Sunday, March 18, 2012

Whidbey Island Day Trip

You may or may not know this already, but back in the fall I set a goal to visit every one of Washington's State Parks. There are 142 of them. This is a goal that will not be met easily, and will take quite a bit of time, but I've been chipping away at it! So far my favorite park has been Dash Point. There is a pretty long stretch of beach there that Alice loved running on.

Two weeks ago I found myself thinking about an adventure, and missing the smell of salt water.
So I composed a plan of driving up to the north end of Whidbey Island, then driving down the island and visiting its 5 state parks before boarding the ferry in Clinton and returning home. While Alice makes a grand companion for such trips, I needed a person. Luckily, my friend Krista is the short-notice-adventure type and was more than willing to come along! We set out on Sunday, just after noon, and got to driving!

The first park we visited was Deception Pass. This is a very good-sized park, and easily the most popular of Whidbey's 5 state parks. We hopped out of the car, walked on the beach a little, then packed up and moved on to our next destination!
Our next stop was Joseph Whidbey State Park. It has some nice looking picnic areas and a good stretch of walking path along the beach.
And, well, we can't do without a picture of Alice!

As we were leaving Joseph Whidbey I slammed on the brakes and exclaimed "cool!" Krista then hopped out so I could take her picture with this otter crossing sign. The road we were driving has Puget Sound on one side, and some sort of marsh or inlet on the other, and I guess our otter friends like to walk across instead of swimming!

Fort Ebey came next. This park covers 645 acres and was home to a WWII gun battery that was home to two 6-inch guns during the war. The guns have long since been removed, and all you will see are earthworks and concrete. We didn't actually visit the battlement site, but instead continued on to the beach. Like I said, I was looking for saltwater here!
Then came Fort Casey! This was my favorite park of the day. The first use of this park site was in 1858, when the U.S. government purchased 10 acres to build a lighthouse on. In 1890, the Army took over the site and built an artillery site. Fort Casey is one point on the "Triangle of Fire" or "Iron Triangle" of forts that were built to guard the entrance to Puget Sound. The other two parks are Fort Worden and Fort Flagler.
Fort Casey is home to two 10-inch guns and two 3-inch guns. The part of the battlement that houses the guns has definitely been restored, while if you walk farther along things fall into more disrepair. You can walk in and around the battlements, though I might suggest a flashlight! There was a time or two when I intended to see where a hallway went and turned around after finding nothing but complete darkness ahead of me. Volunteers lead tours of the battlement late May through September, and I might just have to go back another time to get the inside scoop!

Our final park stop was South Whidbey. You can't tell by the photo, but it was close to dusk so we had a quick look around before the park closed, took our picture, and headed for the ferry.
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  1. Did you know Whidbey is my favorite place in the entire world??!!! My grandparents have owned a beachhouse on the south end of it my whole life! David and I went to deception pass last summer - loved it! Awesome goal - best of luck!

  2. Cool! I think we'll plan a trip to Fort Casey soon due to your review! Can you guess which of your cousins will especially like it? :)