We are heading back up to the northwest to spend some time in Anacortes, one of our favorite places to camp. We have covered this before as you can see in our postings for 2005 and 2007.
On our way north we stopped in Baker City, OR to visit the Oregon Trail Interpretive Center, and then on to Ferndale, WA just below the Canadian border, where we took a day trip to the Capilano Suspension Bridge in North Vancouver.
We then headed to Anacortes.
We stayed at the Mountain View Holiday Trav-L-Park, a very nice campground with a view of the snow capped Elkhorn Mountains and some good tennis courts nearby. The picture is of Baker City looking back from the road to the Interpretive Center.
Baker City is a historical town and has restored many of the old buildings to create an "old town" downtown. We had a great lunch in one of the old hotels that has been restored and is still operating. A interesting place to spend some time.
This is a very well done interpretive center depicting the life on the Oregon Trail. There are many displays showing the wagons and associated equipment, along with descriptions and audio/video presentations of the people that traveled the trail, what motivated them to go west, and what kept them going along the trail. It is well worth a visit if you are interested in this type of history.
The Capilano Suspension Bridge was originally built in 1889 by George Grant Mackay, a Scottish civil engineer. It stretches 450 feet (137m) across and 230 feet (70m) above Capilano River in a 27 acre tourist park north of Vancouver. The original bridge used heavy ropes for the suspension cables, today they are large steel cables capable of holding seven times the weight of people packed as tightly together as possible over the entire length of the bridge.
The park is in a rain forest and has a system of seven bridges suspended between large evergreens that support platforms up to 100 feet above the forest's floor. These platforms are placed around the trees without harming them and they even expand as the tree's diameter increases with growth. It is a beautiful setting and lots of fun to traverse these suspension bridges, as you explore the upper reaches of a rain forest.
We are back in one of our favorite places to camp.
Anacortes is on Fidalgo Island, one of the San Juans. It is a small town mostly fueled by fishing, boat building and oil refining. Lumber used to be big here, but no longer. The picture is from Cap Sante, a high isthmus across from the marina with Anacortes in the background.
It is the main port for the San Juan Island ferry system which also goes to Victoria. This brings lots of tourists through town, as well as the residents of the islands accessing the mainland for shopping and travel.
While we were in Anacortes we met up with Ted's brother Gary and his wife Donna. They also have a website, the Lanes Roadhouse, where you can view their impressions of Anacortes.
This park was built on land donated by the railroad during the period of 1919-21. It commemorates the soldiers of WWI. The stone work is very unique, as can be seen in the picture of the band stand. The amphitheater seats and the main park are in the background. This park has a large assortment of trees in it, as if it were a display area for many of the local tree types.
The Anacortes Museum is housed in one of the Carnegie Library buildings. The building itself is a treasure, being one of the few remaining. The museum chronicles the history of Anacortes and the people that made it. A very interesting place to spend some time.
The figures around the sign are done by a local artist named Paul Mitchell. He conceived a project where he and others have put these scenes all over the town. The scenes are mostly of people and happenings from the history of Anacortes and are placed on buildings in "Historic Downtown Anacortes". It is fun to check them out as you wander around and try to figure out their historical origins.
Pass Lake is a small lake near Deception Pass. It is a "Fly Fishing Only" lake. Well, Ted has been thinking about getting a pontoon boat for some time now and when he found out about this lake he decided now was the time. So got the boat and a fishing license and spent many days on that little lake. The trout there are really used to seeing fly patterns and are hard to catch, but the lake is great, and lots of fun fishing it.
When Ted's brother Gary arrived in the area, being another fly fisher, he had to give it a try also.
There is a walking trail that runs from the far east side of Fidalgo Bay, through the RV park, and all the way into town. It is a beautiful place to walk, which we did on a regular basis. We also play tennis for an hour every morning on the local courts.
Along the way you pass an old collapsed wharf where a tug boat was abandoned many years ago. It sits on the bottom with its sides rotted out, letting the tides flow in and out.
The Swinomish Indian Nation has a large presence around Anacortes. The RV Park where we stay is owned and operated by them and they do an excellent job.
This year they crafted and installed a totem pole next to the office. It depicts many of the animals and birds found nearby. They used a large back hoe as a crane to lift it into place. The ceremony was after we left, so we did not get a chance to see it.