I hiked 9+ miles of trails at Deception Pass, so-named by George Vancouver because he was deceived into thinking that Whidbey Island was a peninsula. There were steep sections, but overall elevation gain was minimal.
First, I hiked to Lottie Bay and Lighthouse Point. The scenery was beautiful. In hiking all the trails, I saw Deception Island and the bridge from every angle. Tree-covered bluffs rose up out of the sea. The lighthouse was rather small and unconventional, a metal box surrounded by silver beams.
Below a cliff where I stood, there was a group of 12 sea lions (or a raft of sea lions, the plural form of sea lions on water). Their heads bobbed above the surface. Occasionally they would dive and disappear for a while. Sometimes they would spin on their body axis, revealing their speckled white bellies. On a rock far from the coast, sleek black cormorants rested idly.
The sky was cloudy, but towards the afternoon, the sun broke through. I ate lunch on Fidalgo Island. There was a wooden carving of a woman with flowing hair holding a fish above her head, the Maiden of Deception Pass. Some placards told her story, a story of the Samish people. A maiden was gathering shellfish, when a hand from the sea reached out and grabbed hers. This happened on several different trips. One day, the maiden requested to see this person, and a handsome young man rose from the water. He met the maiden’s family. He requested to marry her, but the maiden’s father would not allow it, saying she could not live in the sea. The young man said that it was his household that generously provided all their water and seafood, and so he stopped his generosity. Having no more food to eat or clean water, the father relented, under the condition that his daughter visit every year. Each time his daughter visited, the family noticed she was becoming increasingly colder and inhuman, with scales and barnacles growing on her. She was sad to be away from her husband. So the father said she no longer had to visit if she didn’t want to. And though the maiden stopped visiting, she continued providing for her people.
As I crossed over the bridge, I could see Mt. Baker. The snow-capped mountain was in stark contrast to the darker mountains surrounding it. I dropped a stick and a rock off the bridge, and watched them fall and fall and fall. It was a long way down from the bridge into the swift currents below.
At Goose Rock, the sun was setting. To the left, I could see Mt. Rainier, a faint white mountain on the pink horizon. To the right, there was a sweeping view of trees, buildings, and water.