Usually interstate rest areas are straight forward: a truck and RV parking lot and a separate car parking lot. In between are the restrooms, vending machines and a scattering of picnic tables and a doggie “poop here but pick up” park.
However, the Northbound I-5 Smokey Point Rest Stop at mile marker 207 north of Seattle has the above mentioned features (including an RV dump station) and a huge tree stump. Yes, it is a piece of local history. The story of this artifact is fairly well documented on the story board. The size of the stump is obvious in the photo.
When I first saw this I thought that it was some kind of new picnic table shelter. Then I saw the story board. Strange but true are the things you find when traveling!
Sher and I got to go to the 2018 version of the Washington State Fair in Puyallup. We went with our daughter, son-in-law and our 4 year old grandson. The fair was packed with all kinds of “state fair” type stuff, including a large midway, tons of vendors and of course, agriculture exhibits.
We went on the last day of the fair, and the fairgrounds were packed. A good time was had by all, and Sher and I had our first ‘Scones”, a jam filled biscuit type pastry that is a famous item at this fair.
Snohomish, Washington is noted for its historic downtown Main Street stores, restaurants and other businesses. The Oxford Saloon is one of the most popular of the restaurants. Good food at reasonable pricing makes the Oxford a popular place for meals. Live entertainment most evenings attract lively crowds.
Even the exterior of the Oxford is interesting
Every bar needs a moose and a little red wagon
Sher and I had a very nice time at the Oxford. It was a great break from our checking out the shops and businesses on Main Street in historic downtown Snohomish. Hint: Park your car at the bottom of the hill on Main Street. That way when you walk up one side of the street and come back on the other side you’ll be walking down hill to your car.
In 2002 the City of Seattle commissioned the creation of the Neototem Children’s Garden as a back drop for the massive whale pod tail sculpture. The marvelous and whimsical marine creations are the work of artist Gloria Bornstein.
School of fish
When pigs fly
The center of the garden
The Army had plans in place to upgrade the Puget Sound harbor defenses when the Japanese attacked Pearl
Harbor on December 7, 1941. The attack prompted a feverish scramble to implement those WWII plans.
Fort Ebey was constructed from 1942 to 1944. It overlooked the Straight of Juan de Fuca and the open Pacific
Ocean. It was the first of a series of defensive positions that also included forts Casey, Worden and
Flagler, also on Puget Sound.
One of the two gun turret foundations that still look over Puget Sound
Historic Fort Ebey State Park on Widbey Island is home to the remains of Battery 248 of the Coast Artillery
Regiment of the Washington National Guard. The guns are gone, having been melted down for scrap at the end
of the war. What remains, however, are the two circular gun emplacements and the supporting large concrete
bunker where ammunition, powder bags, and other equipment was stored.
The bunker is open to the public. A flashlight is a good companion if you venture into the bunker, as the
rooms are not provided with any lights. You will see the massive steel doors on the powder rooms as well
as the concrete pads where the three large generators were placed.
In front of the bunker towards the edge of the steep cliff you will see the forward observation bunker. A
narrow slit provided a panoramic view of the waters. No ships could enter the Sound without being spotted.
Forward observation post
Date on the main bunker entrance
The main armament of the fort was provided by two guns on swivel turrets. These guns fired a 108 pound
shell with a range of 15 miles. The 26 man gun crews could fire a round every 12 seconds.
Take a step back in time with a visit to Fort Ebey State Park. Walk where the artillerymen walked. Explore
the bunker. Stand near the forward observation position and imagine being on the lookout for enemy ships
trying to invade the Puget Sound.
Day passes are only $10, with a yearly pass available for $30. More information about Fort Ebey State Park may be found at the park website.
Beautiful mountain stream
The Cascade Range in Washington is one of the features of the Pacfic Northwest that draws tons of folks each and every year . The Mt Baker-Snoqualimie National Forest offers a tremendous varitey of recreation and nature loving opportunities.
We have family in the Seattle area. When visiting we always try to allow for some time up in the mountains. The Mountain Loop Drive gives you some fantastic scenery, incredible photo ops and a chance to enjoy the lush forests of the mountains.
Roads turn to gravel but are very well maintained. Of course the season does make a difference, as winter snows can be very intense to say the least.
Snow Melt and waterfalls on Big 4 Mountain
This is the view from the bridge over Deception Pass. You are looking west through the pass and across the Straight of Juan de Fuca. The road runs south onto Whidbey Island from Fidalgo Island. This northern route to Whidbey Island avoids the Ferry at Mukilteo, but takes a lot longer with more miles when coming from Seattle.
Big Four Mountain (elevation 6160) in the Cascade range in Washington. Photo was taken from the picnic area just off the Mountain Loop Road. Multiple water falls can be seen cascading down the slopes.
We were fortunate enough to take a whale watching cruise this past fall. We love the Island Mariner cruises out of Bellingham, Washington. The sun was out and there were dramatic fog banks rolling in and out of some of the San Juan Islands.
The beach and jetty at Brackett’s Landing
We found a really nice area at Edmonds, Washington. Brackett’s Landing North is located next to the Washington Ferry dock that serves Edmonds and Kingston. What you don’t see is the 27 acre underwater park that opened in 1970. There are established trails and all sorts of underwater features including sunken ships and other structures that serve as a great environment for marine life.
.On the surface there is a very nice albeit small beach area. There is a clean restroom and a large changing room for the scuba divers who frequent the park. There were sea birds alll over the place. The views of the water were spectacular the day we were there.
Edmonds to Kingston Ferry