It seems like I can never get away from work, even in a paradise like this. Subsequently, I was awake half the night worrying about something, then got up at 5:00 AM to make some calls before folks headed out for the morning on the east coast. Since I was up before light, I decided to take advantage and do some long exposure photography.
I took a couple of photos of the stars overhead. It was the first time I’d seen the Milky Way in ages. I also took a few long exposure shots of the refinery across the bay and to Anacortes. Even though the skies were clear, a heavy fog rolled in across the bay, and the lighting changed with each increment of the rising sun.
I managed to get a couple of cups of coffee down, but the light and fog were just too compelling. I tossed gear in the car and headed to the north side of the island, where I got some great photos of Lummi Peak, Chuckanut, and Samish Bay shrouded in fog. A family of seals swam by chasing the salmon with the incoming tide.
I figure that if the light was this good out on the island, there would be some great pictures out on the flats. I paused to get a few shots of various barns and farm implements, then drove to the bridge over the Samish River.
At the river there was quite the party going on. All the fishermen were out trying for a catch before they headed in for work. I took some photos of the fishing and of the boats on the bay side of the bridge. These guys were pulling some huge fish out of the river, and a couple of them were happy to pose for me.
From Samish, I took a quick turn through Edison, drove around a couple more farms shooting cows, barns, and sunflowers, then decided that I really needed to head back for a shower. I try to catch the afternoon light later today.
We had a few errands to run in town. As we drove back to the island, Mount Baker was poking its head through the clouds. Off to the north we could see the snow-capped Canadian Rockies very clearly, and the Olympics were showing to the south. It looked like the rest of the day was going to be very bright and clear, so after lunch I decided to do a bit more exploring.
For this excusion I headed north along Highway 11, Chuckanut Drive. I thought I might try to find the road up Blanchard Mountain with views of Samish Bay and the Skagit Valley, but I couldn’t find the right turn off. So, I kept going. Chuckanut Drive is a twisting two-lane road that hugs Blanchard and Chuckanut Mountains. The Burlington Northern Railroad stays lower, hugging the coastline. There are some pull-outs with fantastic views of Samish Bay and the San Juan Islands, but it can treacherous getting to them. I pulled into the parking lot of Chuckanut Manor to watch some kite surfers enjoy the wind that ruined my kayaking plans. I also found a tiny little road down to the Taylor Shellfish Company, which had a parking lot with bay views, and stopped for a few more photos. I figured if anyone questioned me I would pull out one of my cards.
At one of the pull outs there was a nice trail leading downwards. I decided to explore. The trail led to several rocky outcrops with views of the coast and of the railroad below. I scrambled around on the rocks and explored a bit, but I was so sure that I wasn’t tresspassing. I headed back to the car and continued the drive.
At Larrabee State Park I pulled in. This time there were clearly marked trails and signs pointing to the "beach." Most of these trails led to craggy overlooks where waves pounded, but one did lead down to a beach area with rounded stones in place of sand. The whole area was peaceful and not crowded at all, so I lingered to enjoy the views. I understand that this is quite different in season, and that it’s hard to find an unoccupied rock to perch upon.
From Larrabee I continued north to the town of Fairhaven. Fairhaven, La Conner, and Anacortes are three of my favorite towns in this area. They all feature quaint shops, great food, and waterfront views. I don’t get up to Fairhaven as much as I might like, but it seems like a great place to hang out. This trip, I had already lingered too long with my hiking, so I just skirted the south side of the town and headed to I-5 and home.
I began the day with long exposure photography, and I ended the day that way. The skies were still brilliantly clear. I tried to capture some of the fantastic colors of the setting sun, then capture the moon as it set into the bay with the light reflecting on the water. The stars were also out, so I set up the camera to try and capture some star trails. I got a few, but leaving the camera’s shutter open for that long apparently drains the battery, so I wasn’t able get as many shots as I might like.