I could see from Oakes Avenue it was going to be a beautiful sunset, so I headed straight for Washington Park. I arrived at Sunset Beach just in time to share the sunset with six Fidalgo Island visitors … a couple from California and a family of four from British Columbia. Sean Traverse, his wife Lata and sons Drake and Bradie were visiting from New Westminister, B.C. They started their one-week camping vacation at Deception Pass State Park but pulled up stakes and headed for Washington Park when they discovered they could only stay one night at the state site. They were having a great time at Washington Park, which features a campground complete with power, water, shower and washroom facilities. Just down the beach were Rich and JoAnn Hansen, enjoying one night the campground before heading to the San Juan Islands. Hansen is a charter bus driver and a photographer whose work has been published in textbooks, among other sources. The Hansens are from Morro Bay, which sounds a lot like Anacortes. A Chamber of Commerce website reads in part: “Morro Bay is a place for everyone with whale watching, kayaking, museums, shops, birdwatching, hiking, camping, wine tasting, and dining…” Our last “guests” are not guests at all … unless you classify them as guests to a home near the park. Always watch for deer as you drive through this community’s beautiful Washington Park.
A fourth generation Skagit County native who was moved kicking and screaming from this island community in 1960. I finally reclaimed an Anacortes address in 1980, and I have been in constant celebration of my return since that time. Many of us who call Anacortes home love Fidalgo Island for its natural assets: among them are rugged beaches, pristine lakes, thousands of acres of forestland and some awesome views of the Skagit Valley and surrounding islands. Another element of my love affair with this community is its people, both natives and immigrants. They will “star” in many of my journal entries.
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