A Photographer in Washington State, Half 2: Whidbey Island

Mussel rafts at Penn Cove Shellfish Farm with the Old Grain Wharf in the background

Mussel rafts at Penn Cove Shellfish Farm with the Previous Grain Wharf within the background

Continued from half one…

A day that started with a kayak journey, a number of hours of driving, sightseeing, and speaking to strangers got here to a detailed with a 40-minute sundown ferry journey from Port Townsend to Whidbey Island. That restful pause on the boat allowed me to mirror on what I’d count on from Whidbey, and particularly its cities of Coupeville and Langley, my subsequent two stops.

Right here, in pictures, is an element two of my journey:

Disembarking the ferry from Port Townsend to Coupeville, Whidbey Island

Disembarking the ferry from Port Townsend to Coupeville, Whidbey Island

Coupeville (on Whidbey Island)
The Blue Goose Inn
It was darkish when the ferry docked in Coupeville, and because it was a Monday every part was just about closed. After shortly checking in to the Blue Goose Inn, I drove additional into city (I took my rental automobile on the ferry) and stopped in on the innkeeper-suggested Toby’s Tavern for dinner.

Common room at the Blue Goose Inn in Coupeville

Widespread room on the Blue Goose Inn in Coupeville

This rustic waterfront institution, stuffed with quirky memorabilia on the partitions and ceiling, was initially constructed as a common mercantile retailer in 1875 however later became a beer parlor shortly after Prohibition. The previous couple of remaining clients once I walked in had been watching The Voice enjoying above the bar and critiquing the expertise. I used to be invited to hitch in on the enjoyable. Good firm, pleasant service and a heaping plate of tender fried clams—what’s to not like?

Breakfast at the Blue Goose Inn: carrot cake pancakes, quinoa with roasted blueberries, apple maple sausage patties, and hand-pressed cider from apples grown in the backyard

Breakfast on the Blue Goose Inn: carrot cake pancakes, quinoa with roasted blueberries, apple maple sausage patties, and hand-pressed cider from apples grown within the yard

My keep on the Blue Goose Inn was transient. I arrived late and checked out early however not earlier than having fun with a deep sleep in an expensive king-size mattress and a scrumptious breakfast on the solar porch. Innkeepers David and Becky Broberg use regionally grown components and seasonal greens and fruits from close by farms. They even make the condiments in home: ketchup, cinnamon and peanut butter syrups, and varied jams. My Penn Cove King suite was $179/night time. In the course of the offseason, there’s no minimal keep.

The Weavers’ Faculty
I’m probably not a fan of chatting with strangers over breakfast, and I sensed that the older girl sitting throughout from me one morning on the Blue Goose Inn was feeling the identical method. However our pure small speak instantly piqued my curiosity. She (Hope) defined that she was on the town for a complicated weaving workshop on the Weavers’ Faculty, which was based by well-known weave teacher and writer Madelyn van der Hoogt.

An advanced weaving workshop at the Weavers' School

A sophisticated weaving workshop on the Weavers’ Faculty

After I supplied to drive Hope to her morning class, she invited me to drop by later to watch the 15 girls who had are available from throughout the nation to additional their expertise. I returned after lunch to observe these completed girls clanking away in a classroom stuffed with 30 picket looms, weaving colours into superb patterns.

Penn Cove Shellfish
Shortly after breakfast, I headed to an appointment with operations supervisor Tim Jones at Penn Cove Shellfish, the biggest and oldest business mussel farm in the USA. (Established in 1975 as Penn Cove Mussel Inc., the farm grew to become Penn Cove Shellfish, LLC. in 1996 when it teamed up with Coast Seafoods Firm.)

Penn Cove Shellfish Operations Manager Tim Jones taking the skiff out on Penn Cove to check on the shellfish

Penn Cove Shellfish Operations Supervisor Tim Jones taking the skiff out on Penn Cove to examine on the shellfish

Tim attributes Penn Cove’s wholesome shellfish development to the the tendency of snowmelt from the close by Cascade mountains to be captured by the distinctive form of Penn Cove. The cove’s mineral-rich runoff waters, paired with Pacific daylight within the bay, prompts plankton development—generously feeding hungry rising shellfish.

