Camping: Whidbey Island

This past weekend B and I went to Whidbey Island. A guy in the bus club created an event and we decided to extend the weekend by doing some of our state park caching.

Friday night started out a bit ominous when our van would not start. I went to the grocery store and B fiddled with it. When I returned it was running and we were ready to go. We arrived at Deception Pass State Park just after ten, thankfully we had reserved a site. The park is named after the pass nearby which was discovered by Captain George Vancouver, the first European to identify the area near Whidbey Island as a passage. We quickly set up the easy up over the picnic table, I started on dinner and B started on a campfire. We stayed up until about one which is generally not normal for me on a Friday night. I was up early the next morning around 7:15 and read for a while so B could sleep in. This little guy below came to visit me while I read a book.

Squirrel

We found out a friend had come up in the wee hours of the night and she and her son and son’s GF came over to join us. B got up and started a fire and started breakfast. It was great having a campfire again – burn ban is gone!

First stop for the day was the state park cache in the park we camped at. We took a little detour hike past this wooden statue, the Maiden of the park, Ko-kwal-alwoo.

Maiden

Just past this statue is a hike up to the top of a bluff where you could see for miles. We hiked back down and over to another part of the park to find our state park cache. A friend, Jenni has decided she is interested in Geocaching so joined us for the find.

Jane and Jenni were anxious to get to our final destination for the day and headed out. We wanted to get a bit more caching in so we told them we would meet them there.

Next stop was Joseph Whidbey State Park named for Master Joseph Whidbey who circumnavigated the island during the Vancouver Expedition of 1792 and our second state park cache of the weekend. Below, B and Beej walking along the water trail.

B and Beej

This was a walk along the beach about a half mile each way. We were told it would be a near the only tree in the area and to look for “shark fins”. Can you see them below?

Shark Fins

The walk was a bit windy but pleasant. We soon got our passport stamped and were on our way to Blue Fox Drive In. It was a double feather of Hotel Transylvania 2 [not something I would necessarily choose to see but cute] and The Martian. That was a good one! The Blu Fox features Go Karts and an Arcade.

Curly Fries

As it started to get dark I went and got a brick of curly fries for us [and others] to share and we settled in for the first film.

Martian Moon

Our friend Jenni took this shot of the mood during The Martian.

Watchin the Movie

Our friend Jane took this photo of her son and his GF getting ready to watch the film.

The coolest thing about this drive in theater is they allow people to camp our overnight for NO EXTRA CHARGE! This is the second time we have camped here and this is going to be a regular stop for the bus club.

The next morning we headed in to Coupeville for breakfast at the Knead and Feed. This is where I geeked out a bit. I am a film buff and one of my favorites was filmed right here in Coupeville. I am actually surprised I have not made a pilgrimage here sooner. Gah! The restaurant where we had breakfast served as Sally Owens store in the 1998 film Practical Magic. Below a poster from the film and a sample of Sally’s wares from her store.

Practical Magic

The below photos are courtesy of Hook on Houses blog. The first is the facade of Knead and Feed. The second is the interior.

PM Store

PM Inside Store

We took a stroll down Front street. This is where a few scenes were filmed. Here is a link to other information about filming locations in the area. The photo below was right outside the front door of Knead and Feed.

Front Street

We did a little caching. Below B is showing Jenni the app she downloaded.

Caching at the Knead n Feed

This is part of Knead and Feed as well. A multilevel deck and stairs that go down to the water. Loving the autumn leaves! The building where we had breakfast is actual on three levels and there is an awesome deck and stairs that leads right down to the water.

Wharf

And don’t forget, the worldwide headquarters of Kapaw’s Ice Cream! Unfortunately they were not open so we did not stop in.

Kapaws Ice Cream

There is a great little yarn shop on front street with an amazing collection of antique buttons and this frame shop called Whidbey Yarns. I love the side of the custom framing shop below.

Buttons

Custom Framing

We walked down to the end of the pier for another Geocache and a coffee. Soon we were on our way to our first state park cache of the day at Fort Ebey State Park, constructed in 1942 and was named after the pioneer commander of the 1855 militia stationed on an island in Ebey Slough. The park stands on the site of a World War II gun battery which had two 6-inch guns in place during the war. The guns were later removed and scrapped.

The area of the park that the cache is in is closed during the winter. We had to park at the gun battery and hike along the bluff then down in to the forest. Our clue was a bent tree.

Hike Along Bluff

We soon found the cache and stamped our passport. There were a few other caches we wanted to do in the park and B was looking at hitting his 500th cache and wanted an earth cache for that one for another challenge we are working on.

Lake

Next up is Fort Casey State Park which started its life housing the Admirality Head light house in 1858 of which the land was purchased for $400 by the US Government. In 1890 the US army took over the land and named its garrison Fort Casey in honor of Brigadier General Thomas Lincoln Casey, the last U.S. Army chief of engineers. At that time, Fort Casey, in union with Fort Worden and Fort Flagler, was said to comprise a triangle of fire guarding the entrance to Puget Sound.

Triangle of Fire

When the fort was constructed, the old lighthouse had to be moved. A new lighthouse was built on the present site in 1903. Today the Admiralty Head Lighthouse at Fort Casey serves as a historic landmark and interpretive center. The park was incorporated into Ebey’s Landing National Historic Reserve in 1980.
Admirality Head LighthouseThis cache was located at a composting exhibit near the lighthouse. Before we headed to our last state park cache we took a little detour to the Crockett Blockhouse a stockaded civilian blockhouse established in 1855 during the Yakima Indian War (1855-1858) by settlers on Whidbey Island and named after Colonel Walter Crockett on whose farm it was built. Abandoned as a fortification about 1856. There was a cache here but we could not find it. It was a terrain 1.5 difficulty 4.5. We will be back!

Crockett Blockhouse

We did a few more traditional and earth caches along the way and finally stopped at our last state park cache of the weekend. South Whidbey State Park is on Whidbey island and named after Master Joseph Whidbey by Captain George Vancouver. The park was officially named in October of 1974. Unfortunately the camping area is closed indefinitely due to falling old growth trees. We wandered through it to get to the cache and it was a little spooky. We followed our GPS down Hobbit Trail to this really large stump.

Large Stump

Quick work was made of finding the cache and stamping our passports. We decided to leave a state parks trackable we had found in early July in this cache for others to discover.

At this point we were getting hungry and tired and were ready for a ferry ride back to the mainland. We headed for Clinton and soon were in Mukilteo for a pizza dinner at Diamond Knot Brewery.

 

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