Anacortes Railway is No More
Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, a man and wife team constructed a small narrow gauge railway that slowly expanded to include tourist passenger service that connected parts of downtown. The heart and soul of the operation was Tommy Thompson, who served as the engineer in every sense of the word, having designed the passenger equipment and rebuilt the locomotive from parts from an old mining locomotive. His wife and a few city volunteers helped out with ticket sales and other support activities.
The railway was built to 18 inch track gauge (the distance between the rails) and could be crammed around a number of existing buildings, including the old Northern Pacific train station.
In 1999, Tommy Thompson passed away. His wife operated the train a few times in his honor after that, but the family simply didn't have the ability to continue operating the railway.
The locomotive and passenger cars were donated to a steam power plant museum on the south side of downtown Seattle.
By the late 1980s, there were over 40,000 people coming to Anacortes to ride the train, and therefore downtown Anacortes experienced somewhat of a tourist revival thanks to this little train. The train no longer lives in Anacortes, but out of respect for the owner and the resulting positive changes to the city his dream allowed, the new bike trail that has been built on top of the old railroad right of way is known as the "Tommy Thompson Path" in his honor.
Even 11 years later, remains of the railway still linger in Anacortes, though. You will find streches of track along R Avenue south of 4th Street and along the south side of 9th Street.
The Anacortes Railway at Railfan.net has a few photos:
Last Run of Tommy's Train from Seattle Post-Intelligencer:
Well, I forget the name of...
Well, I forget the name of this park, and it's fairly tough to find and not well-marked. So this may not be so helpful. But if you take the road from Skyline to Deception Pass, about half way there there's a parking lot on the right. If you park there, there's a loop trail that takes you to some amazing views. Sunset shots don't get much better.
One of the ports to go to Olympic Peninsula!
"Just cruising around!"
We were here because we wanted to check out places where we can stay for a longer period later on. We stopped by Anacortes just to have lunch and coffee!
"The Best Coffee House in Anacortes!"
Yes, we had to stop to try the best coffee in Anacortes. Verify first before you believe, right? My daughter and I went to check it out. I bought their coffee and check out the place. But, of course, my travel companion can't drink coffee yet...
"The Best Coffee House in Anacortes"
We had coffee at Bella Rosa Coffee House. It was actually good! I also put this page on my restaurant tip on Olympic Peninsula!
Washington State San Juan Island Adventure
Dedicado a un ser encantador con alma de poeta y corazón de platino...Our island sailing adventure begins on Whidbey Island, north of Seattle, at the end of a picturesque pier, aboard the two-masted "Cutty Sark" moored at the docks of the Captain Whidbey Inn. Captain John Stone, owner/proprietor of the inn and captain of the 52-foot custom-built wood ketch nascent circa 1957 in Hong Kong, offers a customized tour of the San Juan Island Islands. Captain John Stone, former U.S. Merchant Marine officer and world-ocean sailor, orchestrates our island hop for a maximum 6 person party. One is free to kick back and relax, but no doubt you will find yourself laying a hand to tasks on his "Cutty Sark".
The Captain Whidbey Inn was Captain John's childhood home. It was built as a lodge in 1907. Captain John shared his home with his innkeeping family as a youngster and after many years abroad has returned to offer the most delightful island hop in the Western U.S. Captain John will customize your itinerary by route and duration, assuring it is tailor-made to your every want and need. He schedules trips year-round, rain or shine, barring gales or thunderstorms. The most popular months to book your sailing adventure would be May through September. However, if you like to "shiver your timbers", are "worth your salt", and up to the challenge of a strong wind, book through the month of April or early October. The summer months of July, August, and September promise the most propitious or best weather experiences.
As we begin our island adventure aboard the "Cutty Sark", with mizzen main and staysail raised, Captain John will animate your castoff with a typical crusty sailor ditty, " Me father was a sailin' man, and he said these words to me---' Oh way, haul away, haul away...'" We head toward the waterfront lodge at La Conner, a fishing village, arts enclave and the tulip center on the Washinton State mainland. Docking by the sumptuously sunset bathed light, dancing off the jewelled waters we stop at the Craftsman-style La Conner Channel Lodge. An amazing backdrop of the snow-capped Mount Baker(10,780-foot), greets our adventure-filled eyes. Entering, the smell, the feel of these rustic wood floors, beamed ceilings and the inviting warmth of the floor-to-ceiling riverstone work fireplace crackles and delights the senses. Top it off with a welcome glass of wine, you can drink in the aromatic ambiance on a balcony overlooking the Swinomish Channel. Dinner follows at Palmers Restaurant with a Northwest version of nouvelle cuisine with a French influence. Select from a varied menu, depending on seasonal and supply availability, of steamed clams, garlic prawns, Oysters Florentine, lamb shank, seared and oven-braised with carmelized onions, leeks, garlic, herbs with a marsala splash, or roast duckling with peppercorns in a pinot noir bath.
The next morning, raising the sails for MacKaye Harbor on Lopez Island, with the winds behind us, we wield north through the narrow curves of the Swinomish Channel to Padilla Bay, around Fidalgo Island, and on to Lopez. Docking at Lopez, we drive to the MacKaye Harbor Inn, a 1927 white Victorian farmhouse, lovingly restored to a five-room bed & breakfast with loverly beachfront views. Otters dot the bay and every so once in a while a bright yellow kayak slices the bay water, passing the inn. Dinner at the local Bay Cafe served on community tables with a mix of locals and tourists, makes for a fun-filled evening. Dinner entrees can be a marinated pork stuffed with dried fruits, Mexican prawns poached in champagne and basil, chanterelle mushroom risotto cakes, or seared sea scallops in a cognac cream. Next morning we head back to the Captain Whidbey Inn, timed to make Deception Pass by high noon. These turbulent waters prevent passage, unless you are aboard a powerful motor boat!
Fare thee well dinner at Cap'n John's Whidbey Inn is served in a log-panelled dining room with a sumptuous fire burning in a huge beach-stone fireplace, a ship's model gracing the mantel. Dinner hors d'oeuvres include mussels from the famed Penn Cove, mouth-watering morsels. Favorite main course is pan-seared Sockeye Salmon, topped of with a homestyle Washington apple cake. Sweet dreams!!
You leave your San Juan Island island hop with the resounding words of Chief Sealth, the Duwamish Indian Chief Seattle, delivered prior to signing the 1850 treaty, conveying land to the U. S. government, " Love the land as we have loved it. Care for it as we have cared for it...And with all your strength, with all your heart, preserve it for your children, and love it."
FOR RESOURCE GUIDE & PARTICULARS SEE TRAVELOGUE.