Tuesday, August 25, 2020

Hiking Oyster Dome & Samish Island With Spencer Jack's Grandma Cindy

I saw the photo you see above this morning on Facebook, via my favorite ex-sister-in-law, Spencer Jack's Grandma Cindy.

Way back before Grandma Cindy was not my ex-sister-in-law I never thought she would one day become a hiking maniac, because way back when she was married to my little brother hiking just was not her thing to do. Flying all over the world was her thing to do way back then.

The photo today was one of many photos documenting Cindy's trekkers latest trek up a Washington mountain. This hike was to Oyster Dome on Chuckanut Mountain.

Googling "Oyster Dome" we quickly find the following short explanation...

Oyster Dome Trail is a 7.9 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Burlington, Washington that features a lake and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking and nature trips and is best used from April until October.

Burlington is the town I grew up in, in the Skagit Valley. I grew up in a zone with mountains a short distance away. Where I am now there are no mountains, no matter what direction I look.

The photo above had a caption which asked something like "Is that Samish Island?", referring to that hunk of land in the center of the photo.

Looking at it, I can with almost 100% certainty say that that is Samish Island.

Now, at my current location, well, more accurately, about 125 miles southeast of my current location, locals have odd ideas regarding what an island is. Currently the town of Fort Worth is calling a chunk of industrial wasteland "Panther Island" while that chunk of land is not surrounded by water, but may one day be separated from the Fort Worth mainland by a cement lined, water filled, ditch.

So, looking at that photo of Samish Island someone who is not familiar with that island might say, hey, that does not look like an island. I see land connected to it.

And that would be observant of that someone saying such. That is a sort of land bridge, connecting the Washington mainland to Samish Island. Way back when the Skagit Valley was first settled farmers sought to increase the acreage of arable land by holding back the sea with dikes, which is what makes for that land bridge to Samish Island.

Looking at the rest of that photo you see other islands, the names of which I know only one, that being Fidalgo Island, which is the large land mass you see in the background. That bump on that large land mass is Mount Erie, another great hiking location.

Fidalgo Island is where Anacortes is located, to the right in the photo. That is where Spencer Jack's dad, Jason's, restaurant, the Fidalgo Drive-In is located.

There are a few bridges that one can use to get on and off Fidalgo Island. One of those bridges is the Deception Pass Bridge, which crosses to another island, named Whidbey. Fidalgo Island is one of the few islands in the world which have an island on the island, in this case the island that is in Lake Campbell, which is hovered over by the aforementioned Mount Erie.

The Deception Pass Bridge was built way back in the 1930s. Built over extremely fast moving, deep, tidal water.

Built in one year.

Such is one of the multiple reasons I find Fort Worth's inability to build three simple little bridges over dry land to be so pitifully bizarre. Those Fort Worth bridges started construction way back in 2014, with an even then astonishing four year project timeline. These three Fort Worth bridges, being built over dry land, are to connect the Fort Worth mainland to that imaginary island we mentioned previously.

If I remember correctly I have lamented previously regarding the fact that earlier this year I was certain I would be in Washington this summer, enjoying scenic wonders, clean air and water, my nephews and niece, seafood, blackberries and a lot of other stuff I miss having easy access to.

Well, maybe next summer...

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