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Northwest Traveler

Travel news, consumer advice and trip reports for the Northwest and beyond.

Topic: la conner

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March 20, 2013 at 6:00 AM

Spring is here, Skagit daffs bloom, while snow geese linger

Snow geese turn golden in the setting sun over Fir Island, Skagit County. (photo by Yoshiki Nakamura)

Snow geese turn golden in the setting sun over Fir Island, Skagit County. (photo by Yoshiki Nakamura)

News flash: Spring officially arrived, in squishing galoshes and full-body Gore-Tex, at 4:02 this morning, Pacific Daylight Time, a day or two earlier than normal. Our lingering wintry weather has kept a contingent of snow geese and migratory swans in the Skagit Valley, I noticed on a drive this past weekend. It reminded me of this week’s stunning Reader’s Lens photo, above, from Times reader Yoshiki Nakamura. Click here to learn more about the photo.

On the same drive across Fir Island and along Best Road, we spied fields of blooming daffodils spreading yellow across the valley floor like French’s mustard smeared across a hot-dog bun. (Note: This is a full-value blog, with no extra charge for mouthwatering imagery.) Click here to see what’s blooming where in the valley. Tulip lovers still have weeks to wait unless we have a freak heat wave.

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Comments | Topics: daffodils, la conner, RoozenGaarde

March 1, 2013 at 12:45 PM

Happy news for La Conner-lovers (especially boaters)

Good news if you have a boat and like to take the La Conner shortcut from Seattle to the San Juan Islands. (And if you’re not a boater, keep reading, there’s something for you, too.)

Boater access to La Conner is better, now that the Swinomish Channel has been freshly dredged. (photo by Greg Gilbert / The Seattle Times)

Boater access to La Conner is better, now that the Swinomish Channel has been freshly dredged. (photo by Greg Gilbert / The Seattle Times)

When big waves are rolling in to the Strait of Juan de Fuca, I like to take the “back way” north, through Saratoga Passage and scenic Swinomish Channel, past La Conner. Particularly fun is the channel’s south entrance, aptly called “Hole in the Wall,” a narrow S-curve between high rock promontories dotted by eagle-topped firs and a few megamillion-ish homes.

But more than once in recent years, if we tried to get through on a minus tide our sailboat’s keel touched bottom (soft sand and mud, thankfully) just north of Hole in the Wall. The first time, cruising along at high throttle against current, the boat’s abrupt dipsy doodle almost put the whole crew on our noses.

Well, we weren’t the only ones.

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Comments | Topics: boating, la conner, swinomish channel