Have you ever wondered what 450 acres of tulip fields in full bloom would look like? I havenâ€™t; mostly because I am not the sort of person who wonders about tulip fields; but also because till a few years ago, I would not have been able to tell a tulip apart from a pickup truck. Then I moved to Washington and it all changed. Puget Sound area in Washington, of which Seattle is a part of, is notorious for its gloomy never ending rainy days. So when spring rolls in, it is a cause for celebration.If the idea of heralding in the season than with a panorama of flowers unbroken as far as the eye can see appeals to your aesthetics, then Skagit Valleyâ€™s tulip festivalÂ is the place for you.
When William Roozen first came to the valley from Holland, its rainy cool weather probably called out to him. He started the first tulip bulb growing company in Mt. Vernon and since then horticulture has become the mainstay of this valleys economy. Now the tulip festival in the month of April attracts over a million people each year.
I am not a big fan of flowers or crowded festivals. But with family visiting us, the onus of showing them a good Washington flavored time fell on us. So like most Washington residents, we decided to pay homage to what I like to call â€˜the regulated splendor of natureâ€™.Â I have to admit that the tulip fields are indeed a sight to behold when in full bloom. The fields are quite photogenic too. You can often see desis staring into thin air while imagining themselves cavorting in the fields like the leads of a Yash Raj film.
Skagit Valley is 60 miles north of Seattle and about half way between Seattle and the US-Canada border. It is a drive that should not take more than an hour and a half usually. But during the festival weekends, it can take you thrice as long. Bearing that in mind, we set out all prepared to sit in bumper to bumper traffic but was pleasantly surprised when we reached the destination and found a parking spot without having to maim or murder anyone. The weather was not too bad. The tulips looked pretty.
If life has taught me anything, it is that when all things line up so well for you, you have to start bracing yourself for impact. And the impact came in the form of a dead battery on the trusted Nikon. All photography was relegated to the fickle camera on the phone and a not so trustworthy point and shoot. But the set back was made alright by the name of the tulips. Who would ever think of naming a tulip Abu HasanÂ or Kung Fu? An Abu Hasan by another name would smell just as sweet â€¦I suppose