Tuesday, July 8, 2014

The Erie Mountain that isn't eerie and Deception Pass that's no longer deceptive

After tiptoeing through the tulips in Mt Vernon, I drove Amy over to Anacortes and up to the top of Erie Mountain. There are 3 lookout points, and the 2nd is by far the prettiest.
You will have to get out of your car to see it, though. The view you see on the left is all that can be viewed from the road. You'll have to climb out onto the rocks to get this view. There are other scary spur trails you can tell others have tread on, but don't be tempted to climb them. You won't get a better view and you'll be taking unnecessary risks to find out for yourself.
The lookout at the summit of the mountain is, unfortunately, a huge letdown. There's a big observation area with a bridge built out to the middle of the forest, so of course you assume you're going to see something pretty impressive when you get there. You don't. The trees are far too obstructive. There's a distant view of Mt Baker here, but since it's mostly blocked by the trees, I'd recommend seeing it from the Cap Sante Lookout instead (which I would have brought Amy to see but had completely forgotten about it at the time).
The first lookout on the way up is pretty decent, though both times I've visited I've missed the turnoff for it and had to catch it on the way back down. You can see some of the San Juan islands from here.

Next we made out way down to Deception Pass, named as such because early explorers assumed the swirling waters were a river only to later find out they were actually part of the Pacific Ocean. Now the pass is anything but deceptive! The beauty of it just pops right out at you!
Here are some pics of us from the east side lookout.

There are stairs and pathways built underneath the bridge so you don't have to cross to the other side in oncoming traffic. We saw people ignoring these since it's much faster to just walk across two lanes than to go up and down two flights of stairs, but they're missing many awesome photo opportunities in addition to putting themselves at risk. We crossed to the east side, walked down the length of the bridge, and then came back on the west side.
Getting a picture of somebody from the bridge with a view of the pass in the background is nearly impossible and a bit frightening. You can only back up so far without getting in the street, and people drive by so fast that you really shouldn't get too close to the curb.
But you can easily get great pictures of the beautiful east side view and watch people going on jet boat tours. Oscar and I took one of those back in 2011.

One we'd reached the end of the bridge, we took a short hike down to the beach in
Deception Pass state park. Amy couldn't resist being on the coast yet not getting her feet in the sand, even if it was full of rocks.

She also insisted on putting her foot in the Pacific Ocean, though she was less than thrilled with the temperature of the water. :) 

And our lovely view walking back along the west side of the bridge!

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