A shellfish harvest vessel at Penn Cove Shellfish

A shellfish harvest vessel at Penn Cove Shellfish

Along with its well-known Penn Cove mussels, Tim’s workforce additionally farms Mediterranean mussels and Manila clams in addition to distributes 26 kinds of Pacific oysters and Kumamoto oysters they obtain from allied growers within the area. “The mussels we’re harvesting this morning can be on somebody’s lunch plate right now in Seattle and somebody’s dinner plate in NYC tomorrow,” Jones advised me.

Downtown Coupeville
With solely a pair hours to discover Coupeville earlier than leaving for Langley, I glanced inside a couple of retailers and different institutions on Entrance Avenue. My first impression of downtown Coupeville was that it appeared idyllic.

Picturesque downtown Coupeville, WA

Picturesque downtown Coupeville, WA

Because it seems, Hollywood feels the identical method. Each the flicks Conflict of the Roses (1989) with Kathleen Turner and Michael Douglas and Sensible Magic (1998) with Nicole Kidman and Sandra Bullock had been filmed right here, and never a lot has modified since ’98. In actual fact, locals had been celebrating the 20th anniversary of Sensible Magic the week of my go to.

The Old Grain Wharf, built in 1905, is on the National Register of Historic Places

The Previous Grain Wharf, in-built 1905, is on the Nationwide Register of Historic Locations

Jutting out on the finish of a 500-foot pier over Penn Cove is the Previous Grain Wharf. In-built 1905, it was as soon as a most important commerce and transportation hub connecting Whidbey Island to Seattle. Now, the wharf is occupied by a marine training heart, restaurant, espresso home, and present store.

Lunch and a killer view at Front Street Grill

Lunch and a killer view at Entrance Avenue Grill

Earlier than heading out, I lunched on the Entrance Avenue Grill, sampling among the tasty mussels I noticed being harvested from Penn Cove Farms earlier ready in white wine, garlic and contemporary thyme. I devoured them whereas having fun with a sunny view of Penn Cove from my desk.

Langley (on Whidbey Island)
A half hour’s drive south introduced me to Langley, an artsy, whimsical waterfront city house to many galleries, boutiques and present retailers. Earlier than checking into the Saratoga Inn, I attempted to hit as many retailers as I might at the beginning closed on a quiet late Tuesday afternoon.

1st Street in downtown Langley, including the Clyde Theater, built in 1937

1st Avenue in downtown Langley, together with the Clyde Theater, in-built 1937

I spent most of that point chatting with glass artist Callahan Campbell McVay at his Firehouse Studio and Gallery. He was about to close down his glass-blowing furnace for the night, however once I confirmed up he shortly fired up a glob of glass and inside minutes had created a flower with spectacular element. Along with showcasing a big selection of handmade glass artwork on the market on the gallery, Callahan and his workforce provide glass-blowing lessons.

Pop-out gardens are all the rage in downtown Langley, WA

Pop-out gardens are all the craze in downtown Langley, WA

The Saratoga Inn
Again on the Saratoga Inn I used to be assigned essentially the most pleasant room with an awesome view of Saratoga Cross, an 18-mile channel between Whidbey and Camano Islands. One of many ships from the Nationwide Geographic fleet was moored simply outdoors my window, docked for routine upkeep. The channel supplies passage for leisure and fishing boats but additionally, for a couple of transient months within the spring, grey whales come by means of the islands to rebuild their fats shops and achieve vitality for the final leg of their migratory return journey to Alaska from calving lagoons in Baja, Mexico.

The Saltwater Fish Home & Oyster Bar
So what did I’ve for my final dinner in Washington? Oysters in fact, served on the Saltwater Fish Home & Oyster Bar, only a quick stroll from the inn. I additionally had the Dungeness crab with mint and cilantro sauce. Saltwater is a pleasant and informal place that table-seats solely about 20 at a time however there’s a bar with seating, as properly.


The chalkboard at Saltwater Fish House & Oyster Bar tells you all you need to know about the house oysters

The chalkboard at Saltwater Fish Home & Oyster Bar tells you all you’ll want to learn about the home oysters

Heading house…
With a flight departure out of Seattle at 1pm, I checked out of the Saratoga Inn early sufficient to catch the 9am ferry from Mukilteo—however not earlier than making the most of the complimentary vegetarian breakfast buffet. I needed I might’ve spent only one extra day on this artisan city as a result of I do know it has a lot to supply. I feel I’ll start planning a return journey, maybe within the spring when these magnificent grey whales move by means of.


Laura Pedrick

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