselves to most.
After boarding the ferry for the 30-minute ride to the island, we climbed to an
observation deck and watched a tugboat tow a freighter across the ferry’s path.
We were soon driving north on the island, headed to Deception Pass,
which everyone told us was the highlight of the island ~ the most photographed spot.
After crossing this bridge, we soon saw why that was the case.
The pass is actually a strait separating Fidalgo and Whidbey Islands, connecting
Skagit Bay, which is part of the Puget Sound, and the Strait of Juan de Fuca.
The little island that looks like a turtle to me is Deception Island.
We think the larger spit of land just below it looks like a sleeping bear.
This plaque tells how explorers felt the waterway had “deceived” them
and for that reason, they named it Deception Pass.
The day was very cold and a fierce wind was sweeping through the pass,
making me really nervous about walking out on the bridge for photos.
The walkway was narrow and traffic was rushing over the bridge,
very near to the sidewalk. I freak out a "bit" over heights anyway,
so I was unable to venture out very far before losing my nerve and turning back.
Clayton was afraid some truck's mirror was going to strike me since
I was unable to stand closer to the outer rail because I was so scared.
We both soon decided I had better just get off the bridge altogether.
I’m sure I could have gotten great shots out there, but that simply
wasn’t going to happen with my camera that day ~ sigh.
To view the pass from the other side of the road, because of the dangerous traffic,
we had to descend a steep stairway and pass under the bridge,
climbing up another staircase. There were signs posted asking people
to please not climb on the bridgework. No problem!
The tiny Ben Ure Island on the east side of the bridge is rather infamous
because of it past history; in the late 1880's, illegal Chinese immigrants
were smuggled through there to be used as a labor force. The history is rather ugly
as many of the immigrants were simply dumped overboard to die
anytime the smugglers were at risk of being apprehended by the authorities.
There is more to the sad story, but I'll let you look it up ~
A cold rain began to splatter us as we returned to our car.
We drove back across the bridge and headed toward the south end of the island.
I wondered if some of our farmer friends at home would enjoy
driving their tractors through fields which sloped right down to the sea.
We stopped for a quick photo of the lighthouse at Fort Casey.
The grounds looked like a lovely place to spend some time in warmer weather.
Our next destination was the little town of Langley ~ a quaint, artsy little place.
We visited a coffee shop for steaming lattés and shared a couple creamy chocolates.
There wasn't a lot going on there in the wintertime, but we stopped
on a bluff overlooking the tiny, picturesesque harbor for a photo.
We had become a bit spoiled by the stretch of good weather;
this much colder day had us shivering ~ and I think
the seagulls and anhingas agreed with us ~ they weren't moving around much.
We took a different ferry off the island, arriving in Mukilteo
very ready to find a warm place for the night.
We felt rather like this great blue heron looked ~ slightly frozen ~
I'm sure there is lots more to see on the island than we experienced;
maybe another time ~ another warmer day ~
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
“Praise ye the LORD: for it is good to sing praises
unto our God . . . who can stand before His cold?
. . . He causeth His wind to blow, and the waters flow.”
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