Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Deception Pass State Park

Last spring very near the end of the school year we took a group of students from grades 6-8 on a two-night camping trip to Deception Pass State Park.  This beautiful park lies partly on Fidalgo Island and partly on Whidbey Island on both sides of Deception Pass.  This park is the most popular park in the state and one of the busiest, but is large enough that is never crowded.  In fact, there was almost no one in the campground though we were there the week before Memorial Day.

When we arrived at our campsite near Cranberry Lake we heard the constant roar of jets overhead and this continued during daylight hours for most of the time we were there.  To the south of the park is the Whidbey Island Naval Air Station and at certain times the training flights are almost continuous, the only down side to staying in the park.  I took photos of some of the jets but have no idea what kind they are and would welcome any information on the subject.

What remained of the first day, after arriving and setting up camp, was spent at walking along Cranberry Lake to West Beach where we watched the sun go down before returning to a campfire where the students roasted everything that they could get to stay on a roasting stick.  That first evening was quite windy and cool and the campfire and warm sleeping bags were very welcome, though the fly-overs continued until it was completely dark.

The Olympic Mountain from Cranberry Lake

Early the next morning, a warmer and sunnier day, I went for a walk before everyone was up and took a few pictures along the way, including pictures of the Western Spotted Coralroot which was growing in the woods near camp.  When everyone was awake and we'd eaten breakfast, we hiked around the point of land on which the campground is found to the Deception Pass Bridge, up to and across the bridge and then back down to the shore and the campground.

In the afternoon we took a boat trip through Deception Pass, enjoying the sea creatures, Harbor Seals, a California Sealion and endless waterbirds including the Pidgeon Guillemot shown here.  We also spent some time watching of group of novice kayakers attempting to negotiate the treacherous currents of the pass with varying success.  Back at the dock there were a lot of fishermen and we were all charmed by the little girl who was fishing with her father.

That evening we went again to West Beach where the student flew kites and watched another sunset before returning along Cranberry Lake to the camp and a campfire and another session of roasting things over the fire.  The sunset that evening was very beautiful and it was wonderful to watch the sun go down while listening to the sound of the waves and watching the students efforts with their kites.  These camping trips (two every school year) are always one of the high points of the year.

The next day was breakfast, packing up camp and then a ride back across the bridge to the northern park of the park along Rosario Strait and to Rosario Beach.  There we explored the tide pools and relaxed in the warm spring sunshine and had lunch, before heading to Anacortes to the ferry for a ferry ride to Friday Harbor on San Juan Island, some exploring there, followed by a later supper of pizza back in Anacorte3s and a very late arrival home.


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