With remarkable sunshine pouring down on us, it didn't take much to convince Jey-hu it was better to spend the day showing me around his native Washington than to roll logs off his front yard or sort through auto parts in the back garage. "Let's go to Anacortes," he announced just after 1 p.m. "OK," I replied, being the difficult one.
We weren't alone. This lovely '58 Edsel (I'll admit I thought it was a '57 but was corrected by the professional antique car collector I was riding with...) was being given an outing by a senior couple and we followed them on some back roads for quite awhile. The drive north on Route 9 took us up to Marysville and then over to Mount Vernon, a slightly different version from the eastern village of the same name. Located at the edge of the Skagit (Skah-ghit) Valley where a lot of crops are grown and shipped out, it is home to a large population of immigrants, primarily from Mexico, and the green-white-red flags were flying from many front porches as we drove by. The mountain, hard to see in the haze but rising up behind the other mountains, is Mt. Baker, one of the four highest mountains in Washington. A quiet volcano, it is considered part of a glacier and has snow on it at the top (10,780 feet!) most of the year.
From Mt. Erie, a considerably smaller hump in the earth by comparison, we could see for miles and miles, and on a less hazy day, the impact of Mt. Baker might have been even more impressive. Still, Jey-hu was trying to cut through the haze toget a close up shot with his telephoto lens. After awhile we walked around to the other side of Mt. Erie and got this wrap-around view of the rest of the peninsula - huge! This is a must-stop-and-see spot if one is anywhere near Anacortes.
It's not that hard to reach, and is not very well advertised. The road up to the top is narrow, steep and curvy - 15 mph all the way.
Then it was on to the Deception Pass and Jey-hu took me to Rosario Beach first where we could walk around the point to a place where we could see the bridges over the pass from below. Some scary paths, if you ask me, but the view was well worth the challenge. This is one of Je
y-hu's shots. I was breathless watching him take it as he was standing on a path with little edge and it was slanted precariously toward the ocean. Jey-hu said he used to come over to this area to visit relatives when he was growing up and remembered an uncle who had a horse that used to come over to the house when he was ready to have his feet trimmed and just waited for the uncle to do it. As we have been driving around, Jey-hu shares a lot of his memories of his Washington childhood and like so many places, much has changed, but it is wonderful to hear about 'those days.'