Monday, November 5, 2012

Deception Pass and Mount Erie, Northwest WA - October 2012


My sister recently moved to Northwest Washington State and I'd never been to the Pacific Northwest so I took this chance to visit her. I spent a full week there seeing the sights. This is the first of three posts about my trip.

M lived in Oak Harbor on Whidbey Island when she first moved up there and still works on the Island so we headed there on the first day of my visit. I'd seen her photos of Deception Pass, but experiencing it first-hand was great. It's a beautiful spot. Here's where it is (shown on Google satellite view to impress just how much water and green there is!).


View Larger Map

She drives across the bridge almost daily and I'm sure it's not fun in the pitch black night, but in the day it's beautiful. We didn't have time to take any of the trails (we were headed into Oak Harbor for lunch), but we did take the stairs down to walk under the bridge which was cool.

We parked on the north end of the bridge in a turn off, but if you're staying longer you might park in the lot at the south end. You'll need a Washington State Discover Pass for that ($10 for the day, $30 for the year).

It's hard to describe the peacefulness of this place so here are some photos.




Another day during my visit, she and her guy J took me to one of their favorite spots. They had been waiting for a clear day (or just a clear couple of hours) to show me Mt. Erie in Anacortes - just north of Deception Pass. It's the highest point on Fidalgo Island at 1,273 feet and the view is breathtaking!



It's easy to reach too, with a paved road that leads to the summit. This place reminded me a bit of central California (Carmel area) with everything covered in moss and lichen.




The best thing about Mt. Erie is that they have seen Bald Eagles (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) almost every time they've gone and today was no exception.

It was my first time seeing Bald Eagles and they were amazing! Their wingspan can be 7.5 feet or longer! A couple soared overhead and we saw one flying by below us. I could have sat there for hours just watching them and looking out over Lake Campbell and Puget Sound.

I swear! It's a Bald Eagle! :)
The next post will be about our quick visit to Padilla Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve (say that ten times fast!).

Check out more photos from the trip in my Washington State set on Flickr.

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