August 23, 2013

What we did on Whidbey Island (besides eat)

Although today's post isn't all about food, I have to at least start out with the breakfast we enjoyed at Someday Farm Vegan Bed and Breakfast on our second morning. (If you missed the first B & B post you can find it here.) Jill must have read my mind when she prepared the delicious meal — I love polenta and roasted vegetables, and could eat these foods every day. There was also a yummy vegetable and bean dish, and, in the baking dish on the right, an amazing gluten-free cinnamon coffee cake that we devoured. Plus, there were fresh pear and kiwi slices.

This is how my plate looked just before I stuffed myself. There's nothing like a wonderful breakfast to make you feel special.

But I must stop thinking about food and backtrack a little to fill in the gaps of our relaxing little vacation on Whidbey Island. There's more to do there than just eat, though just eating isn't so bad. Whidbey Island, the largest island in Puget Sound, is approximately 45 miles long, 10 miles across at its widest point and one-and-a half miles at its narrowest. The island has a total area of 235 square miles and has five state parks, eight large lakes and 200 miles of shoreline. It's the second largest island in the continental U.S.

According to, "For thousands of years, the only occupants of the Pacific Northwest were Indians who lived in large communal longhouses subsisting on fish, shellfish, wild game as well as roots and berries. Whidbey and Camano Islands, as well as the San Juan Islands were occupied by several groups of Coast Salish Indians including Skagit, Snohomish, and a small number  of Clallam. With the exception of periodic wars with other Indian tribes, life was relatively quiet for many centuries. In the late 1700s and early 1800s the Indian population was decimated by disease transmitted through contact with white explorers. In some areas diphtheria, smallpox, and measles killed 90 percent of the Indians. By the time white settlers arrived, some local tribes had populations of only a few hundred and were so depleted they could not effectively resist the intruders."

Late Tuesday morning we drove to the ferry dock in Mukilteo and, in a feat of unplanned perfect timing, drove right onto the ferry. Barely 20 minutes later, we were driving off the ferry and heading to Freeland, the small town where Someday Farm is located. It's interesting to note that present day Freeland had its origins an a socialist commune in the 1900s.

Our host, Jill, met us at the B & B, which is a separate structure located away from the main house, gave us the scoop, and was off to her recycling business in town, leaving us to settle in, and explore. I neglected to photograph the building, so have stolen a photo from the Someday Farm Web site.  (My apologies, Jill.) The guest room is on the second floor.

We ate the lunch we'd brought with us, then set out to meet the many resident animals, before hiking one of the trails on the property. Before we knew it, the day was gone, and it was time to pick kale from the garden and cook a simple supper. After dinner we headed to Double Bluff Beach to watch the sunset.

We took a long walk on the beach, enjoying the evening air, and the many driftwood structures and sculptures that lined the shore. There were tons of large pieces of driftwood as well as interesting rocks, and it was pretty hard not to snatch a few souvenirs.

Though not quite as spectacular as we'd hoped, we enjoyed the serenity of the sunset before heading back to our room.

 The next morning, after a sumptuous breakfast, we drove to Earth Sanctuary.
clockwise from top left: altar, stone stack (cairn), altar, labyrinth.

According to the Earth Sanctuary Web page, their mission is to "combine exemplary ecology with art and spirit to create a sanctuary for birds and wildlife and a peaceful place for personal renewal and spiritual connection."

We didn't see much wildlife, but there were lots of meditative opportunities for the spiritually inclined.

"Chuck Pettis—visionary, designer, author, monument-builder, and eco-artist—is the founder of Earth Sanctuary, and is author of the book, "Secrets of Sacred Space: Discover and Create Places of Power." Pettis was recognized in the September 2008 issue of Science of Mind magazine as one of 12 people making a difference in the world."
Clockwise from top left: stone circle, Tibetan medicine wheel, prayer flags.

"Over the past 40+ years, Chuck has built numerous sacred spaces and environmental artworks, among them labyrinths; stone circles; geodesic domes, zomes and inflatables; a dolmen; a medicine wheel; and, most recently, a Buddhist stupa. In 1977 he built the Ellis Hollow Stone Circle, the first energetically and astronomically aligned stone circle in the United States. In 1987 Pettis created the “Seattle Ley-Line Map,” utilizing a grant that The Geo Group won from the Seattle Arts Commission."
(quotes from Earth Sanctuary Web page.)

View from the labyrinth.

The sanctuary was a beautiful place to hike.

We spent a few hours there exploring the woods, and spending time in the various sacred spaces.

I'm glad I followed the advice on the Web site and wore my hiking boots!

Our plan had been to eat lunch after leaving the sanctuary, then go hiking in South Whidbey Island State Park, which boasts an old growth forest that I wanted to experience. However, we weren't hungry, we were tired of hiking, and decided to drive to the small city of Langley instead, to tour the town and visit a few resale shops.

