Whidbey Island and Port Angeles WA

So where to today? I picked up this great map called Scenic Highways of Washington so its obviously time to put it to work. Since I hate to drive over old ground I chose scenic rte 11 down along Samish Bay and then scenic rte 26 over to Whidbey Island. These are not actually route numbers, just assigned numbers made up I assume by the makers of the map. None the less I’m back in my rental and on my way. The I-5 portion of the drive was less than memorable, but as I approached Whidbey Island there were an increasing number of signs for pull-outs for views. I finally succumbed and managed this pic.

Of course, just a tad further the pics were even better.

And of course, just on the other side of the bridge was a pull-off that allowed pedestrian access to the bridge itself and much better pictures of the water that made Whidbey an island.

That pull-out was also the started point for a number of trails so I paid up my daily pass grabbed my camera and set out for a hike.

The woods – like all of those that I had traveled during this trip were gorgeous. I started out on the perimeter trail.

What I couldn’t figure is why it was so quiet. No bird or squirrel sounds…. so then I began to imagine bears and what not. So because I was focusing on the quiet I suddenly heard several low-flying military style planes. Since I live in an Air Force town it took a few seconds to register. It’s kind of a scary sound if you don’t know if there is a military site near by. I later discovered there was a navy air site near. At the time, though, it was a bit spooky.

I continued on the perimeter trail until I got to the next mile marker. The marker for the perimeter trail had no mileage marked on it, so I didn’t know if it was a half mile trail or a ten mile trail. My fit bit said I had only gone a quarter of a mile and the marker for the summit trail indicated it was a .4 mile so I decided to give it a go. The trail was a little rougher but beautiful. I am normally a wild-life repeller but after I took this pic I took a closer look….

Is that a deer??!!!

It actually was! She even held still enough for me to zoom in and get a good look. I would guess a yearling but I am no judge. Lucky me.

I took that as a sign. Also the trail was getting rougher and I was on my own. Not wanting a broken hip or ankle, when I saw my trail upward connected with a different trail down, I took it and headed back to the trailhead. I got a great shot of the bridge from underneath while I listened to another visitor – apparently an engineer – talk about what fun it would be to blow it up?!

After I hydrated and cooled down some from my hike, I returned to my car and made my way to Oak Harbor and lunch at Flyer’s. I had a great wedge salad and an Afterburner IPA.

Taking my waiter’s suggestion I headed out for the ferry to Port Townsend. What my waiter did not say was that I should book a reservation. I had to wait for 2 ferries to come and go before I managed to get the very last spot on the third. My wildlife repellant was in effect as the ferry captain explained that the other crossings had noted a pod of Orca’s but we saw nary a one!

The arrival into Port Townsend was smooth and I planned to get a parking spot and wander around but the town was packed. Apparently they were having a wooden boat festival. That certainly explains the sight as the ferry closed in on the town!

Since I couldn’t find parking and it was starting to drizzle and get dark, I proceeded with my plan to go on to Port Angeles a bit west of Port Townsend.

I was delighted to find that The Port Angeles Inn sat up on a hill and my room was on the third floor with a harbor view. If there had been fewer clouds I probable could have seen Victoria, BC. As it was, the view was beautiful.

The weather turned to rain but I made my way to the Next Door Gastropub. Since the road to Port Angeles had passed the Dungeness Bay, I figured crab was on the menu. I had a rogue IPA and the best crab cakes of my life. The flavor of the crab was in no way buried but enhanced by the tomato chutney and shared fennel. Anything else done to enhance the flavor was pure magic! Kudos guys/gals in the kitchen!!!

That wrapped up a great day (except for the boring part in the ferry parking lot).

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