"Capturing Life"

Becoming a Tourist in My Own Town

My 52 week challenge theme last week was “Be a Tourist in Your Own Town”.  Now, I technically don’t live in a town; I live on an island which has no official town.  We have a fairly large sized grocery store/strip mall, a couple of restaurants, and even a branch of the public library here all which, if placed in the same general area, could constitute a town.  Instead, I became a tourist on our island.

Bright and early on Saturday morning I climbed into our old Ford F250 pick-up truck and headed out.  I generally avoid driving the “beast” but I drew the short straw this time and that’s the vehicle that was mine for the day.  The “beast” and I made our first stop at the obvious choice for a morning outing.  The Camano Island Coffee Roaster’s Market Place.

Inside the Camano Island Marketplace.

It’s one of the best places for tourists to stop when they are out to explore our island.  The Coffee Roasters is the brainchild of Jeff Ericson who is not only a top notch  entrepreneur, he’s also a top notch humanitarian.  He started out roasting coffee beans in his garage and eventually built a fantastic commons area which houses his coffee roasting business and several other local businesses as well.  His coffee is organic and free trade.  I hear the coffee is fantastic; I’m not a coffee drinker (Sorry, Jeff and Jodi) so I walked out of the Marketplace with my favorite Chai Tea Latte’.

Local artist, John Ebner, paints Northwest scenes and prints them to various media such as these tiles.

I wandered around the Market Place Common’s area for a bit, locating the tourist type things that Jeff Ericson has placed there.  From the HUGE Crab Welcome Sign to the seaside photo boards, there’s a little bit of fun to be found.

Doesn’t every tourist place need one of these? Best part is, one of our very talented young local artists, Heather Dixon, painted these signs.

Del Fox Meats offers a great hamburger or pulled pork lunch and the bakery has some delectable cookies to finish off the meal.  One of the shops had some great “twig” furniture, for lack of a better term, and so, since there was no one out and about yet, I had to try them out.

Having enjoyed the tourist attractions at the Marketplace, I climbed back into “the beast” and drove the short distance to the Chamber of Commerce welcome center.  There I found some local artwork

and a wonderful sign that helps visitors locate their destinations on the island.

I decided to take a few moments to finish my latte’ and enjoy the peaceful moments.

With my latte’ cup empty and the morning hours fleeting, I jumped back into my ride and found myself at my next destination: English Boom Preserve.  Once a logboom location, English Boom Preserve is now a wildlife sanctuary with a nice beach and walking trails.  It also sports views of Mt. Baker and Whidbey Island in the distance.

The English Boom Preserve sits along the beach below the small airport on Camano Island. There was an airplane taking off as I was sitting there enjoying the morning sun.

My morning of vacation was drawing to an end as I drove towards home.  I decided to take in one last tourist destination which is perhaps the largest draw for tourists to our island.  The Camano Island State Park is one of the more beautiful places I’ve been and it’s only 5 minutes from my house.

There are camp sites, boat launch, and more beaches to enjoy.  We use to own a boat and launched it there often.  There’s a strong current running through the area so it made for some challenges when loading our boat back onto the trailer. They have a dock there now but it sadly wasn’t in place when we needed it most.  Ric and I have spent many evenings sitting on the driftwood watching people load and unload their boats.  It provides a great study on human relationships.  *grin*

My mini-vacation now complete,  “the beast” and I headed for home.  It’s a treat to take time on a sunny northwest morning and spend it playing tourist in my own neighborhood.  Well, for that matter, it’s just a treat having a sunny northwest morning, but that’s a theme for another day.

Get Lost on Camano Island


5 responses

  1. This was fun

    June 17, 2013 at 6:11 pm

  2. Karen S.

    It looked like a weather-perfect day for touring, and I enjoyed tagging along online on your photo travels. Keep posting your journeys!

    June 17, 2013 at 7:05 pm

  3. What a great place to explore. I must come one day and be a tourist too. Very fun, Sandy

    June 18, 2013 at 12:31 pm

  4. Wayne

    Sandy, I love the idea of being a tourist in one’s own town. It’s something I’ve tried to do here in the SF Bay Area. It’s amazing how much beauty and interesting things there are to see and do locally, where ever one lives. Wonderful, fun photos…love the various self portraits of you being a tourist in your own town.

    June 19, 2013 at 9:03 pm

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