Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Anacortes, part 1

I started my Washington visit in Anacortes, WA.  It is on Fidalgo Island and is about 80 miles north of Seattle.  The main reason that I wanted to get here a bit earlier than most tourist (it’s still a bit cold) was the Skagit Valley Tulip festival. I had seen pictures of this and it looked amazing.  Even though I ended up getting to Anacortes later than I expected I did get to see the tulips.  It was amazing, thousands or perhaps millions of tulips blooming.  To see the tulips you can walk through the fields or visit a garden.  I did both.

The gardens were display gardens for bulb companies.

The fields of tulips are there for the bulbs, not the flowers.  Actually once a few flowers start aging just a tiny bit, they pluck (or deadhead) every flower of that variety so all that’s left are the leaves and stems.  They do this to keep out infection. 


I hope you like flowers, because there are more.  I also visited the Meerkerk Rhododendron Gardens.  I was there a couple of weeks before peak, but it was still nice.

I did a little bit of hiking in Deception Pass State Park.  This park has a great bridge between Fidalgo and Whidbey Island.

The picture below was taken from the bridge.  

I also did some hiking around Ebby’s landing.  I hiked along the beach for a few miles.  I also hiked the trail that you can see that leads up the cliff.  I’ll post pictures of that hike in my next blog - part 2 of Anacortes.

I got to see a lot of farms- flowers, crops and shellfish.  Below is a mussel farm.


They have a very interesting tree, a Madrona tree.  It has orange/reddish bark that as the tree gets older peels off and leaves a shiny finish to the wood.  Actually the above picture of the Mussel farm is framed by Madronas.

   As mentioned above, it is still a bit cold here.  And as expected it has been quite rainy.  I had found a campground that had great reviews with people commenting on the park-like setting.  So I made a reservation there. Well it was beautiful – big trees, ferns…  But when it’s cold and rainy you really don’t want to be under lots of trees.  You want somewhere that gets what little sunshine there is – at least that’s what I want.  The sun that is on my RV below is the only sun that my RV would see during the day and it lasted for less than an hour!  So I stayed at this park for a week, but then moved 2.7 miles to a park on the Bay with no trees.  More on that in part 2 of Anacortes.

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