THURSDAY - July 24, 2008
We had an ETD of 8:00 AM and were loading up the Subaru at 7:50 AM, right on schedule. We headed out north and west along route 20. The scenery was quite a surprise. Washington is called the evergreen state, but you sure wouldn’t know it by the scenery on this first leg of the trip. Two hours of nothing but wheat fields. I marveled at the completely different lifestyle, wondering where kids go to school, if they do go to school, what do the women do all day? Bake bread? Who do they talk to?! I was reminded of how much I take for granted and made a note to myself to be more appreciative of the things I have.
We entered the Methow Valley, with Debbie pointing out that for years she pronounced it “Me- tho” but the native american pronunciation was “Meh * Tow”. She has frequently skied at Sun Mountain Resort, near Winthrop, so we headed up to the lodge for lunch.
We sat outside on the porch, enjoying a great view. The food was just so-so - I ordered halibut fingers and Debbie ordered a pesto pizza. The service was a little weak, also, but the scenery and the company made up for any shortcomings.
After lunch we headed over the North Cascade Mountain Pass. The wheat fields gave way to greenery, and the steeper elevations and twisting and winding roads increased. At one point, as I was grabbing the handle above the window to “hold on” through another winding turn, Debbie asked me if I was OK. I quickly asked if SHE was OK, as she was driving! She said there are occasions of flatlanders getting to this (and similar) mountain passes and they cannot drive. I said that would be me! I loved the expression, “flatlander” and decided that it was a perfect description for someone like me!
Eventually, we made our way to Anacortes and located the Anaco Inn where we had reservations. The Inn was modest, but lovely. I was especially impressed with the cleanliness. Each room also had microwave and small refrigerator, coffee and tea, a table and chairs, spacious bathroom and very clean and comfortable bed. All of this at a very reasonable rate of $79. I recommend the Anaco Inn to anyone planning to visit Anacortes.
For dinner, we decided on the Rockfish Grill and Anacortes Brewery. We called and were told that reservations are not necessary. When we got there, we were told there would be a ten minute wait. The ten minute wait turned into a thirty minute wait and reservations were not accepted. I enjoyed watching the people. Some chose to go elsewhere instead of waiting for a table. It was obvious that this was a local favorite, and there was plenty of local color. I found Anacortes to be pleasant little beach town. There was a decided “Northwest” flavor to the architecture and the clothing worn by many. I ordered the smoked salmon sandwich and a dark beer and both were delicious.