Langley is a charming waterfront arts community with fine artists, theater groups, music, and crafts. We wandered through the downtown area, visiting many of the shops and galleries. There's also a elevated walk along the waterfront, so, of course we walked it. Then we headed to at least three of the resale shops in the area. We had a great time rummaging around, admiring the great selections, and even buying a couple of items. By the time we got back to the B & B for a rather late lunch, lethargy was starting to set in, and we no longer had the ambition necessary to lace on hiking boots and head to the state park.

We decided to explore the barn, instead. It was looming not far from our accommodation, and Jill had hinted it might be worth seeing. She was right. On the first floor, where the light was dim, the barn was packed with restored versions of the junk cars that decorated the grounds.

Some were even stacked two-high. The flashy cars were surrounded by lots of other old stuff in various stages of decay. We searched all over the place to find a staircase to the second floor, and when I finally found it, OMG...

It was like entering a museum filled with antiques.

Each area was more mind boggling than the next. There was even an area set up like a living room, with a sleeping area nearby.

The doll collection was . . . interesting, and perhaps a little creepy. There were a couple of dolls that were, shall we say, unusual.

To say we were taken aback by the contents of the barn was an understatement. There were so many things there I loved, including some perfectly speckled marbles.

Wednesday evening after dinner, we watched Peaceable Kingdom, which I mentioned in my previous post.

Thursday was our check-out day, and we were so relaxed (lazy) that any remaining will to exert ourselves had totally dissipated, and we dawdled over breakfast (see beginning of post) vaguely considering our options. Once again the state park was ruled out, and following a suggestion by Jill, we fed our leftovers from Wednesday's breakfast to our new best friends, the goats and donkeys. Then we packed up and took off to find the closest beach on which to ramble. The day was bleak, but the beach was still a pleasant place to while away some of our remaining island time. Then it was time to go home.

As we drove through town on our way to the ferry, we stopped at an antique store we'd been noticing. It was spectacular, and we ended up purchasing a wonderful old framed beach photograph, and an unusual glass bottle. While in the shop, a young woman and her mother stopped us to say they had seen us on Double Bluff Beach the other evening, which lead to a conversation about old family photographs, and whether or not it was sad to find them in antique stores. What a friendly place — after only two days, we were already being recognized by the locals! (Maybe they remembered us hauling off the piece of driftwood!)

We had a wonderful time on Whidbey Island, but I was getting anxious to see my baby dog, Callie, so we headed to the ferry for the short trip home.


  1. She really does spoil her guests with those wonderful breakfasts! I would love to start every day like that.

    Earth Sanctuary sounds quite lovely, as does your entire time! The hiking had to been pretty spectacular. However, the barn at Someday Farm would have had me occupied for a very long time. So cool!!

    1. I'd love to start the day like that, too, but I'd probably have to buy a new wardrobe before too long. The barn was pretty amazing — we could barely make ourselves leave.

  2. Incredible! Creepily beautiful is my personal aesthetic. Love the doll room. The Earth Sanctuary with the stone mosaics is wonderful, and I really love the driftwood sculptures.
    Polenta and roasted vegetables aren't half bad either, though I've yet to make a successful polenta myself.

    1. Creepily cool works for me, too. I was pretty entranced with the whole farm — even the junked autos. It's great to enjoy another person's collection mania and know that it won't be going home with you.

      The driftwood sculptures were crazy — so many of them!

  3. It sounds (and looks!) like you had a lovely trip. The B&B and the island both sound amazing!


    1. It was short but fun. I'd like to go back again!

  4. Another vacation! Such is the life of jet-setters. I am dying to go to a vegan B&B, but G isn't so sure. This place looks absolutely beautiful. I think the creepiest thing about that barn, was that head leaning all by itself on one of the wooden beams. Thanks for the well wishes.

    1. Jet setters. HA! More like bus riders. I was wondering if anyone would notice the head. :) I think I could have spent hours in the barn.

  5. Callie must have been thrilled to have you home! The grounds of the B&B sound just as exciting- if not moreso, than the surrounding area. I have to admit, though, that I scrolled passed the doll photo. I can't look!

    1. Callie was ecstatic to see us, but she's not unhappy in her second home, which is much more exciting than ours — two kids and two cats. Exploring the property was full of potential, and we didn't even get to the bog, but the whole island is scenic and fun, so it's hard to choose what to do. The dolls were even scarier in person — if you are doll-phobic. :)

    2. The only thing worse than dolls are clown dolls!

      There is a special place in the universe for dogs' second homes. :-)

  6. That looks so lovely - there's nothing like watching a sunset in a beautiful place to make you feel like all is well with the world. Ditto a good vegan breakfast (especially when someone else is making it!)

    1. I would love to have someone bring me a tray of delicious food right now — can't think of anything for lunch!


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