Not long ago, I took a drive down to Anacortes to see what I could see. It had been a few years since my last visit, so I thought a refresher was in order. I packed up the dog and my special ladyfriend Jody and headed South in the hope of discovering something new and interesting.
By the time we got into town, heading North on Commercial Street into the heart of Old Town, it became evident that Dog was antsy and in need of either refreshment or outdoor "personal time", so I decided to drive through a Fidalgo Bay coffee stand, which seemed fitting, given our proximity to the actual Fidalgo Bay. Fortunately, the coffee person was wise enough to offer Dog a treat, lest she risk the loss of a portion of pinky or the more subtle, but devastatingly effective "eclate-de-chien", which has been known to induce vomiting and night sweats. Unfortunately, it soon became clear that I had misjudged Dog's needs and an outdoor pit-stop was in immediate order. Also, we wanted cookies. So we shifted West through town past the ferry terminal and ended up at the beautiful, if mysteriously titled, Washington Park. At first we attempted a beach landing, but were immediately turned back by the sudden emptying of a tour bus filled with wild-eyed octogenarians hell-bent on storming the nearby barbecue hut. We thought it best to leave them be, having decided that now was not the time to risk life and limb in what could turn out to be a lengthy and treacherous ground assault. Surely, at 220 acres, there was room enough in this park for all of us to co-exist peacefully...at least for the moment.
After a few minutes of slow cruising through a winding, single-lane road lined with Madrona trees reminiscent of Northern California, we arrived at a clearing near what seemed to be the high-point of the park. The views were phenomenal and beyond compare, at nearly 200 degrees.
To the East the Skyline Marina of Burrows Bay was visible, while to the South and West the Rosario Strait stretched out toward the San Juan Islands.
Having parked, we started to hike down the hill toward the water below...about 100 very steep yards. It took almost no time for Dog to conduct his personal business, and soon he was quite bouncy and tugging eagerly on his leash. This was a problem, due to the steep grade and the dusty nature of the path, which is composed of rocks and soil that are unusual, in that they are deficient in certain nutrients, causing a reddish tint and unstable texture. The path is especially slippery and treacherous if tread upon without proper footwear. We were wearing flip-flops. Flip-flops are pretty much the worst possible footwear one could choose, with the possible exception of a peg-leg, if that even qualifies as footwear. Fortunately, as fate would have it, the pirate community has already forsaken the park for political reasons unrelated to the particulars of the soil, leaving one-legged pirate tourists at little risk of taking an embarrassing spill down the dusty trails.
After reaching the bottom of the hill, stopping to pose for pictures and taking the obligatory 5-minutes to quietly pause and reflect, we decided it was time to head back. This proved to be quite difficult, given the aforementioned trail conditions and our woefully inadequate footwear. Luckily, our cocktail consumption of the previous evening had left us feeling more robust and agile than might be typical for a Sunday afternoon. With some determined and carefully placed footfalls, a few grunts, and the occasional muffled obscenity we managed to reach the top in what seemed like only a few hours, but was in reality closer to 10 minutes. Having finally arrived back at the car and caught our breath, we congratulated ourselves on having inadvertently stumbled into some exercise in our quest to find cookies. With a quick high-five and some pats on our respective backs, we piled back into the car, dog in tow, and headed back into town in search of our hard-earned snacks. All-in-all, it was a rewarding experience, and I plan on returning someday soon with my trusty hiking boots, so that I might more thoroughly explore those beautiful and unique trails.
[caption id="attachment_1551" align="aligncenter" width="580" caption="Looking West from Washington Park"][/caption]