Drive over WA-20 to Anacortes. (A troupe of workmen are putting up a huge banner stretching from once side of the street to the other, advertising a Croatian Festival… just for ME?).
Turns out, it’s “Sign-putting-up” Day” as a group of late-teen girls plaster “Arts Festival – No Parking” signs on every lamppost on Commercial Street.
Park in front of Flounder Bay Arts and their two-home modular home “neighborhood”. As “ads”, these homes look a bit like 1950s, B&W TV show houses, but, are, apparently, quite popular among a “let’s retire to the San Juan Islands” set.
Initially, it’s a “Skagit Saloon” mural on Olson Building’s side wall which catches my eye, but, when a 60-ish guy rolls up in a blood-red ’39 Merc coupe, join a crowd of folks prepared to “decode” its innards.
Commercial Street (the main drag) LOOKS to be “touristy”, but, maybe, after La Conner’s narrow First Street, wide sidewalks and six lanes takes away that FEEL. Wander along, delighting at nearly every corner at some small mural… many of them condensed Anacortes historical “footnotes”.
Go into main post office and am treated to a thirty-minute Marx Brothers routine as staff try to figure out how to process an international mail postage voucher. In its final “real”, a handful of employees manage to hit all the right keys, so my thoughts of having to overnight in the PO lobby are dismissed.
Notice a “depot”-looking building, and find a treasure: an Arts Center (OK, so it’s not the Louvre); a Marine Museum (and an old sternwheeler, the “W T Preston”); but, most deliciously, someone’s back garage converted into a “Mad Hatter” ice cream dispensary. This latter bit of Americana combines old and new: a bunch of little kids on raggety bikes; a mid-20s couple on bikes which cost as much as the garage; and a fawn-coated puppy gazing longingly at an ice cream cone being devoured by an unnoticing Brady Bunch lookalike.
Make a run over to Oak Harbor, but get sidetracked by Deception Pass bridge and state park.
For add’l photos, see “page” 2012/07/30 – Anacortes/WA