Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Ebey's Landing

The trail head at Ebey’s Landing, Whidbey Island, Washington

“We are going where?”
“Around the tip of that bluff.  We are not walking along the beach, it is too rocky for tennis shoes and you are not wearing boots.  We will walk along the bluff and turn around at the lagoon pond.”
“Okay.  How far is it?”
“About 3.5 miles round trip but we won’t go quite that far today, maybe 3 miles.”

It was partly sunny with lots of clouds in the blue sky, visibility across Puget Sound to the Olympic Mountains was not clear due to a little fog and the clouds but otherwise it was a good day for a hike.  Cool enough to be comfortable, a dry sandy dirt trail, and sunshine in December.  The trail is a loop that has half on the bluff and half on the beach.  I enjoy walking on the beach but my toe is still not 100% and I have been avoiding boots until the nail grows out more, hence no beach walk today and no really steep downhill walking either if it can be avoided.

Looking back toward the trail head

Part way up to the bluff we looked back to where we started.  There were several people hiking on the trail including some families with very young children. 

The lagoon

We made it to the lagoon!  Just past this point the trail has several switchbacks and is very steep as it descends to the beach.  Not something I want to try with my toe.  We will go just a little bit farther then turn back.  The cool water in our canteens plus snacks like chocolate covered pretzels are welcome treats.  

Clouds & the beach from the bluff

Farmland as seen from bluff trail

Ebey’s Landing is named for Colonel Isaac Ebey who founded the first community as a result of the westward movement along the Oregon Trail and the Donation Land Grants of 1850-1855 that encouraged migration west and subsequent settlement. There is still a large area of farmland on the island.  More than 100 years ago the Pratt family settled at Ebey’s Landing and farmed.  In 1999 when Robert Y. Pratt passed away he left approximately 150 acres to the Nature Conservancy.  That organization had already purchased an additional 400 acres so the preserve is now about 546 acres.  There will be wild flowers blooming along the bluff in the Spring and many birds and other wildlife. 

A small picnic lunch in the car and a stop to visit with my aunt, uncle and cousin who live on the island completed the hiking day this week.  The sun was setting over their pond when we headed off to catch the ferry back to the mainland.

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