Today was another day of leisure. Peggy
walked into La Conner to check out all the touristy shops and antique
stores. I dumped the waste tanks.
We both tried to make my ancient
Kindle share books with Peggy’s but found ourselves lacking because
we were completely unsuccessful. We need some third graders to get
this stuff squared away for us.
Today we were slugs. We did almost no
We did hobnob with the folks set up in
the space next to us here at La Conner Marina. They have two Saluki
dogs. The dogs (not the people) are high-speed runners and look the
part. They make greyhounds look tubby. They were also very nice and
seemed delighted to let us scratch their backs.
After this strenuous activity, we had
some drinks. This retirement can be rugged.
Nearby Camano Island was our target for
today. Peggy tells me that I have been there before but we were
halfway through today’s excursion before I recognized anything. It
turns out that she was correct and I was merely forgetful.
We started today’s journey with a trip
to the La Conner second hand store so Peggy could reluctantly ashcan
some of the stuff we have been hauling around for the last five
years. She was very strong and dumped the stuff in the box without
even a shudder. I was very proud of her.
Then we were off across the Skagit
River Valley and massive delta toward Camano Island. It is a
beautiful drive with magnificent green forest, the Cascades and
farmland below the horizon and beautiful azure skies above. Over the
bridge and we were onto the island. The northern end and northeastern
edge of the island is pretty heavily developed with many snazzy
houses, almost all of them within view of the water. And a terrific
view it is! At the northern end, we pulled into a tiny park called
Upsalady where we could gaze out over the sound and the single
homeless guy comfy on a bench looking north. From this end, Mount
Baker, the enormous volcano, can be seen; it is the horizon. We also
were delighted to find an adolescent bald eagle nested in a very
short tree right in the park. He made quite a few noises at us before
he took to the wing and split.
Eventually we moseyed on to the west side of the island and entered a much more rural and splendid environment. Massive firs and cedars grow right down to the waterline and the views into the San Juan Islands offshore are terrific. Lots of the property is privately owned but the lot sizes are much bigger here. We passed many gravel driveways but could see few of the houses hidden in the dense forest. We stopped in at both of the state parks on the island’s west side – Cama Beach Historical State Park and Camano Island State Park – where we bought a Washington Discover Pass that allows access to all state parks for a year. The parks are very nice. We stopped for a bit at Cama and enjoyed the views of the Sound and Whidbey Island across a wide strait. Warm, cloudless, sunny days are rare in this part of the world and Washingtonians had flocked to the area to see it before Ragnarok. We even spotted a guy nearly my age
wearing a skimpy pair of Speedos so we left.
We continued our circuit, wandering down to the south end of the island before heading up the east side and back to the bridge returning us to the mainland. Camano Island offers a great journey through a pretty place although the residential section at the north end is not that great unless, of course, you own one of the nice houses overlooking the water.
We took a few pictures. Click the link. https://photos.app.goo.gl/4mEMb4gRomgY5KDm6
Today we got on the internet early in
the day to find a supplier to fill one of our trailer’s propane
tanks. It seems that while propane is widely available, it is not so
ubiquitous on weekends. We did finally find a place to get propane
and it turned out to be a Chevron station about 5 miles north of us.
The station is on the Swinomish Reservation.
Peggy and I tag-teamed the 30 pound
cylinder out of its cubbyhole in the front of our Barbarian Invader,
threw it into the back of Charlotte and headed for the propane sales.
When we arrived, we found we were in a man’s heaven. The Chevron
gas/diesel/propane station in the complex is flanked by a reservation
tobacco outlet, a marijuana dispensary, a beer and liquor store in
addition to a big casino, a hotel and an RV park where chronic
gamblers can camp and lose money simultaneously. There is a steak
house in the casino.
We left with only diesel and propane,
both purchased for much cheaper than at off-reservation outlets due
to the reservation being sovereign lands without pesky and irritating
federal and state taxes. On the way home, we stopped at nearby Black
Rock Seafoods where we left not a lot poorer with both breaded and
fresh scallops, frozen and breaded clams and some very tasty cod. The
fresh scallops didn’t exist for long since they went right into the
pan and then our gullets not 30 minutes after getting back to the
Invader and carefully inserting the full propane cylinder back into
its finger-smashing cabinet. We were lucky – no smashed digits or
blood even after the heavy tank was back in place. It’s almost a
Today we left Thousand Trails Mount
Vernon (actually in Bow) and headed out for the return journey to La
Conner. This time we are staying in the La Conner Marina RV Park
where we stayed about three weeks ago. Although the La Conner TT
campground is visually appealing, there is no WiFi, satellite TV or
sewer, which is problematic for stays greater than about 4 or 5 days.
We have to pay $30 a day at the marina, but there is WiFi, sewer and
satellite TV. The marina is not quite as scenic as the TT park but it
is located right in La Conner, a delight for Peggy because she loves
to shop and the downtown area offers ample stores for a dedicated
We were assigned to space 10, two
spaces from our previous site when we stayed here a while back. Space
11 has very lumpy pavement due to a nearby massive sycamore tree’s
roots but we knew the park hosts don’t rent out 11 until the very
end. We promptly put our truck in the lumpy site 11 and have not been
told to move it. Everybody else needs to park about 50 yards away in
a nearby Port parking lot. There are signs, posted by the Port of
Skagit, that indicate a permit is required to park in their lot but,
in our stays here, we have not seen a parking permit nor any parking
enforcement. Even on the 4th of July, there were ample
vacant spaces in the lot despite being right on the waterfront and
almost directly underneath the spectacular fireworks launched from
the marina. This last 4th, it was hard to determine
whether the City of La Conner or the Native American civilians across
the Swinomish Channel had better explosives.
