Published: April 18th 2010April 8th 2010
Talgo Amtrak Train
We take the train from Seattle to Bellingham.
Forty of us caught the Talgo (European) Amtrak train from Seattle to Bellingham on April 8, 2010 with Alki Tours. It was a cloudy day, but the cumulus clouds promised spring was coming. We zoomed past the Edmonds Ferry Terminal and the Everett Naval Base, through fields of hops and cabbage, and stopped briefly in Mount Vernon. Our destination was Bellingham where we arrived an hour later and explored the Cruise Terminal in Old Town Fairhaven.
Our driver, Ariel, had our motor coach waiting for us and off we went to brunch at Chuckanut Manor. Our coach was too large to negotiate the curves of Chuckanut Drive, so we took I-5 to the Bow Hill exit, drove through Blanchard, and turned right onto Chuckanut Drive. Chuckanut Manor Bed and Breakfast is owned and operated by Pat and Lois Wolcott. Pat's father established the restaurant 40 years ago in 1970. What a delicious feast they presented! There were pastries, eggs benedict, scrambed eggs, salads, oysters and salmon, ham and prime rib. In addition, there's a breathtaking view of Padilla Bay and Anacortes.
From here, we drove through the little town of Edison where, our tour guide told us, the famous
Cruises leave from the terminal in Fairhaven.
newscaster Edward R. Murrow grew up. Traveling on the Farm to Market Road, we neared LaConner and Beaver Marsh Road, the site of RoozenGaarde Tulip Farm. William Roozen emigated from Holland in 1947. He died in 2002. With his five sons and daughter, he built Washington Bulb Company, the largest bulb farm in America. There are 2,000 acres of daffodils, tulips, and iris, and 15 acres of greenhouses where flowers are picked year round.
During the month of April, fields are alive with brilliant colors that attract thousands of visitors. Roads are filled for miles, especially during the weekends, with eager gardners wanting to buy bulbs and bright flowers. Other ways to view the fields are by bicycle, boat, helicopter, and airplane.
On Best Road, Anthony DeGoede started Tulip Town twenty years ago in 1990. An authentic Dutch windmill is found amid 15 acres of colorful tulips. Trolley rides for $2.00 carry you out past homesteads with bright red barns. Souvenir vendors, fresh flowers and bulbs are found at both farms.
Visitors never tire of celebrating spring at the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival. And no wonder! There are 88 varieties of tulips and 135 varieties of daffodils,
Taylor Shellfish Company
Oyster farm near Blanchard.
crocus, iris, and hyacinths a-blooming!
There are more photos below