Pauline and I made the terrible mistake of youth and moved our original wedding date of October 15 to May 31. What we failed to see was, May 31 is usually a Holiday weekend.
We soon discovered that everything we would LOVE to do on our anniversary, is sold out, booked, and just generally over crowded that we don’t want to be there. We prefer to go site seeing/camping on weekdays over weekends to avoid crowds of any kind, and now that we are camp host, we have to be here for weekends anyway, so we spent our two days off site seeing/birding/hiking around Whidbey Island.
I had a “West Coast Guarantee” when I enlisted in the Navy and was stationed at NAS Whidbey Island from 1990 to 1993. Prior to coming here I have never even heard of Whidbey Island, and when you are 18 with a “West Coast Guarantee” you are thinking “Hawaii” or “San Diego” and when you get Whidbey Island, you can’t help to be anything but disappointed.
I was gone well over a full year of those 3 years, and when I was here, it was usually winter and total crap weather, so I never went out to site see except for what I could see from my bar stool.
When I left the Navy I went back to Indiana and soon met Pauline, we married and on our second anniversary Pauline said she wanted to see the Pacific Northwest, so we came out here for 10 days and visited with my best friend/brother and drove all over the area.
That is when I realized what a great opportunity I had in my youth that I wasted. The Northwest is the best place in the World for Pauline and I.
Some years later, Pauline and I moved from Indiana to Florida and some years after that, we moved to Oregon. As one close friend told us when we arrived.
“I didn’t understand why you ever moved to Florida, you are not Florida people, you are Northwest people”.
One of the greatest compliments we have ever had.
While at NAS Whidbey Island, I drove on and off the island the only way we could, via Deception Pass. I could not even estimate the number of times I have driven that area. And I never once stopped to see Deception Pass State Park. My favorite hangout was the Deception Pass Saloon. I spent countless hours there. It was less then 100 yards from the entrance of the park.
Pauline and I finally stopped to see the park in 1999 and we was both blown away by what we saw. How did I ever miss this?
The ignorance of youth.
We have since been to the park at least 4 times since 1999 and on two of those visits we came across “The Fish Lady” as we called her, since we have no hope of pronouncing her name correctly. The other 2 visits we couldn’t find her.
This trip, we realized that we have never been to the North side of the park, so this time, we started there. Only to soon realize, we had been here before. So we went to the South side of the park expecting to find “The Fish Lady” and soon realized, she must be on the North end.
We go back to the North end and while driving to where we expected to find her, I blew by the park entrance, and since there was a car behind us, I was not able to o a U turn, so we kept driving to find a place to turn around, we soon arrived to a section of the park we have never been to, and since we was there, why not stop and look around?
WE FOUND “THE FISH LADY!”
Lesson 1) We have terrible memories.
Lesson 2) We have really terrible memories.
We also walked on a rocky beach and soon realized there are a bagillion crabs under the rocks we was walking on, I moved 1 rock and there was at least 7 crabs of all sizes running in all directions. We could even hear them moving under the rocks. It was border line horror movie vibe.
We also just missed the lowest tide of the month. Something else we failed to think about prior. They have a really neat “rope trail” going over lava rock, you stay on the rope trail and you can see all sorts of ocean life all around. Had we been a few hours earlier we would have see starfish and octopus and whatever else we could have seen during low tide, but the tide was returning as we was there.
We had a Volunteer point out some crustaceans and we saw some seals, both Barn and Tree Swallows and Bald Eagles, Sparrows and of course the countless crabs.
We spent about 4 hours looking around Deception Pass before we went to Oak Harbor and had some Greek food that was really good, the lamb meat was cubed over shaved, but it was still REALLY good, but when you are use to gyros one way, small changes are noticeable.
We then spent a hour or so at Fort Ebey State Park, we planned to do more site seeing there, but we was both getting tired, so Fort Ebey will be another day.
We was also able to see some F/A 18′s and P-3′s doing some “touch and go’s” at NAS Whidbey Island. While it got VERY loud at times, it was still great to see, Pauline and I both miss the military life.
Here are the pics.