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Light sprinkles dotted the windshield as we left Deception Pass. Those sprinkles soon gave way to heavier mist increasing to full rain. There is something cozy about being in a car in a rainstorm. The drive was pleasant enough to gently rock us into a power nap. Luckily everyone but the driver! That would have been bad. I don’t know, but I think it does something for Heath to drive his sleepy family.

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Fort Casey is a very interesting place. As you drive closer you can see mounds that jut out and in like knuckles on a fist. Under each mound is a fort. Then you turn off the main road and soon come upon the mother of all forts.

The backside of the fort slopes down to Puget Sound’s rocky beach edged with driftwood repurposed as natural forts and benches. Looking up at the hills of sticker bushes no one would ever know what lies on the other side.

Tour guides now loudly share history with groups of tourists. We didn’t join a tour. The fort was built around the time of the Civil War. It was definitely manned during the World Wars but it was never actually used. No cannons ever fired. It was mostly used as a training facility before becoming a tourist attraction.

As we pulled up Parker asked if there were drinking fountains.
Heath: It looks like they are right there by the restrooms.
Gwen: They have bathrooms and drinking fountains here?!? The soldiers don’t need that!
Me: Soldiers need to use the bathroom too and they need drinks.
Gwen: Why can’t they just hold it? That’s what they’re trained for!

The world according to Gwen!

For a little girl who was terrified to walk across the bridge over Deception Pass, Gwen had no problems with climbing all over the fort. We walked across the top and the kids would run toward edges that gave me heart failure. I did not enjoy climbing the ladders either. At least my phobias were entertaining.

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The open meadow was like a dog park for kids. We let the kids run wild. Heath and the boys also threw the Frisbee around while Gwen explored the fort some more on her own.

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I have noticed that much of the Seattle area is comprised of forest and grassy meadows. I love the trees. The sudden flat grassy areas just add variety to the landscape.

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Across the large expanse of grass is the Admiralty Head Lighthouse. I love this place because I have always had a thing for lighthouses. They’re pretty cool.

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It’s not very big and you can tour it on your own. As we were walking up to the building Heath took this picture that shows people in the top of the lighthouse. We wandered around reading plaques and looking at maps inside the building. Gwen wanted to go up the spiral staircase.

I have been up there before but for some reason it seemed steep and tight to me. I looked up the stairs with a little trepidation. Are you sure you want to do that? Heath and I almost didn’t go up. It was fun pre kids back in our thin days! Somehow we found ourselves twisting up the stairs.

Gwen was first and I think I was last. Near the top I could see the opening between the stairs and the top of the lighthouse. For some crazy reason I looked up and thought that opening was closed off. The same grayish white of the walls and the sky seemed to be a ceiling covering the opening. I told Gwen it looked like she couldn’t go up all the way. She looked at me like I had officially lost my marbles and reminded me that we already saw people up there. I turned the corner and gained perspective for what I was seeing! That was my duh moment of the day!

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Gwen was thrilled to be up there. There is nothing to do but walk around the circle and look out at the beautiful view.

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And actually let your dad capture a normal looking smile.

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Before we had gone up to the top we bought a map from the gift shop. It’s a huge poster, even all rolled up. I was carrying the poster while Heath dealt with all his bulky, heavy camera equipment. The spiral staircase was steep enough we suggested that the kids go down backwards. I ended up going forwards. It was sure fun having an audience! I think the mom and her young daughter chose not to go all the way up after watching us.

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Parker wanted his picture taken between these two men.

We went for a walk along the backside of Fort Casey. There were lots of animals.

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A couple of bunnies that would pose for pictures then hop off into the bushes.

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A tiny bird rested on the tops of the thistle.

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Then this spectacular scene as we were heading down the stairs on the opposite side of the parking lot and grassy meadow. Three deer were happily munching away. They didn’t scare easily either. The family in front of us whispered back about the deer. We also whispered so as not to scare the deer.

A really obnoxious family was behind us. The kid kept yelling back loud enough he could probably be heard at the lighthouse, “DAD! THERE ARE DEER! COME LOOK!” The dad finally caught up but never encouraged quiet. The families started walking across the grass near the deer. The deer barely noticed. The kid tried to get close enough to touch them. The dad told him not to but never seemed sincere. My kids were losing their minds quietly telling me of their disapproval. Those are wild animals! Leave them alone! Be nice! At least they knew the rules.

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We finally took a picture of the back of this car. We had seen it back in Deception Pass and thought it was funny. I wonder who drove it? We never did find out. Funny stickers and license plate frame though.

From Fort Casey we were going to drop by Grandma and Grandpa’s house to pick up Gwen’s embroidered backpack. It would have been easier to pick it up on our way out that morning but we didn’t make the decision quickly enough and missed the exit. Gina GPS suggested we get on the ferry as the fastest way to their house. I was glad because the kids have never been on this ferry before.

I have never had such a great place in line for that ferry either! We got right on and right off. It’s a short ferry ride from Clinton to Mukilteo but the kids really enjoyed the experience. We had Red Robin for dinner before heading off to Kirk and Dayleen’s house to get the backpack. Grandpa was helping Kirk put up new siding. We didn’t stay too long before heading home. It had been a long and fun day.

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