Pacific Northwest – Installment 14

September 11 dawned bright. We were up and at it early so we had time to clean the house and prepare for our day’s journey, which would take us from San Juan Island, through Anacortes, WA on Fidalgo Island, to Deception Pass State Park and then CoupevilleĀ  before over-nighting in Oak Harbor.

"Drive" Map
“Drive” Map

The map on the left shows our route. The first leg, from Friday Harbor to Anacortes, was on a very large Washington State Ferry. I thought for sure that the M/V Elwha was one of the biggest boats in the system. But according to the WSDOT website, there are five that are larger. It’s hard to imagine bigger ferries. The Elwha is 382 feet long and 73 feet across!

Unless you’ve seen tractor-trailers, school buses, RVs, etc. boarding easily and walked around its multiple levels and decks, I think it is hard to imagine the size of the vessel. You’ll just have to trust me when I say it is really darn BIG.

We got to Friday Harbor early enough that Annelies and I had time to shop while the boys waited in the car, which we’d parked in the ferry queue. We had time for some pictures, too.

Interesting Flowers
Interesting Flowers

Those flowers were outside the public restroom, inside of which occurred one of the most-amusing moments of the trip.

Let me just say, it’s a little disconcerting when your friend, who has already told you she really needs to use the bathroom, is in a neighboring bathroom stall when she laugh/squeals then exclaims, “Oh my GOD, I have got to take a picture of this.”

My first thought, of course, was an interesting piece of stool, which even I would NEVER photograph. I was very relieved when this was the image I saw…

Interesting bathroom graffiti.
Interesting bathroom graffiti.

That IS pretty funny.

Some other pics we captured in Friday Harbor…



Signage at the most-interesting Ace Hardware Store ever.


Photographer in action.


We bought some souvenirs and picnic provisions and then headed back to the car as boarding time was imminent.

Friday Harbor as seen through the ferry window.


Ferry Picnic


View during the passage to Anacortes.


Approaching Anacortes


I will never tire of riding ferries, or any other boat, among the San Juan Islands.

After disembarking, which happens surprisingly quickly, we headed to Deception Pass State Park. Part of the park is on the southern tip of Fidalgo Island and the other part is on the northern tip of Whidbey Island. A famous bridge connects the two islands at Deception Pass.

The Deception Pass bridge is actually two bridges, there’s a small island in between the two spans, that connects Fidalgo and Whidbey Islands. In total, it’s 1,487 feet long (Canoe Pass span: 511 feet, Deception Pass Span: 976 feet), with a road width of 22 feet and 3-foot sidewalks on each side. The cantilever bridge is approximately 180 feet from the water (depending on tides).

Currents through the Deception Pass strait are quite impressive. The tidal flow beneath the twin bridges is very strong and the current reaches a speed of about 8 knots (9.2 mph) during ebb and flood tide.

We stopped on the Fidalgo Island side first.

Beautiful stones. (Yes, some came home with me.)


Annelies and Yves doing a happy dance.


Native American Statue


Beautiful Shoreline


Deception Pass Bridge


Hubby gazing down from the bridge deck.


Look at the rocks below the bridge to see the current.


After admiring the bridge up-close, we continued on into the Whidbey Island side of the park.

Hubby was content to watch the fishermen as we explored the beautiful shoreline.


Deception Pass bridge as seen from Whidbey Island.


My favorite rock cairn photo of the trip.


We spent a lot more time at the park than we’d anticipated, so we had to boogie to reach our hotel before nightfall. Plus, we were all getting hungry.

After quickly checking into our hotel and off-loading some stuff in our rooms, we continued on to Coupeville.

Yummy local dinner spot.


We chose Toby’s Tavern based on Yelp reviews which summed the place up as quirky a local favorite with good seafood. That’s where another favorite vacation moment occurred. Yves had ordered mussels. When he grabbed the plate being passed across the table by the waitress, the bowl slid a bit and brushed his hand.

“Ooh,” he said, “it’s hot.”

“Well, yeah,” said the waitress without hesitation, “if it was cold, you’d bitch.”

Hysterical. We all cracked up, then assured the slightly concerned waitress that she hadn’t offended us. We all laugh a lot when we’re together, which is one of the reasons we all love each other so much.

It was the perfect ending to a perfect, but long, day. Sadly, it was our last full day together of the trip.

Night sky across the Coupeville harbor.

Up next, we continue south and meet up with some family.


TRIP Re-cap


Installment 1: In the Beginning (Friday, August 30 – Monday, Sept 2)

Installment 2: Portland Morning (Tuesday, Sept 3)

Installment 3: Exploring the City of Portland (morning of Tuesday, Sept 3)

Installment 4: Beyond Portland (afternoon of Tuesday, Sept 3)

Installment 5: Olympic Peninsula, Here We Come!

Installment 6: First Rain Forest Hike & Another Gorgeous Beach

Installment 7: Hurricane Ridge at Olympic National Park

Installment 8: Madison Creek Falls & Lake Crescent

Installment 9: Hoh Rain Forest

Installment 10: Rialto Beach

Installment 11: Getting to San Juan Island

Installment 12: Enjoying San Juan Island

Installment 13: Whales!

10 Replies to “Pacific Northwest – Installment 14”

    1. Bob, I really enjoyed Whidbey Island and hope to get back during our next visit to Washongton. We missed Port Townsend, too, on the Olympic Peninsula. I think the grand kids would really enjoy Deception Pass State Park as well as Fort Casey. There’s another fort that we missed, too.

      I’m not sure I’ll make anything with the rocks. I have them in a cute little glass bowl on my coffee table. I’ve tried building little cairns on the coffee table, but it makes quite a racket when they topple there.

  1. Even more beautiful pictures. I think you guys had entirely too much fun on vacation.

    The flower outside the restroom kind of looks like some of the odd varieties of echinacea we have around here. We have some have that odd spiky leaves like that, but I can’t be sure.

    1. Brandy, we did have a lot of fun. Such a beautiful place. But we would have fun with those two regardless of where we are. šŸ™‚

      I couldn’t decide if that flower was some sort of echinacea or perhaps a variety of zinnia. Whatever it was, we both thought they were really cool.

Comments are closed.