|Transportation, a necessary evil.|
Same on Whidbey. My wife, Sue, and I live on the south end, and boy, we sure don't like the north end -- the congested traffic, fast food and discount stores. We've been feeling a bit hemmed in lately.
So yesterday, my birthday-girl wife and I got an urge to explore the north-south divide on sleepy Lopez. It seemed as far from civilization as we could get in one easy day. And the differences are real.
On north Lopez if you park in the middle of the road to photograph a Kingfisher, another car may come along in a few minutes and need to get around. On south Lopez, you're just happy to see the smoke from a woodstove on a chilly October morning.
Lopez is the third-largest island in the San Juans at 30 square miles, with 2,200 people. Most live in the north. Whidbey is 169 square miles with a population of 58,000 and again, most live in the north.
|Sue and Duncan at Spencer Spit.|
|Trail to Shark Reef|
We enjoyed a Great-blue Heron stalking fish in the glassy shallows and gave our dog, Duncan, a spirited walk, but were really dreaming of a good cup of coffee. So we paid our dues to the hectic city, Lopez Village, before continuing south to a little dot on the map that had intrigued us, Shark Reef County Park.
This was every bit the gem we had hoped it would be. But the road doesn't lead to the water. It just leads to a parking strip in the woods where you start a 15-minute, forest hike to a rocky bluff overlooking narrow San Juan Channel.
|Great-blue Heron landing.|
The shore is steep. The birds and mammals are close, and seemingly unconcerned.
Yesterday we watched a Great-blue Heron hunt fish from a floating platform of bull kelp. Gulls and Harlequin Ducks swam among the rocks and kelp.
|Harbor Seal and Gull.|
Did I mention we were all alone? I can't help it; I love places where our species is in the minority.
|Hey, if I had a fish I'd toss it to you.|
|Sunset at Deception Pass, back on Whidbey.|