It seems fireworks are legal in
Washington and you can buy them everywhere. Strangely, launching
anything that goes up or boom is illegal almost everywhere. I guess
if you shoot all your ample supply of legally purchased but illegal
to light fireworks very quickly, you won’t get caught because all the
We check the weather in our hometown,
San Diego, regularly and are just delighted we are here. While our
hometown broils in torrid temperatures, the weather here has been
terrific with temperatures between 60 and 75 F. It rains a little,
once in a while, but mostly the summer weather here is magnificent. I
think we have about another month and a half in the Pacific Northwest
before moseying back south when it starts to get cold here. The
scenery is stunning, there are animals everywhere, there is
reasonably priced seafood, marijuana is perfectly legal, Peggy likes
the shopping and the weather is wonderful. And they sell fireworks
which I certainly enjoy even though when I light them I have to be
furtive, no small feat when old and arthritic.
Today was our last full day in Mount
Vernon TT but we did not feel compelled to do anything fascinating.
We both got in on a phone conversation with our daughter, I
disconnected and stowed the water umbilical to the trailer, Peggy
squared away some stuff inside our dwelling and got the ancient
Singer out for some fabric festivities. I found a formerly full
bottle of Jack Daniel’s and made it lighter. It was pretty boring to
Today we mostly fooled around. We did
drive into Mount Vernon to drop Peg off at a notary, we popped into a
really great fruit stand and we got the oil changed in our F-250. The
Jiffy Lube in Mount Vernon is very good. It was uninteresting.
Gentle rain woke us this morning. We
started the day with a good breakfast, internet surfing on our phones
and a bit of TV; anything was better than going to do our laundry.
Eventually, reality set in and we trudged out to the truck with
reusable plastic shopping bags full of dirty clothes. The laundry
here at Mount Vernon TT has an ample facility with six….count
’em…..six washing machines. We (mostly Peggy) were done very
quickly. It was still boring.
It is difficult to find a crummy place
to wander in this part of the world. Today we left our campground in
Bow, headed west on Bow Hill Road toward WA-11. On the way, we made a
quick stop at Samish Bay Creamery where they make and sell a variety
of nifty cheeses, all of them with prices beyond the budgets of
non-millionaires. All of the products we saw had prices exceeding $20
a pound. We get our extra sharp Tillamook cheese at Costco for around
$5 a pound. Our stop at this dairy producer was very brief.
Soon we came to WA-11 in Edison, where
we turned north for a gorgeous drive into Whatcom County. The first
bit was through pasture lands and everything was emerald green. After
about 20 minutes we started climbing along the western side of an
enormous forested rock that borders Samish Bay, a huge expanse of
shallow water, the exit for the Samish River and a part of the
massive strait between the U.S. and Canada. The road became quite
narrow and curvy once we were along the western fringe of the rock.
There were some residences on the strait side of the road but they
seemed to all be built with the garage on top (the roof), next to the
road, and the rest of the house built beneath it because the ground
is so steep that building further from the road would mean the back
porch is about 100 feet above the remainder of the cliff leading down
into the sea. That last step would be a big one.
Fairhaven was the first real town we
drove into and it is a gorgeous little enclave of old wood houses and
brick masonry downtown commercial buildings. It was sort of like
going back in time, to a cute little town with seemingly happy folks
dwelling in magnificent buildings. It is very pasty white. There
don’t seem to be any other humans than white ones and none of them
have a tan. From Fairhaven, there is a ferry that can take folks to
that portion of Alaska along the inland passage up the coast of
After meandering a bit, we got back on WA-11 for a little ways to Bellingham. This, too, is a beautiful little city with magnificent buildings and folks free of sunburn. We found a what must be the northernmost Trader Joe’s in the U.S. and picked up a variety of their spiffy goods before returning via I-5 south to our beloved fifth wheel trailer in Bow. It wasn’t a long drive today but it was full of stunning scenery, fantastic building architecture and good shopping.
We took a few pix. Click the link. https://photos.app.goo.gl/e251rGDbas2KXHik7
It was moving day today so we rustled
up all our bird feeders, whirly flags, folding chairs and utility
umbilicals and prepared to leave the property. Before we could go
anywhere else, we made a stop at the three-holer dump station at the
campground exit. We have been very frugal with our water this week to
avoid filling our modestly-sized waste tanks. Normally, waste gets
dumped every four days but we made the week. It took quite a while
for everything to leave us.
After this fun, we pulled out onto
Snee Oosh Road and headed north to WA-20. Turning east there, we got
as far as I-5 where we turned north. Just a few miles up the road, we
arrived at Bow. The Thousand Trails Campground is called Mount Vernon
but it’s not in Mount Vernon. It’s in Bow.
We found a nice, spacious spot with
satellite TV reception, good access and plenty of birds in the
surrounding brush. We set up and called it a day even though our
entire trip was about 20 miles and maybe 25 minutes. We love nice,
quick drives between campgrounds.