Friday, March 27, 2015

Deception Pass will get you

Wobbly knees, anyone?
Surprised myself when my knees got a bit wobbly and I clutched my phone/camera in a vise grip sure I'd drop it 200 feet to the swirling water below. This is Deception Pass Bridge connecting Whidbey and Fidalgo islands in Washington. The two-lane motor bridge is more than a quarter mile in length with a three-foot pedestrian walkway. We walked over and back, having already hiked trails along the forested cliffs.

At one spectacular moment, two bald eagles soared right over our heads mid-way across the bridge. What a thrill! The nearby Upper Skagit River Valley has one of the largest populations of wintering bald eagles in the continental U.S.

Look closely and see the steel arch of the bridge through the trees. The trails, some quite narrow and rocky, are breathtakingly close to sheer drop-offs but the jade color of the water is equally breathtaking. The area was carved by glaciers and is a deep channel connecting the Strait of Juan de Fuca with the Saratoga Passage.

Before the bridge was built in 1934 by Civilian Conservation Corps and local farmers, travelers would hit a metal saw with a mallet to call a ferry operated by the first woman ferry captain in Washington, Bertie Olson.

Travel+Leisure lists the Deception Pass bridge as one of the scariest in the world.
It is certainly also one of the most beautiful.

Deception Pass State Park has 35 miles of trails with almost 15 miles of saltwater shoreline.

It was a most excellent day, which I recommend to anyone visiting Washington.


Sarah Laurence said...

What an enchanting island! I think it would be worth wobbly knees to see that view.

Liza said...

Thank you for the tour. Not sure about that bridge though. Whew!

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

Sarah: It was entirely worth the bit of fear. In fact, maybe even better for that clear sense of mortality. I felt so energized by the experience. Really alive.

Liza: Whew is right. Some people don't make it across, and I wouldn't want to try it in a strong wind or rain/fog. Not even. Although some people choose those days for the extra thrill, I think, judging by some photos I've seen. It can be dramatic. On a nice day it was spectacular and worth it.

Donna said...

Wow! Gorgeous photographs, but I am vicariously dizzy. What a beautiful place to live.

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

Donna: It is a truly beautiful place. You'd love it!

Julie Dao said...

I'm glad you, your knees, and your phone are all okay! I think anyone would get wobbly from that beautiful view, though. Gorgeous photos.

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

Thanks, Julie!