Washington Park, Fidalgo Island

Fidalgo Island

Washington Park, Fidalgo Island

For most of our lives J & I have been land-locked.  Even so, I think both of us have salt water in our blood.  Since we live fairly close to it now, It seems every time we go out for a ride we find ourselves looking for a way to the ocean.

This time we decided to explore the bi-ways of Fidalgo Island.  We started off as we usually do, crossing at our friendly neighbourhood border crossing and then straight south down Guide Meridian for about 25kms.  Turning right on to Axton Road, we headed west through Ferndale and continued as far west as we could.  When we ran out of road we turned south again and keeping the ocean on our right as we rode down to where the Lummi Island Ferry docks.  One day I want to go over to Lummi Island just to have a look around.  There aren’t very many roads on the Island but its a short eight minute ride over and I am curious.  But that will have to wait for another day.  So from there, we continued around the point on Lummi Shore Road.  Keep to the right as Lummi Shore Road becomes Marine Drive and follow it to Bellingham.  There is no easy, traffic-free route through town, so we just kept riding south keeping the ocean on our right.  After a few wrong turns and almost going the wrong direction down a one-way street, we finally made our way to Fairhaven and the start of Chuckanut Drive.  (For more on the Chuckanut see our post here).

After our tasty lunch at the Oyster Creek Inn, we were off again down the last couple of curves of the “Nut”, taking a right at Bow Hill Road and through the tiny hamlet of Edison.  Take the right at what looks like a gas station and then right on to Farm to Market Road.  You can stay on this road for a straight shot to Route 20 but that’s not the way we roll so we took a right on to Bayview-Edison Road and followed it out to 20, taking a right to Anacortes.

J & I have been to Anacortes before but have never really explored the rest of Fildalgo Island so we went in search for more roads with ocean views.  Fidalgo Island is named for the Spanish explorer and cartographer Salvador Fidalgo who explored and tried to re-assert Spain’s claim to the area in 1790.  Settlement on the island peaked when thousands flooded to the Northwest during the Fraser River Gold Rush in 1858.  Today the drive is toward more fishing and tourism than gold and thousands still live on the island as it is an easy commute to Seattle.Oyster Creek Bridge, Chuckanut Drive

We rode through town, missed the turn for the 20 and ended up in a residential area full of fantastic old houses.  When we found our way back, I realized we should have turned left on 12th Street but the detour through the old neighbourhood wasn’t unpleasant.  12th street turns into 20 and the road is basically a straight shot past the ferry landing that goes to Sidney BC/San Juans and ends in Washington Park.  This little park has beautiful ocean views, picnic tables with charcoal grills, a boat launch (in case you are towing your boat behind your bike) and most importantly, washrooms.

Leaving the park we got lost looking for Marine Drive but found a marina and a couple of restaurants that might be worth investigating another day.  Eventually we found our way to Marine and followed that through some lovely bits of twisty curviness back to Route 20, at the entrance to Deception Pass State Park. (See the map below for more details.)  From here we took a left on 20 and headed back to the mainland.  Since the shadows were getting longer we jumped on the freeway at Burlington and headed for home.   To avoid the rush hour chaos of the Bellisfair area we exited the freeway at #255 – Sunset Drive, turned left at Hanigan Road and cruised north to Lynden.  (If you take the first left at the light at Lyden on to Front Street, you will follow the old main street of the town.  Since it was past 5pm everything was closed but the street is charming and lined with beautiful big trees.  Just another scenic detour.)
Before turning back on to Guide meridian and home, we shared fish and chips at Bob’s Burgers and Brew (and we highly recommend sharing).  Our fish (battered in-house) and chips came with salad and garlic bread as well.  That meal was so huge we couldn’t finish it.  Our bill, including a coke for John and the tip came to US$23.00.  J and I spent our dinner discussing where we would be going next.  Maybe a closer look at the bi-ways of Whidbey Island is in order.  Stay tuned.

View Fidalgo Island in a larger map

Round trip is 266 kms

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