Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Fidalgo Loop, Washington Park

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Where? See my Google Map.
Price? Free, excluding travel expenses (gas).
Hiked: Saturday, March 20th, 2010

Facilities for Washington Park: includes covered picnic areas, boat launch (see boat launch policies), playground with slide, beach access (gravel), seventy-three campsites, water/electric/sewer-dump for campers, offers multiple trails, and a paved scenic drive (2.2 miles).

Washington Park resides on a small peninsula on the west side of Fidalgo Island, near the City of Anacortes. The park is open year round. Please visit the City of Anacortes' website for park hours.

Washington Park welcomes dogs on leash.

VerizonWireless Users: I maintained cell phone reception on this hike.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Big Four Ice Caves (Revised)

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Price: $5.00 all-day permit per vehicle.
Collect your permits at Verlot Ranger Station.
Hiked: Saturday, March 13th, 2010

Facilities for Big Four: the outhouse is pretty cute, looks like a hunter's shanty, was about as clean as a honey bucket. There is a covered pick nick area. Lots of information plaques. Large lawn where the Big 4 Inn used to be. Parking for around fifty vehicles. Dog-walk baggies are provided by Mount Baker State Park.

VerizonWireless Users: I lost cell reception a mile or so before driving past Robe Fire Station.

Condition of Mountain Loop Highway: as of March 13th (2010) the highway is clear and safe until you near Silverton. Motorcyclists, please watch out for the "Reduced Speed Ahead" sign. When you see it, reduce your speed immediately. Ten feet beyond said sign the asphalt has been removed in two areas and has been replaced with slippery gravel.

About five miles out of Silverton I encountered snow on the road. The road wasn't icy, but the snow was around four or five inches deep and I began to worry that my little Corolla wouldn't have enough ground clearance. I wouldn't suggest visiting the Big Four Ice Caves so early in the season unless you have an all-terrain vehicle of some sort. Or at least a car that sits more that six inches off the ground.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Plan A Weekend on Whidbey

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For the readers who are admirers of the Puget Sound but not residents, it may surprise you to know that the Olympic Peninsula is host to the world's northern most rain forest.

Huge weather systems dump rain upon the Olympic Peninsula year-round. Thanks to the mountains and a natural occurrence called orographic lift, the Puget Sound is saved from most of the down pour. When the clouds have lost enough water-weight to ascend over the Olympic Mountain Range they may dwell for some time in the Seattle area (you can thank the Cascade Mountain Range for that).

As a result of this weather pattern residents suffer from an average of 200 overcast days a year. The months of January, February, March, and some of April are usually the darkest days of an everlasting winter. How do we cope? Weekend vacations, novels, and coffee.... lots and lots of coffee.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Center for Wooden Boats

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(Photo extracted from CFWB's Website)
Open Canoe Carving
Sunday, March 7th, 1:00pm-4:00pm
1010 Valley St. Seattle, WA

Participate or watch in the final stages of canoe carving!
Visitors welcome. Event is free of charge.