Blockhouse, Bluffs, and Bagels

It was our last day on the Olympic Peninsula, and we intended to visit the San Juan Islands, but time and weather never allowed it. Getting an early start in the rain seemed risky given the distance we’d need to travel, and the ferry reservation was an added hurdle and inconvenience.

Instead, we hoped and patiently waited for the early morning weather to abate. There was news of improving conditions by mid-morning, so we chanced a trip to Whidbey Island, where we were rewarded with thick, dismal skies, (yuck), and no rain in sight (yay)!

We drove to Mukilteo, where we just missed the 10 o’clock ferry to Clinton by 6 cars (damn!), but we were poised at the front of the boat for the half-hour ride to Whidbey Island at 10:30 AM (yay!).

After docking, we completed the half-hour ride to Ebey’s Landing, site of the Nation’s first National Historical Reserve (1978),

and a stunning landscape that befits the gateway to Puget Sound (wow!).

Just outside the Jacob Ebey homestead (now the Visitor’s Center) in Pratt’s Preserve…

stands a reconstructed blockhouse, originally built in 1854, and one of four still standing (who knew?). The blockhouse was built by Colonel Isaac Ebey to defend his claim against insurgent Skagit natives, who naturally resisted the pioneer settlement. Unfortunately, Isaac’s father, Jacob was beheaded in the cabin by a Skagit warrior in retaliation for the murder of one of their own chieftains (hmm…).

On the edge of the prairie, tangent to the Sherman-Bishop Farm…

is the trailhead that follows the bluffs along Admiralty Inlet.

We steadily climbed the bluff which gave us a birds eye view of Perego’s Lagoon–half wet, half dry–(huh?)

with a salt residue that could have resembled the surface of a different planet (odd)

until I spotted the pentagram that an ambitious soul had designed from driftwood logs (very odd!).

While the landscape was certainly impressive, something was still missing (huh?).

Where were the picture postcard views of Port Townsend and the Olympic Mountains across the water that were hiding behind overcast skies? (right?)

Nevertheless, our spirits were undiminished. We finished the Bluff Trail (phew!), and continued by F-150 to the historic waterfront of Coupeville, Washington State’s second oldest community, and it’s teaming with century-old buildings (nice!).

Our stroll down Front Street, once a beehive of maritime commerce,

brought us to a gentrified collection of bookstores, wine tasting rooms, gift shops, ice cream shops and coffee shops (sad).

Discovering the birthplace of Seattle’s Best Coffee was of particular interest to me, as I served this coffee exclusively when I operated my boil-and-bake-from-scratch, bagel bakery in Denville, New Jersey (really?). Their company and my franchisor later became symbiotic partners when both companies were acquired by AFC Enterprises in 1998.

All of which has contributed greatly to my being able to gracefully retire and follow my whim in pursuit of images, impressions, and memories.

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