Puget Sound Updated

(February 22, 2008)


On my annual trips north through Washington to Canada I always seem to be rushing along Interstate 5 and missing the interesting places just a bit off to the side. So in 2006 I slowed down and explored.

First the old port district of Bellingham known as Fairhaven - where a jazz concert was in progress . Then south on Chuckanut Drive, which follows the steep shore of Puget Sound where I-5 goes inland. Then a few hours in the picturesque waterfront village of La Conner, over the Rainbow Bridge and on to Deception Pass, one of my favorite Northwest camping spots.

In 2006 I spent just a single day walking around Seattle. I could only cover the downtown area and part of the waterfront, plus a quick visit to the Pike Place Market. I really need to devote a week to Seattle some time (maybe summer of 2008), so I can begin to do justice to this beautiful city.

In late July last summer I spent a few days wandering around the Kitsap Peninsula and the San Juan Islands (plus the Olympia Peninsula, see the blog). The weather was superb, which is not always the case in the Pacific Northwest.

Heading out into Puget Sound on the Kitsap Peninsula I was charmed by the Port Orchard area, near Bremerton. Further north I visited the pseudo-Norwegian town of Poulsbo, the restored historic town of Port Gamble, and the nearby lighthouse at oddly named Point No-Point.

San Juan Island itself was wonderful, with the historic legacy of the Pig War at English Camp in the north and American camp in the south. Plus the lighthouse at Lime Point and some very nice countryside, including a lavender farm.

A beautiful ferry ride took me to Orcas Island where I camped at Moran State Park, the gem of the Washington park system. The ranger urged me to drive immediately to the top of Mount Constitution to enjoy the exceptionally clear evening. I did, and it was worth it, and I even went back the next morning. The tower on Mount Moran was built by the CCC.

Also on Orcas Island - beautiful lakes in Moran park, mariculture in Ship Bay, and the elegant Rosario Resort near East Sound. Then just a few hours exploring western Orcas Island before I had to return to the ferry dock and head back to the mainland. I was due at my niece Sarah's wedding in two days, in Vancouver, and could not be late as I was to perform the ceremony!

On my way home, after the wedding, I spent a few hours in the interestng town of Centralia. It is the only town in Washington (or so far as I know the entire West) to be founded by an African American - named George Washington. It is also noted for a violent clash between the International Workers of the World (the IWW - referred to as "wobblies") and the American Legion, in 1919, known to history as the Centralia Massacre. Centralia has a well preserved downtown district and a number of interesting murals. I also managed to photograph the daily Amtrak train passing through .

These additions brought the number of panoramas in the Virtual Guidebook to Seattle and Puget Sound from a pathetic 60 to a reasonably respectable 165. In summer of 2008 I hope to spend some time in Seattle, maybe make a day trip over to Bremerton, revisit Tacoma, and poke around the southern Sound.


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