Journeys Around Seattle, #64: Whidbey Island

November 09, 2015  •  Leave a Comment

Last weekend was a grey, rainy weekend, the kind of dismal weather Seattle is well-known for. It's a reputation that, in the winter months anyway, is well-deserved. Lisa and I were going stir-crazy, but the weather wasn't nearly good enough for any sort of hiking (at least, any sort of enjoyable hiking) so we decided to make a day trip up to Bellingham, 90 minutes north. However, to get there, rather than take the straight shot up I-5, we followed a coastal route up the shore of Puget Sound.

From Seattle, we headed north to Mukilteo, and caught the ferry to Whidbey Island, a long island at the north end of Puget Sound and the largest island in Washington state. From there, we skirted the shoreline, stopping occasionally at parks and viewpoints along the way. The day was gray, but the sky was an ever-changing patchwork of clouds, and the light and water gave Puget Sound a restless feel on this moody winter day.

On clear days, we would have seen hundreds of miles from here to the Olympic Mountains, the Cascades, and even the Canadian Coastal Range; we had none of those views, except some brief glimpses of Mt. Baker. Instead, we got turbulent gray skies and water, and occasional almost mystical glimpses of sunlight as it broke through the clouds and shone on distant patches of water.

At the north end of the island is Deception Pass, which is often fogged in, but not today. Instead, we walked across the bridge, looking down to the cliffs and sea caves far below. The tides were changing, and we could see tiny whirlpools form and disappear in the water below. Occasionally a boat would pass under our feet, its wake spreading out across the water and providing a sort of symmetry to the clouds overhead.

There are a lot of nooks and crannies along the edges of Whidbey Island, and its neighbor, Camano Island; both Lisa and I agreed that we need to come back and explore the island more throughly one day. But for now, we kept heading north to Bellingham.

The rest of the trip was pretty uneventful, at least from a photography perspective... and I've blogged about Bellingham and its environs before. So for now, have a slideshow of Puget Sound and Whidbey Island on a gray, lovely, moody winter day. (And if that seems like a contradiction, you really do need to visit the Pacific Northwest.)


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