Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Skagit Tulip Festival

         Today we explore just beyond Bellingham and Whatcom county.  I have lived in this area off and on for many years, but until just recently have never made it to this great festival.  Great for all of the senses at once.   Our daughter and I had a free weekend about two weeks ago and set off to beautiful Mt Vernon.   

   Usually when I am going just down the road into Skagit county, I am going to the casino.  Although I love the casino I work at, Skagit offers a free beverage bar, good paying games, and   a great snack bar.   They also offer a free ten dollars when you buy in with twenty dollars on Tuesdays.   Maybe I should have joined there advertising team or work force.   Maybe my wife is right, again, and I think about gambling just a little to much since getting a job at a casino.  Or we end up at the mall.  Malls are never an enjoyable experience for me.  But this mall has some interesting features including a church inside the mall.  In all my travels I do not believe I have seen this before.   Whatever takes you there, Mt Vernon is literally just down the road from beautiful Bellingham, and has some great sights to explore any day.

    Just before the town you can branch off the highway and wind down Chuckanut Road.   A long but very worth it drive.   Full of great views.  We had hoped to return home this way, but our time schedule did not allow it.  

    Our daughter took it well that I had to stop in the middle of no were to snap a few pictures along the way.   I must warn all my readers now, that I got very trigger happy with pictures on this journey.   So this is a very picture filled post.  I hope you enjoy them even half as much as I enjoyed taking them!

Every time I pass this bridge I have wanted a picture of it.   

Just beyond the bridge was this great homestead with a shack in the back falling down...

    We started out in downtown Mt Vernon, just past the bus depot.  Were we got an amazingly accurate map to the tulip fields.  Close by was the old court house.   Old buildings are always amazing to me.  But it seems like the best molds are set aside for court houses and city halls.  

        Yes we have some great modern weapons, but can you imagine coming out of the woods and suddenly being eye to eye with one of these?

Easily the most recognizable building in town. 

                                                           Old theatre down town.
                                                       Just past the visitors center and the above building you hit the water front.      

                                                                 Huge tulips!

                                         I spyed this while sitting in traffic heading to the tulips. 
                        Yes the drinking parrot is kool too---but just behind him is the huge sign
   the bucket list of sorts is a huge chalk board and can be continually changed.  

                                                  Over the bridge to the country side.   
                                 The farm houses along the way were amazing.   And huge.   

I am a sucker for old barns.
This one sits right across the street from our destination 
Tulip Town.

                                          Of course the flowers were beyond amazing
                                                     But so was the landscaping.   

On to the stars of the show!

                                      As I said, I snapped many a picture.   ;)

Row upon row of amazing beauty.
The pictures do not even begin to show the size of the fields. 
And this is only one stop in all of the tulip fields.  
We never made it to any of the others.

My favorite color is red and my wife's is purple   so I could not resist this shot.

                               Another great shot--sneaking in the surrounding old barns. 

Tired of walking through the rutted fields?
Jump on a wagon.

Close up!

Last shot.

Shows that all beauty dies.  
But is still purty and amazingly important in someones eyes AND in Gods eyes. 

With our cross country move coming up very soon--I will definitely be working on new posts.
But actually posting them will be delayed.   
Please check out old posts on this page and my first blog page

And this summer I will be starting a 3rd exploring page.   
All about exploring Arizona.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Western Exploring --Look Out Tower

         Last week again found us exploring the many trails through the woods near the WWU campus in beautiful Bellingham, Washington.  I say again, because it is such an enjoyable area to explore.  And I have several blog posts from on campus.   My personal favorite being:    Feel free to check them all out.   This page now has 70+ picture filled posts!  And I hope that it shows the best of the Bellingham area.    Please share the links if you enjoy what you see here!! 
     On this day I had two of our children with me, and the neighbor kiddo.  We have been to the area before, but I wanted to take my borrowed camera, and it's super duper powered zoom lens.  I tried to copy some of the same pictures I took years ago on a rare snow day, but getting the kids to stand still long enough to pose was a challenge.  Also our oldest was not with me, so it put a damper on that.   My attempts at similar pictures follow in this post.  As always I hope you enjoy this post!     Please do not forget about my first blog series---full of random rambling,  jokes, deep quotes, exploring, and coffee love :        This sight now has 350+ posts to roam through!     Enough self promotion on to the exploring!!

      Just past the parking lot--we prefer to park at the bottom of the hill and roam through the MANY trails in the woods.   One can park just feet from the look out tower though.  Anyways, just past the lower parking lot- is this great tree    well great to me.  

Looking back at the mountains in the distance.   
I would like to hike to the top of this one before we move.  But am running out of time.

Trails lead all through the trees.

And the area is marked with signs.  
But as most exploring in Whatcom -- it is easy to get lost.  
Luckily on these trails you mostly just need to head up to reach the tower.

         Similar structures can be found all around campus and Bellingham for that matter.
                   I have previously posted many pictures of habitats we have found.  
            This one was right off the trail, but is probably already gone.

If you take the right trails you will pass this old tunnel.
A passage through solid rock and time.
This is also a great spot for pictures and for yelling!
Stand near the middle of the tunnel for some great echos.

**Old picture from inside the tunnel**
Just in case you did not see the sideways date stamp from "09"

                                                      **Updated version**
                                             The child in the middle is not ours.


The tower peeks out through the trees!

And the view from the top....

Than time for some trail wandering and exploring.

Since it was no nearing dinner time we decided to follow the road back to our car.
Plus this route takes us through this natural arch way.

If you look closely above--you can see a tree growing straight up off of the middle of the arch.

**Old picture**

Next exploring blog is all about the Skagit Tulip Festival!