The Skagit Valley Tulip Festival website boasts that one million people a year attend this event every April.  I believe they all came today.  Who can blame people for wanting to take a road trip on this, the warmest, sunniest day of the year?  The traffic jam began about thirty miles south of the tulip fields.  Some cars spilled off from the freeway at the Tulalip Casino, gambling indoors apparently being another good way to spend the only sunny day we’ve seen in months, but the congestion returned a few miles later.  There was a big back-up to exit the freeway and long waits at stop signs along the country roads.  However, none of this dampened our enthusiasm.

Tourists just like us were snapping pictures while crouched among the flowers, overwhelmed by the endless streams of red, purple and yellow.  Some were dressed as brightly as the flowers.  All seemed pleased to be there.  The tulip fields had not let us down.

According to historylink.org, the first tulip bulbs in the valley, which came from Holland, were planted in 1906 and “by 1997, 700 acres were used for bulb farming…”  Skagit Valley farmers still earn their money selling tulip bulbs and vegetable seeds, though most have to work other jobs to subsidize their farming.  We’re glad they haven’t yet sold out to developers and are willing to work hard to bring such colorful pleasures to a million of us every year.  By the end of the day, though, we were happy to leave the congestion of the countryside to return to our city traffic, which was light and peaceful by comparison.

About stillalife

I retired June 30, 2010 after working for 40 years in the field of education and most recently doing school public relations/community outreach in a mid-size urban school district. I wrote for superintendents and school board members. Now I'm writing for me and I hope for you. In this blog, I offer my own views coupled with the latest research on how to preserve our physical and mental health as we age, delve into issues most of us over 50 can relate to like noticing wrinkles and forgetting where we left our keys, discuss the pros and cons of different ways to engage our minds and bodies after we leave the workplace, and throw in an occasional book review, all peppered with a touch of humor, irony, and just plain silliness. Also, I'm on the third draft of my second novel since retirement.
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1 Response to Tulipmania

  1. Evelyn Cogswell says:

    I just received some photos of the tulips in Holland from a friend on a trip there. The pictures of the fields were really quite similar to yours. So, even though you had to deal with all that traffic to get there, you did not have to go through airport screening, pay through the nose for a plane ticket, and spend the night sitting up in a small space with very little leg room.

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