April 09, 2007


The weather Saturday was cool and drizzly. However, that shouldn't keep one indoors when one lives in the PNW. Sally and I returned to a favorite hiking location, Ebey's Landing on Whidbey Island. Curious to see just how far the bluff trail allows one to roam, we hit the road early. It doesn't seem far away but from home to the parking lot at the Landing it was 2.5 hours. This includes the fact that we only waited about 20 minutes for a ferry. We also left when there was no traffic on Seattle's I-5. Then again, we stopped for coffee in Coupeville at Miriam's Espresso. What a great place. Large, comfy, friendly, serving Cafe Vita coffee and Morning Glory Muffins from La Vie En Rose Bakery in Anacortes. Those muffins alone are worth the drive and the ferry ride. I'm not kidding. Miriam's has free WiFi too and breakfast and lunch sandwiches.

Seeing the drizzle worried me. The weather on the bluffs is always cooler and always windier and I had worn shorts. But the weather we found was the calmest it's ever been. The water was smooth. There was practically no wind (probably why no one was out in a sailboat). It was quiet.

Plenty of birding to be done. It was still early and it had rained. So the snacking opportunities were everywhere - like all over the trail. Worms here and worms there. Spotted a poor robin with a bum leg hobbling along. Didn't keep him from gobbling up the wroms. But his injury hindered his flight plans. Red-winged blackbirds don't seem to mind if you get too close.

We were disappointed to find that the bluff trail ends just past the break off down to Perego's lagoon. You can walk to Ft. Ebey State Park along the beach but we didn't have that kind of time. We were each due back in the city for dinner plans at different times. Another day we'll take alllllllllll day and hike to the park and back. We simply turned around and hiked back to the car for lunch. It's always a great hike. On our way back to the car, pretty much off the bluff and almost back to the staircase to the beach, a man staring out at the water alerted us to a
Gray Whale slowly cruising along. It wasn't more than 20 yards from the shore, alone, and barely making a ripple. I snapped what shots I could and then tried to work with them in iPhoto to make the whale stand out.

I'd never seen a gray whale and I'd certainly never seen one that close to the beach. Had we been on the beach we never would have realized it was swimming along side us. While eating lunch we spotted two huge eagles dodging and diving with sea gulls along the side of the bluff. Then they landed and sat on the beach. Had we walked along the beach we might have spotted that scene from close-up. But it was fun to see from any vantage point.

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