Eagles and a glorious day on Skagit River help beat winter blues

What a winter. Will it ever end and the sun shine for more than one day at a time?

We haven’t let that bother us, however. In early January, we made an excursion north to the town of Concrete for the annual Eagle Festival. We spent the night in a wonderful large house at the Ovenells Heritage Inn with a beautiful view of Mount Baker. In the morning, we layered up and waddled out to the car for a short drive to Rockport. Here we loaded a bus that took us to Marblemount and a boat for the float trip.

The bald eagle, our national bird, has been on the endangered list for many years and has finally been taken off. Many of them come to the Skagit River every year to winter and feed on the salmon who come up the river. We were there to find some of them and take a look at their habitat as we floated down the river in an open boat steered by a raftsman. Skagit River Guide Service assisted us all the way with helping us into the boat (not an easy task for some in the 90s and Audrey, who is 101), where there was comfortable seating and even heaters to keep us warm. Near the end of the trip, we even had hot chocolate.

The scenery was amazing. The sun was out, sparkling off the icy water. The Cascades were stark in their white beauty. In the trees, we could easily spot the white heads and tails of the eagles watching us and looking for salmon to feast upon.

There was good and bad news about such a beautiful day. The good news: Everywhere we looked, we had beauty. The bad news was that on such days, a lot of the eagles fly off to other areas. We saw many of them, but perhaps not as many as we had hoped it. It was a good tradeoff, however, as we stayed warm and enjoyed the trip.

Coming up, we have a trip scheduled to the Seattle Art Museum just to explore for the day. We are also scheduling another trip to Teatro Zinzanni for their fun theater experience. We have enjoyed their matinee lunch on previous occasions and will now go again to see their newest show. There are always things we can do during these winter months that will get us out of the house and let us socialize.

Want to take a riverboat trip but don’t want to have to fly a long distance? Let us know and perhaps we will put something together in the U.S. There are some great riverboat trips, and if we find there is interest, we will go.

There is still space available for the Cuba trip in March and also for the 15-day Hawaii cruise (out of Vancouver to Hawaii and back) in April. For further information, call me at 253-927-8207 or get on the e-mail list at lindafinch@gmail.com.

Passengers on a float trip down the Skagit River included (from left) Nick (last name not provided), Margaret Champagne, Audrey Stacy, Ed Ramsom, Ann Ransom, Linda Finch and Dennis Champagne.