Puget Sound Updated

(December 31, 1969)

On my many 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 taking place (standard size or fullscreen). Then south on Chuckanut Drive (standard size or fullscreen), 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 (standard size or fullscreen), over the Rainbow Bridge (standard size or fullscreen) and on to Deception Pass, (standard size or fullscreen) one of my favorite Northwest camping spots.

In 2006 I spent just one day walking around Seattle. I could only cover the downtown area and part of the waterfront, plus a quick visit to Pike Place. 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, as noted here). The weather was superb, which is not always the case up there.

I was charmed by the Port Orchard area, near Bremerton. Further north I visited the pseudo-Norwegian town of Poulsbo (standard size or fullscreen), the restored historic town of Port Gamble (standard size or fullscreen), and the lighthouse at oddly named Point No-Point (standard size or fullscreen).

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

A beautiful ferry ride (standard size or fullscreen) 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 (standard size or fullscreen). I went back the next morning (standard size or fullscreen). The tower here was built by the CCC.

Also on Orcas Island - beautiful lakes in Moran park (standard size or fullscreen), mariculture in Ship Bay (standard size or fullscreen), the elegant Rosario Resort (standard size or fullscreen), and charming little harbors scattered around (standard size or fullscreen), before I had to return to the ferry dock (standard size or fullscreen) 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 (standard size or fullscreen). It is also noted for a violent clash between the International Workers of the World (IWW - or "wobblies") and the American Legion, in 1919, known to history as the Centralia Massacre. Centralia has a well preserved downtown district (standard size or fullscreen) and a number of interesting murals (standard size or fullscreen). I also managed to photograph Amtrak passing through (standard size or fullscreen).

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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Contact Don Bain: dbain@virtualguidebooks.com