Monday, July 6 – we left our campsite just after 8am, Linda drove to the dump station and we headed out; Acey’s mileage 64,474.4; Thor 68,179 leaving Newport, WA. Linda drove on the road (finally!) until just before we got on the interstate; about 40 miles. Just as she felt like she was kind of getting the hang of it, Jim was getting nervous with her driving in the city, so he took the wheel.
As we left the Spokane area, the landscape looked a lot like Wyoming – somewhat hilly and almost desert-like with not many trees, but soon we had mountains on the horizon. A gorgeous day for driving! We always fix lunch along the way as it saves time and money – and unless we were to eat at aRest Area or Truck Stop, its generally not going to be easy to park our big rig!
We arrived at the Thousand Trails Mount Vernon RV Campground about 5:30 – Aceys mileage on arrival 6,857.8 – a long day of driving through beautiful countryside.
Tuesday we explored around the campground; there is a hiking trail around the back part of the campground, so we checked it out.
Wednesday we did quite a bit of hiking around Whidbey Island at the northern boundary of Puget Sound – we visited 4 of the State Parks there.
The Wilbert Trail at South Whidbey State Park had a lot of very tall and old trees, We couldn’t get to the beach as a bridge on that trail was in need of repair, but we had a nice hike in the woods.
Saw some more of these bottle brush plants and lots of ferns. On further investigation, my brother Ted tells me these bottle brush plants are called horsetail. Horsetail is supposedly known for its anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antimicrobial, antioxidant, coagulant, demulcent, diuretic and astringent activity.
There were many REALLY BIG Douglas fir trees! This one was particularly large!
Fort Casey had two big guns that were moved there from the Philippines. When the fort was active, there were many more guns on site as evidenced by the several empty gun batteries.
The beach was full of washed up trees, which seemed to be the case all along this shore of Puget Sound.
There was a picturesque lighthouse at Fort Casey. It was closed even though it looked like restoration work was done.
Fort Ebey also had a few gun batteries. Both Forts never did have any enemy action during World War II but they were prepared! The beaches were quite scenic.
The last State Park we visited was Deception Pass; The name “Deception Pass” derived from Captain Vancouver’s realization that what he had mistaken for a peninsula was actually an island. He named that island “Whidbey” in honor of his assistant, Joseph Whidbey, who was at his side when Vancouver realized the mistake. The captain named the inlet at which he was anchored “Deception Pass” to commemorate the error. It is one of the largest island in the contiguous US.
This is the bridge over Canoe Pass
There is a metal bridge over Deception Pass – we took a short hike to see the bridge, and passed by this interesting stone bridge along the way
We didn’t get a good photo of the full bridge itself, but the view from atop bridge was awesome! There was some construction work going on underneath.
Thursday the weather was “iffy” so we took a long drove northeast — out to the North Cascades to see Diablo Lake in the Ross Lake National Recreation Area. Our first stop was at the bridge at Gorge Creek
A short walk took us to an overlook with a beautiful view
There are several dams along the Skagit River that provide power for the Seattle area; this is the Gorge High Dam
We drove on further to Diablo Lake
Friday we went for a short bike ride on the Kulshan Trail and around Mount Vernon. Then we went to see the views from Little Mountain Park. Here are some shots from the south view point.
From the North view point
Saturday we drove up to Bellingham to go on a whale watching tour! It was a beautiful day to be out on the water – but a bit chilly – in the 60’s – hey this is JULY isn’t it?!
We saw bald eagles… good thing we have a good camera to see them up close!
and orcas! This photo is taken with our big camera and zoomed way in. We followed these orcas for about an hour! The rules are that the vessel is to stay 300 yards from the whales or other wildlife, so binoculars or a zoom lens is helpful!
.. what we saw with our eyes looked more like the below photo…
Sunday we had virtual worship via YouTube with Stephens Valley Church, Linda worked on this blog and we prepared for our move on Monday to Chehalis, WA where we will stay 10 nights – that will be our longest stop since we left Nashville on March 27.