Jonathan Elderfield, The Associated Press, November 24, 2015
DECEPTION PASS, Washington (AP) — Amble along the trim walkway of the bridge above Deception Pass and gaze upon the breathtaking vistas, one oceanside and one facing Skagit Bay, and you might be forgiven for asking yourself the question, "Where is the deception here?"
There is no deception in the beauty of the blue-green waters swirling in and out of the inlet, or in the broken-glass canvas of water and reflected clouds stretching to the horizon. The wide skies and rocky outcroppings along the shore are as beautiful as they seem.
Deception Pass, located about 80 miles from Seattle, is the name of the strait that divides Washington's Whidbey Island from Fidalgo Island. George Vancouver, a captain in the British navy who explored the area as part of an expedition in the 1790s, gave it the name because the waterway deceived him into thinking that Whidbey — named for another member of the expedition — was a peninsula rather than an island.
Today Whidbey and Fidalgo islands are connected by two steel spans, 180 feet above the water, known as the Deception Pass Bridge. Below the bridge, which was built in the 1930s and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, lies diminutive Pass Island. The strait is located within Deception Pass State Park, which saw more than 2.5 million visitors in 2014. Drive in from the north and cross both spans before parking. Then walk back along the walkway and take in the view from atop.
For those afraid of heights, cruise down the easy trail to the beach below. Sit on driftwood and contemplate the passage of water and time, or just gaze up at the majestic bridge. As I looked around on my visit, a couple stood united, hugging and kissing on North Beach, beneath the magnificent span dividing ocean from inlet while uniting two islands.
The beauty here is deceptively simple, but there is no lie to the simple pleasures you will find. The surging tidal waters, birds soaring overhead, a damp wind blowing across your cheeks, all bring a sense of peace and wonder.
If You Go...
DECEPTION PASS STATE PARK: Located about 80 miles from Seattle. From Seattle, head north on I-5, then east on SR 20. Park south of the second span. The park features camping, hiking, fishing, picnic areas, swimming, boat launch; http://parks.state.wa.us/497/Deception-Pass .
This article was written by Jonathan Elderfield from The Associated Press and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.