A Change of Plans: Mt. Baker to Whidbey Island

Mileage today: 146 miles Total Mileage: 6,812 miles

Today we had a couple of things to do before setting off. First, a visit to the car wash to clean off the accumulated dust of over 6000 miles, and vacuum up the crumbs of 60 packed lunches…. Then fill up with cheaper American petrol. And a conclusive packing of one suitcase. Now, filled to the brim and 23kg….

Then we headed north and east into the Cascade mountains, towards the village of Glacier where we were spending our last 2 nights in a lovely B&B. At first the scenery was a mellow autumn blend of yellowing trees and small historic farms. Probably hadn’t changed much in 200 years.

Then we started to climb and the trees changed to conifers. Tumbling rivers. Our purpose over the next day’s was to sightsee around Mt. Baker, specifically Picture Lake and Artists Point. A hike around Picture Lake this afternoon to see Mt. Shuksan reflected in its waters.

The road switchbacked steeply and then with only 10 miles to go we hit a barrier. Road Closed!!! Dangerous trees being removed All Week!!! The road would be open at night but not in the day, effectively removing the possibility of any of our planned activities. What to do?!??

We had a picnic and discussed. Reluctantly, very reluctantly, we decided to cut our losses and go elsewhere. We forfeited our deposit at the B&B with a multitude of apologies. Before we left we drove down to Nooksack Falls and walked through the woods to the viewing platform. They drop 175 feet into quite a torrent. Definitely worth the view.

We headed west again and then south on Rt. 9 and the west from Mt Vernon over to Fidalgo Island, across the spectacular bridges at Deception Pass and to Oak Harbor. We had managed to get a booking at the Coachman Inn here. A lucky find. Very comfy place and a good price.

There’s lots to keep us occupied here. Tonight we ate at a real old fashioned diner in town called The Island Cafe. It was packed and well deservedly. I had pot roast which melted in the mouth. Bob had a French Dip sandwich and chips. We couldn’t have a dessert or even a coffee…. Might have to go back tomorrow night. We are running our food store down now….

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