Saturday, May 17, 2014

Skagit Valley Tulip Festival Tour

As we approach our destination the color emerges.

Huge fields of Daffodils for a quick photo before continuing to the Tulip Festival 

Tulip Town

This is the Opening weekend so the Tulips are just getting started. 

Lots of colors to choose from

Several adjacent fields have not yet started to bloom.

It was  in the low 50's overcast and a bit of misty rain during the day. We heard this is the weather the Tulips love so they look their best.

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There is a small crew dressed in all black cutting box fulls headed to market.

Tulip Angel

After walking the area a bit we decided to take advantage of the ride to avoid the mud in some parts of the farm.

Even though they sell lots of flowers the real money is in the bulbs.

Several Robins were finding their groove here

Hard to pick a favorite

La Conner was the lunch stop located right on the man made Swinomish Channel that connects Padilla Bay to Skagit Bay and seperates the Mainland and Fidalgo Island.

Looking East, The Rainbow bridge to Fidalgo Island

looking West down the channel with Port La Conner along the banks

Plenty of local crabbers.

I am sure they have some interesting Parties!

A Lord Nelson Victory Tug pulls in right in front of us, we go down to the dock and talk to the owners. My favorite power boat!

Dirty Biter!

Gotta read this so click on the pic and make it bigger.

The historic Town Bar

The locals make a environmental Statement!

If you live in Ft. Worth, Texas is is difficult to understand Climate Change, but every coastal community we have experienced in the last 4 years have Climate Change Front and Center in their lives. So many people are living at or near sea level and a foot or two of more water will dramatically change their lives forever.

RouzenGarde was next on the Tour

The Dutch were here!

On a clear Day Mount Baker would be in the Pic.

We bought a small bouguet for $5 and they lasted for two weeks as they slowly opened up and dazzaled

Now fully open

Better to buy then at the Farm! this was at a store in Seattle.

The Icing on the Tulip tour were the Snow Geese.

There were so many thousand that from a distance they looked like snow on the ground.

And you can't complete any tour in the Pacific Northwest without a Eagle sighting.

Skagit Valley Tulip Festival Tour

We returned from our Family Texas trip several weeks ago but I am just now getting back in the Blogging Groove, perhaps it's because Winter is over and being outside in Seattle is more fun!
The Admiral scheduled us for the Tulip Tour and I knew it was something that she wanted to do so I was happy to go along and accompany her on this trip. The tour guide explained that the Skagit county Tulip fields are second only to the Tulips grown in Holland. I posted this fact on Facebook only to get several replies from friends who have seen Tulip fields in Canada and Europe that claim the same distinction. Either way it is the most fascination thing we have seen when it comes to flowers in our lives. It was in the low 50's and drizzly rain but this is supposed to be when the tulips look the best since this is the climate they thrive in. 
Our first stop was a quick get out and take photos of the huge Daffodil fields which were beautiful but in no way compared to Tulip Town our next stop. We had a couple of hours at Tulip town which was just about right for us to see and enjoy it all. Would not want to do this trip with a old school 35mm camera though, you would easily run out of film for sure. We walked the parts we could but you are walking on wet farm roads around the seemingly endless rows of Tulips so some spots were muddy. We noticed a wagon ride pulled by tractor so we opted for that so we could make the whole trip around the farm with a little shelter from the rain and cold wind. This was the opening weekend so only like 30% or so of the fields were blooming and that was huge so I am sure a week or so latter would have been way impressive.
The Tour takes you to La Conner which is a small community along side a huge man made canal that connects Padilla Bay to Skagit Bay and separates the Mainland and Fidalgo Island. They have a board walk that runs most of the distance along the canal and lots of shops and restaurants, marinas, and other Marine stuff that peaks my interest.
 After a couple of hours there we boarded the little tour bus and headed for RoozenGarde. The flora and landscaping here is a must see if you are ever in Skagit County. The only thing missing was Mount Baker in the back ground for the photos, the cloud cover had all the mountains covered so just a few foot hills were visible. With clear views of the mountains in the background would certainly complete the view and the experience. You will not leave here without buying something, we bought a small bouquet of "Radiance" Tulips and it turned out to be the best flower buy of our experiences as well, they lasted over two weeks and each day opened a little bit more presenting a new Tulip perspective. 
We did not know we would finish our tour with a great look at huge flocks of Snow Geese before returning to Seattle. In the distance it actually looked like snow covered fields, But as the Driver found a small farm road to get us close in for pictures the huge birds were fun to see. If you find yourself in the Pacific Northwest in March this would be a good thig to put on the Itinerary!

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