The Knitting Nurse

Rambles and Travels

Ebeys Landing – Coupeville, WA – A Hike

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I’ve become a Weekend Warrior.  It’s sinking in.

Hungry for adventure I took the ferry over to Whidbey island the weekend before last. A sizeable pod of Orcas sliced through the water, in circular acrobatics, on the ride over.

Had breakfast a sweet little place called Knead and Feed in Coupeville.   Breakfast’s my fave meal to have out.  This place is mom and pop with printed menus based on seasonal and local ingredients.   Love that!  A bakery sits on the street level and the restaurant sits below with a lovely view across Penn Cove.  Scramble/coffee was scrummy.  Coupeville’s a pretty little water-front town graced with Victorian architecture.

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The back of Front St. from the Wharf.

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Perused the one block long main street, most shops closed.  A winter Sunday slows, as it should.

Found the local museum.  An enthusiastic volunteer gave me a map to Ebeys Landing National Historic Reserve.  Headed there with hiking in mind.

Prior to the  whites’  arrival,  Skagit peoples cultivated the rich prairie, fished, and hunted for centuries prior. Colonel Isaac Neff Ebey was among the first permanent white settlers.  He came from Missouri, in 1851,  on a land donation claim program for Oregon Territory.

His simple home and Blockhouse still stand. 

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I believe the blockhouse was used for defense.

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Isaac became a prominent public figure. He was killed by Natives in retaliation for the killing of one of their tribe.

“Ebey’s Prairie”  looks much the same now as then.  18,000+ acres support 18 farms which grow veggies and hay.  The reserve was formed in 1978 when a housing development threatened.  What a shame it would be to lose this expanse to houses.

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I chose a partial loop hike.

After passing the house and Blockhouse, a fence-guided trail reaches the bluff and prairie edge.

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A fine mist softened edges.  To the right Puget Sound passes Admiralty Head towards the mainland.  here I stand on a high point looking southeast.

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Turning about, the trail took me over sandy paths, through brush and along wind-stunted Douglas Fir.

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The trail follows the edge of the bluff set back just far enough to remind one a slip or stumble  could be disastrous.  Peregos Lake  sits below.  Puget Sound turns to the Strait of  Juan de Fuca in the distance.

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Social trails weave in and out of the woods.

On a hot summer day I suspect this south facing hillside gets hot.

Across the Sound, Point Wilson’s white buildings marks the tip of the Quimper Peninsula, the entrance to Port Townsend Bay nearby.  On this day, thick clouds obscure expansive views of the Olympic Mountains. A visit here on clear/mostly clear day reveals the Olympics,  the Cascades including Mt. Baker and Mt. Rainier.

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Looking up the beach on the STEEP way down to the beach.

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Followed the beach for a bit (walking on beach rocks is hard work) then walked over the driftwood wall to Perego’s Lake to give my legs a break.

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Spotted a few ducks in the lake.  I bet there are oodles at times.

Rejoined the beach.  Breakfast started to wear off.  Realized I forgot my snacks.  The horrors!

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PNW rocks are gorgeous, multi-colored, much different from CA beach walking.  Just found a little field guide, with beautiful illustrations, on identifying PNW beach rocks.

Followed the beach to the steps back up to the bluff trail and walked the trail back to the Prarie Overlook where I parked.

Total walk was a bit over five miles and a lovely time.  This walk’s an enjoyable mix of  sights, sounds and smells.  This park has more trails, some ok for biking.  I’d like to take a bike over and pedal the four miles from ferry to park.

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