I love the peaks and forests of my beloved Cascades, but sometimes, especially in the dead of winter, I need to escape to the salty, windblown air of Puget Sound. I love the snow, but winter on the coast is so rugged, stormy, and beautiful. You may have already noticed that Andy and I visit Whidbey Island a lot. For how frequently we're there, we certainly don't hike the Ebey's Landing trail often enough. The cabin we stay at it so lovely, I'm often happy to spend an entire weekend there without ever venturing further than the deck. On this last trip, we took friends with us, and they were just the motivation we needed to get out on an actual trail!
Ebey's Landing is an easy trail with lots of beauty. I find this especially the case during winter, when there are so many bare, dry shrubs and trees to contrast the persistent green of the grass and conifers. On the Saturday of our last visit, we started from the Prairie Overlook trailhead with a biting wind herding us to the bluff. The wind even had me considering knitting a new hiking hat (this would be my third!) with ear flaps to prevent the wind from chilling my ears. I'm a bit of a baby when it comes to having cold ears, so it might not be a bad idea! Once we reached the bluff, the wind died down a bit, and we were warmed by the short climb .
The views from the bluff, as always, were excellent. The water of the Sound turned an almost tropical shade of aqua that I've never seen before from the churn and silt of winter storms. From above, I also enjoyed the trails of seafoam left behind with each wave. We took our time hiking along the bluff, with many stops for photos. As we switchbacked down the far end of the bluff to the beach, the wind began to pick up again, just in time to thoroughly freeze us for rest of the hike.
Even with the cold wind, and a very high tide, there was so much to look at along the beach. Even though it's flat, this part of the trail always takes the longest. I just don't think it's possible to rush along a beach this beautiful! Eventually, we did tear ourselves from the beach and make it back to the car, stopping for a late lunch in Coupeville before heading back to the coziness of the cabin.