“So, where are you from?” Is one of those safe questions that college students use to start a conversation with someone new. My answer is always “just north of Seattle”, when really my island is almost two hours away. I live in the gateway to the San Juans, a town called Anacortes. A beautiful tourist destination with a small town appeal.
I grew up being able to run down the street to the neighborhood park to meet up with other kids. I could cross my driveway to a giant hill full of wild blackberry bushes, where I would fill old gallon ice cream containers to the brim. Sledding in the winter was best behind the bus garage, but only the cool kids got to go there.
I grew up swimming in freezing salt water, floating on drift logs, and looking under rocks for crabs.
“Red sky at night, sailors delight. Red sky at morning, sailors take warning”
Anacortes is not known for sandy beaches, but there are a few that only the locals know about. The water surrounding Anacortes is not technically part of the Pacific Ocean. Many tourists believe we are in the Puget Sound, but the sound is actually only near Seattle. Anacortes is part of the body of water called the Salish Sea. And when the sun sets over the waters of the Salish Sea, you find some of the most mesmerizing colors you will ever see.
If you ever get the chance to head way up to Northwest Washington, take a trip to my little town. Take your family out to Washington Park with some Subway sandwiches or a bucket of KFC chicken. Sit with your backs against a log, and watch the boats launch. Keep an eye out for ol’ Popeye, the little harbor seal that begs for fishing scraps. Then relax, and watch the sunset. It’s magical.
P.S. Don’t forget a blanket or two.