Larribee State Park Friday, Aug 11 2017 

Roots

Roots

In the morning, from our camp site, we walked to the Fragrance Lake trailhead. We ascended to an elevation of 640 feet, taking the Viewpoint spur for a look at smoke infused Samish Bay. In the afternoon, we drove to a trailhead off gravel washboard Cleator Road and hiked 1.7 miles on the Chuckanut Bay 2 Dollar Trail to Fragrance Lake which sits at an elevation of 1,040 feet. Both hikes passed through thick woods. We noted some unusual stumps and root structures, including some roots surrounding a rock. We also found blackberries, huckleberries, and salal. Larribee State Park offers steep, but great hiking.

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Friday Harbor, San Juan Island, Washington Friday, Aug 11 2017 

Washington State Ferry

Washington State Ferry

We drove the smart fortwo to Anacortes to take a 90-minute ferry to Friday Harbor on San Juan Island. On our drive, three or four miles on Chuckanut are narrow and heavy vehicles like our RV are not allowed. After waiting for some time, we drove aboard the ferry in a lane pinched between two large trucks. On our arrival in Friday Harbor we walked the streets, noting restaurants, shops, and bed-and-breakfast options. We passed the Whale Museum and decided to visit for another time. We waited in line for Downriggers which rewarded us with an outside table directly overlooking Friday Harbor. After lunch, we drove south where we visited the American Camp, a National Historic Park. We viewed an informative film that used watercolor paintings to tell the story about the ownership of the island. In 1859 and for some years thereafter ownership was shared with the British in the north, the Americans in the south. Outside the Visitor’s Center a telescope was focused on an eagle’s nest. We completed our island tour by going to the Cattle Point Interpretive Area. We passed a lighthouse but didn’t see any way to visit it. We returned to the Friday Harbor Ferry Landing and got in line at about 2:30 p.m. for the 3:45 ferry. Because we did not have a reservation, we had some anxiety about whether we would be able to board the ferry. There was no need to worry as there was some unused space. It was interesting to use the Washington State Ferry System, but I wouldn’t want to depend on it daily.

Bellingham, Washington Friday, Aug 11 2017 

Dirty Dan Harris

Dirty Dan Harris

I last visited Bellingham when I was in college and visited student activists at Western Washington. As a retiree, it was interesting to walk the downtown streets and arts district. The old City Hall, now a museum, is a distinctive historical building dating from 1892. The Mount Baker Theatre is also very idiosyncratic. I enjoyed spotting a Carnegie mural on the back of the former library. Another colorful mural also caught my attention. It was also interesting to pass a café where a chess game was in progress. We walked through the Maritime Park where we encountered a very hungry young buck. Below a totem pole we learned about the “Legend of Salmon Woman and Her Children.” A downside of this visit was the number of homeless, especially in the park. On a later day, we visited Fairhaven, a subdivision of Bellingham. Dirty Dan Harris, founder of Fairhaven, was an unusual character. We were told that originally 17 of some 20 buildings were devoted to houses of ill repute. Fairhaven was one of four small communities on Bellingham Bay that merged in 1903-1904 to become Bellingham.

Capilano Suspension Bridge Park, Canada Friday, Aug 11 2017 

Our trip from Portland, Oregon to the Larribee State Park involved circumventing the most direct route because of weight restrictions on Chuckanut just south of Washington’s oldest state park. After setting up camp, we explored a trail leading to Clayton Beach. Later we hiked the Fern Trail to the boat launch which is accessed by car on Cove Road.

Capilano Suspension Bridge

Capilano Suspension Bridge

On our first full day, we drove to Canada to visit Vancouver’s most popular tourist attraction, the Capilano Suspension Bridge. One musical group performed near food tables while two individual artists played at venues just outside and inside the park. The entrance area displays a variety to totem poles. We started our visit on the entrance side by taking Cliffwalk, suspended walkways along sheer granite cliff faces with canyon views. Informational signs emphasized the importance of water. One interesting display atop the cliff showed the power of water erosion after 15, 25 and 50 years of flow. We heard more foreign languages on this day than we did during our two-week river cruise in Europe. The main attraction, of course, is the Suspension Bridge that dates to 1889. It is 450 feet long and 230 feet high. We didn’t wait too long in line to cross. It is a challenge to adjust to the sway as well as the distance when looking down. There are more trails on the far side of the bridge. On Raptor’s Ridge, we passed a Great Horned Owl and a Harris Hawk. Trout could be seen swimming in a pond, too. The Treetops Adventure is a unique attraction that connects trees with seven suspension bridges rather than zip lines. Three varieties of trees — Douglas Fir, Western Red Cedar, and Hemlock – dominate the foliage. I liked the following quote from Hermann Hesse: “Trees are sanctuaries. Whoever knows how to speak to them, whoever knows how to listen to them, can learn the truth. They do not preach learning and precepts, they preach, undeterred by particulars, the ancient law of life.” Listen to the trees!