Since I arrived in the afternoon on Thursday, I limited my explorations on the island to the town of Langley, where I was staying, and Freeland, just north of Langley. The next morning, however, I got up really early and decided to drive the entire length of the island and explore Whidbey as best I could. These are just a handful of the 120 pictures I took that day. To see more than the six or so I'm posting today, check out the slideshow at the end of this entry. The photo above is a bald eagle I captured toward the end of the afternoon when I was out visiting Fort Casey and seeing Admiralty Head Lighthouse.
Some information about Whidbey Island: It is one of nine islands that comprise Island County, Washington. Of the nine, it is the largest and most populous with nearly 60,000 residents. The islands lie in Puget Sound between the Olympic Peninsula and what is known as the I-5 Corridor. At its longest, the island is 62 miles in length and, at its widest, 12 miles wide. Its narrowest width is 2 miles. Whidbey Island is the fifth longest and largest island in the contiguous United States and the largest in Washington State.
The northern end of the island is dominated by a U.S. naval air station and most of the residents in Oak Harbor are either active military or civilian defense employees. On the south end of the island, most of the residents are employed in tourism commerce, agriculture, and the arts. Access to the south end of the island is by ferry from Mukilteo.
Driving north out of Oak Harbor, you come to Deception Pass State Park. Cross a bridge and you're back on the mainland and on your way to Anacortes, which is where you can catch a ferry to Victoria, B.C.
The island also includes a lighthouse at Fort Casey State Park just outside Coupeville--about halfway between Langley and Oak Harbor. Admiralty Head Lighthouse was constructed in 1860 and was a wooden structure. Later, the U.S. Army took over the area and the original structure was demolished. A new building (the one above) was built in 1903. The lighthouse operated until 1922 and is now a non-profit interpretative center for a group known as Lighthouse Environmental Programs.
Pilings, logs, and driftwood as art : Whidbey Island, WA
(Click images to enlarge.)
(Click images to enlarge.)
There you have it. Just a smattering of information about Whidbey Island. Later that evening, I took the boat over to Mukilteo for dinner at Ivar's fish shack. The sunset was spectacular! You can see pictures of that in the slideshow. (Click on the slideshow graphic and it will open in a new window with larger photos.)
Tomorrow will feature Small Town Christmas: Langley
Photo copyright: D.C. Confidential, 12/08