Climbing Cap Sante

So, sometimes you look around for the highest hill and climb it…because it’s there.

Karin and I woke up today at the dock in Anacortes and said, “Hey, I think we need some exercise.”  It’s just over 40 degrees, and a bit windy, but the rain is only occasional. So it’s time to put down the books, bundle up, and go for a walk.

When you live in Anacortes, you can’t miss Cap Sante. The headland goes straight up just East of downtown, and towers over the Port’s marina.cap

There’s a little park at the top that a lot of folks drive to, but today we were determined to walk there.

So after bidding farewell to Jen and her sweet little dog, our overnight guests, it was off we marched.  Our marina is about a mile from the base of Cap Sante, and to get there we need to march past the Port’s Marina all the way down to 4th streen, hang right and start climbing.

On our first attempt, just as we started to rise out of downtown, the rain started. It’s that drizzly rain that doesn’t seem like much…but if you stay out in it for 5 minutes…you’re soaked.  OK, new plan; Coffee.  We retreated to JP’s Coffee down on Commercial Ave.  Mmm. Anacortes is small…it was three blocks away.

After Java, and a berry something or other, the sun came out (for just a minute) and we decided it was time to push on to the summit. Who knows what we’d find?

As you climb out of downtown Anacortes, you go through a residential neighborhood with a mix of new homes and older homes, some remodeled and expanded extensively.  You can tell where the money is…and the view.  Homes that can shoot above the trees have phenominal view of the Gueumes Channel and off to the San Juan Islands.

On the climb, we ran into a herd of deer…just sort of wandering through yards looking for any new shoots.  This is not some amazing encounter with nature…it’s more like, “Oh, Hey look, Deer.”  These guys hang out here and are practically tame. We walked past about 10 feet from them. They look at us, we look at them….and that’s it.  Deer.

On to the top!

OK, so what do you expect to find at the top of Cap Sante?  Fellow travelers who want to contemplate the majestic view. Sure.

What you don’t expect to find are about 20 dudes from 30 to 50 years of age playing with remote control 4×4 off road model toys.

Yep, you read that correctly.


We get up to the rocky top of Cap Sante and we encounter a full parking lot and a bunch of guys with remotes in their hands, and little models of Ford Broncos, Jeeps, Land Cruisers crawling around their feet.  And this was not some kind of store bought stuff.  These guys were hard core model makers who had worked on their toys, adding little touches such as tools, gas cans, first aid kits….little tiny first aid kits…to the model 4×4 vehicles.  These looked like big 4×4…they just….weren’t.

And it wasn’t just modeling for the sake of looking good….these guys were running their tiny trucks through a series of rock and boulder courses laid out with teeny tiny cones on the rocks to see who could pilot over the rocks and hills the fastest without getting stuck and needing to rescue their vehicle.

You could see the concentration as they used remotes to guide their tiny trucks over rocks, around boulders, and over hillocks.  They approached one way, saw it wouldn’t work, backed up and tried a new line.  Amazing to watch.  And not a kid in sight.  Well, as they say…a boy and his toys.

Oh, right…the view.  Yea, spectacular.  What can I say.  We like our new home base.


After enjoying the view a few minues, the wind was really whipping the top of the crag by this time, it was downhill past the marina and straight into Anthony’s for oysters. Mmmm.

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