Cruising Northwest

A Northwest Cruising Guide, Boating Resource Guide and Magazine

Boats, Bars, and Baseball – 4

Mount Vernon via the Skagit River

One of the greatest dinghy adventures you can take in the Puget Sound is up the Skagit River.   From LaConner and head south.  Stay to the left and hug Goat Island.  It is here that it gets shallow, so you must go at a highish tide.  If you stay close to Goat Island, it is fairly deep, and you shouldn’t have much trouble.  The first mile is the hardest to navigate, as there are lots of shallows.  It is also here that it is the most interesting, with sand bars and islands and a pre-World War I fort to investigate, Fort Whitman.

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Or, for a real thrill, try taking your dinghy through “Hole in the Wall” just north of Goat Island.  It is a real shortcut.  This should only be attempted at a 9-foot tide or higher.  This is a graveyard of props, but if you make it through, you are  “The man with local knowledge!”

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After about a mile, the river channel becomes obvious and easy.  You will pass Fish Town, that is falling into the sea.  It is an old hippy settlement from the 60s–some are still there.  Then, you will pass Blake’s Resort and stay left at the fork.  (If you go right, it will take you to Conway, which ain’t bad.) This will take you to Mount Vernon and a plethora of bars in which to watch the Mariners.

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Mount Vernon has just recently redone its waterfront.  There’s a river walk and lots of tulips. There are three waterfront bars to choose from.  The Trumpeter, which is too plush to watch the game; the Mt. Vernon Café & Lounge, which sports a 70s-style private bar called the Double Wide (and it feels like it); and the Porterhouse, which is just right.

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The Porterhouse has everything a hip 2000s bar should have—roll-up garage doors for nice days, concrete floors, high tables and chairs, plants, and plenty of craft beers on tap.

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The TV was good—about 50 inches.  The beer was good—Coors Light.  I didn’t eat—why waste time on eating when you can drink beer? The Mariners beat Anaheim.  Kyle Seager, Leonys Martin, and Seth Smith each homered for the 9-4 victory.  The Mariners took two of three from the division-rival Angels.  Best game I’ve seen all year!

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I can award the Porterhouse 4 out of 5 dinghies—very nice but not historic or distinctive in a waterfront-kind-of-way.

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