In July of 2009, I made a journey from sea to shining sea. I traveled from southeastern Massachusetts to San Juan Island in Washington.My purpose was to visit family and when I set out from Boston, I had no idea what I would find on the opposite coast!
Initially, the Pacific Northwest seemed much like New England. Great, green pines along with a giant blue ocean. But as I traveled the route between Seattle and the San Juan Islands, the differences became apparent.
Mountains! Great, hulking things of all shapes and sizes. The Presidential Range in New Hampshire, what i had known as mountains all my life, seemed like foothills in comparison. Mount Rainer, Mount Baker and the Cascades dwarfed Mt Washington, the largest mountain I had ever seen.
The trip between Seattle and San Juan Island took me through a city, farmland, the Rosario Strait and the San Juan Channel. To get there I took a coach, a van and a ferry.The coach and the van were nice enough, but the trip really started to take shape once I got on the ferry at Anacortes. The ferry landing at Anacortes isn't much to look at, but it had everything I needed when I arrived, the most important thing being a sandwich.
Once aboard the ferry, Kaleetan, I chose a seat looking back toward Anacortes and was rewarded with a fine view. Mt Baker rose in pale blue and pink splendor before my eyes! The rest of that ferry trip I spent going from fore to aft ogling everything. I had never seen scenery like it!
My arrival in Friday Harbor, San Juan Island coincided nicely with supper-time. I was treated to a fine meal at a local restaurant my family recommended. We sat outside, the weather was beautiful and my meal was perfect. I could not have asked for more!
I was treated to a tour of Friday Harbor Laboratories. FHL is a marine biology/oceanography research facility of the University of Washington located just outside of town. My brother was there to teach a summer course on seaweed and algae for grad students. It's safe to say it is a very special place. Quiet and serene, I don't think the landscape has changed much in the last 30 or 40 years.
Being heavily wooded, the 500 or so acres around the labs are home to lots of wildlife. I saw birds I recognised and some I needed help to identify. Red-tailed hawks hunted the area and deer and their young roamed about. Even though they were shy, they seemed not to fear people. Every person I encountered at FHL was relaxed, friendly and quick to say hello or send a hand up in greeting. Visiting there was the best part of the trip.
Thanks to quilly from quilldancer.com for her deer snapshot
to be continued...