Sunday, July 24, 2011


Friends.  Sunshine.  Cool breezes.  We have had a GREAT couple of days!

The day after we arrived in Oak Harbor, we had lunch with Bill and Wilda, long-time friends who introduced us to Bellingham, Washington, and to clam digging several years ago.  We’ve visited them in the southwest, too, but my favorite memories are of digging clams near Bellingham – which Wilda then cleaned and steamed… fantastic!  This all happened well before I began blogging, but I DO have photos of that time, and it makes me hungry just to look at those clams and the delicious sourdough bread.

Clam diggers! Clam Pot

All this is on my mind because we took a trip up to Bellingham today, to visit their great farmer’s market and… oh, but I’m getting ahead of myself!

On Friday, the weather took a turn towards sunshine – perfect timing because we had plans to meet friends Gisela and Bill P. and Chris C. in Port Townsend for lunch.  For us, that means a ferry trip, from Whidbey Island to Port Townsend.  Right next door to the ferry terminal is Ft. Casey State Park, and our friends Richard and Marlene D. were camped there to attend a family wedding.  We had a brief visit with them (we had visited their son and DIL earlier in the week), then hopped the ferry for a 30 minute ride to lunch.  A short, three block walk to Fin’s Restaurant, where we settled into an outdoor table and awaited our friends.

Port Townsend from water Waiting for Friends at Fins

Last winter, when I asked Odel what he would like to do during the summer, he said “get a bowl of clam chowder at Fin’s.”  Fin’s used to have the BEST clam chowder, very unusual – a creamy broth, clams steamed in the shell, and with a sprinkling of fresh herbs.  Simple, rich, and delicious. 

Sorry to report that it was a disappointment!  Smaller bowl, thicker broth, more potatoes than clams.  :(   On the other hand, I had a spectacular Salmon BLT – wow!  But the service was terrible, so I don’t think we’ll be going back there for while.  Lively conversation and perfect weather (along with a glass of excellent wine) redeemed the experience. 

After lunch, we all took a stroll around Port Townsend, down to the RV park at the marina to check it out.  Then we parted ways so Odel and I could climb the hill up to the Post Office to pick up our General Delivery mail, then rush back down to catch the ferry.  Excellent day!

On Sunday, we planned a day trip to Bellingham (50 miles north).  It is a scenic drive, and in Bellingham we were able to visit both a Trader Joe’s AND the wonderful Bellingham Farmer’s Market.

Bellingham Farmers Market Vegetables

And who should we see when we arrived at the market?  Bill and Wilda!  Another short visit, then we were off to make our selections: cherries, sugar snap peas, squash, and our first fresh, vine-ripened tomatoes of the year – yes, it has been way too cool up here in the pacific northwest for summer’s tomatoes.  We had lunch from the prepared food stands, sharing a table with a foursome of friends; one of the couples was extremely interested in our fulltiming lifestyle, as they are considering taking the plunge.

After lunch, we drove to one of the parks along Bellingham’s waterfront to pick up the waterfront trail, spending an hour or two wandering among the sun worshippers along the water, admiring the sight of snowcapped mountains in the distance.  No clouds!

68 degrees Deception Pass

Our Jeep’s thermometer on the ride home.

Crossing the Deception Pass bridge.

Instead of returning home via I-5, we took Chuckanut Drive (SR-11), which hugs the water heading south.  Built in the late 1800’s , narrow and winding, it is best driven slowly, while only the passenger enjoys the view.  We made a few stops for look out over the water, but mostly just cruised along, sunroof and windows open, appreciating the cool sunshine.

This morning?  Sunshine all around once again.  We have plans to meet Joe S., a friend from our days at Loma Linda, in Coupeville for mussels – a taste-off between those we enjoyed last week at Kim’s on the Wharf and Toby’s, an old tavern.  It’s how you spend a Sunday on Whidbey Island.  :)


  1. Sounds more like a day in Paradise to me. Enjoy!

  2. Wow! Terry will love Washington seafood! We are at Glacier NP and headed to Washington soon -- how long will you be there?? -- Martha

  3. Of course you are just teasing us with that 68 degree reading on the dash of the Jeep. We had 106 in KC yesterday!

  4. We have friends on Whidbey as well. It is a beautiful part of the country. Perfect place to spend the summer.

  5. Omigosh! Sunshine in Bellingham! I love Bellingham, have a long time friend there as well, but haven't visited in way too long. Your photos look wonderful, especially as I sit here in the rain in Talkeetna trying to finish up days of blog posts.

  6. Too bad your lunch was a disappointment but the ambiance made up for it. Don't know why, but I love having a table by the water, any water, anywhere.

    Those photos of the farmer's market are just wonderful. And fresh, vine-ripened tomatoes??? Oh man, that's my fav.

  7. Wow...with the sunshine like that it looks just PERFECT! Love those farmers markets too!

  8. We passed through Bellingham on our way to Canada one year..That was before we retired and we had a 2 week schedule..Now we need to revisit that area and take our time..Let me just say...I LOVE CLAMS AND OYSTERS...ALL SHELLFISH!!! That bucket of clams made my mouth water! If memory serves, it seemed we went by lots of vegetable fields in Northern WA...

  9. Boy this sounds like a GREAT day. We are having such a hard time finding fresh produce and farmer's markets in Utah. I'm sure envious.

    Tell Odel I know what he means about dremaing of a seafood dish and being disappointed. I used to have fresh crabmeat in butter at Charlie's in Virginia Beach. Went back and the butter was who knows what and the crabmeat had some sort of filler. Guess you really can't go home again.


  10. Yes today was just about perfect here on Whidbey. High 60's low 70's Then top that off with lunch with friends and life just doesn't get much better than that. Was GREAT seeing you guys again.


  11. Whidbey Island is a great place to stay for a while!!..the views are fabulous!!

  12. The Chuckanut Drive was a favorite of my Fathers back in the 50's. We made many trips down there from our home in Vancouver, BC. There was a restaurant right on a very sharp turn that we usually stopped at.

    Thanks for the memories!

  13. this is now on my bucket year i hope...jil

  14. Live south of Oak Harbor from 1985-1994. Beautiful place. I lived out by Ft Ebby State Park on San Juan Dr, just off of West Beach Road. Great views and great bicycling.

    I just found your blog today and enjoy your stories and pictures.