A Whale Watching Tour – but no whales!

There are a LOT of islands up in the northern Puget sound area, and very few of them have roads and ferry service.  We thought about taking a ferry to one or two of the islands and then driving around, but after driving to and around a nearby island with a bridge and seeing nothing but trees…as the coastal area is all privately owned…we decided that the cost of a ferry ride to see more of the same wouldn’t be worth much.  Plus, the ferry rides are NOT cheap and are long (over an hour from Anacortes to San Juan).

So, we decided to take a whale watching tour instead!  Here the tours rarely leave the Puget Sound so we knew we’d see lots of coastlines, islands, etc. in addition to orcas and possibly gray whales.

Well, it turns out the day was very foggy along the sound, so we couldn’t go there and wouldn’t have seen anything had we gone.  Instead we got a tour of the northern part of the sound where it connects to Canadian waters.  We circled San Juan island and Orcas island as well as many smaller islands.  Many of the smaller islands have a population even though they don’t have roads, ferry service, electricity or water!  Folks who live on these islands must truck in their water and use generators, and have boats to get to the mainland.

Even though we saw no whales, we did see several bald eagles perched in trees, and many harbor seals.  We also saw some salmon pens where they raise salmon.  Very interesting and beautiful area!!



Mount Baker – a glacier capped mountain in Northern Washington

While in Northern Washington we took a day trip to see Mount Baker.  We can see it from the coast where we’re staying, jutting up high above the other mountains and hills that we can see from here.

It’s a beautiful mountain, dense forest filled with moss and ferns and waterways and waterfalls.  Then we came out from the heavy forest and were in the midst of several glaciers!  This trip was actually more interesting than going through the Glacier National Park, as here we were able to drive right into the glacier area.

During the ride I composed a haiku, and decided to start composing them as a sideline so you’ll see a new menu entry with this and one more I’ve composed recently.  Here’s my first:

Dark, dense forest,
moss and fern.
It clears –
Snow capped mountain
towers above.

Here are pictures:


Glacier National Park – very unique!

We’ve spent the last week at Glacier National Park – it’s a very unique place!

There are very few roads through the park, so you don’t get to see very much of it by car.  There are lots of trails, but most are several miles long and are strenuous, so we just opted to see what we could see from the road and a couple of short hikes.

There are only 25 glaciers left in the park – 100 years ago there were over 100!  Experts estimate that the glaciers will all be melted by 2030!

While there are still several glaciers to see, and at least one you can hike through, the major attraction is to see what the glaciers from thousands of years ago did to the mountains as they came through the area.  All the mountains within the park contain high, steep-sided mountains with huge horizontal gouges.  It becomes very obvious that something very big and relentless scraped its way through these mountains.

We took one hike that crossed several areas of deep snow.  I had tennis shoes on (I don’t have any boots) and the snow was very slick in the sun which made it very hard for me to move across the snow.  We didn’t go to the end of the hiking area because of that, unfortunately (I’m a wimp, I’ll admit it!)

Here are some pictures of the glaciers and the mountains: