Since I have lived in the Pacific Northwest, I have always heard of the San Juan Islands and how beautiful they are. My brother and I spent three days among the San Juans – three days, three islands. We had gotten up at about 4am to make the trip and catch a ferry to the San Juan Islands. Once you reach the end of the trail, hop down the hill and you’ve come to a small cove where boats and kayakers hang out during the day and camp during the night. When the tide is out, you’ll find dozens of these colorful Pacific Northwest critters.
We were based on Orcas Island, past the hills and Moran State Park, where a small park that you have to hike 1 mile in to even reach the campground lies, named Obstruction Pass background.
Didn’t really realize how beautiful these island were until I started driving up Mt. Constitution. About halfway up the clouds parted and we found a lookout. The view was stunning. The outlying islands weaved through the seemingly placid water. The low lying clouds silked the top of the island hills. My brother and I continued driving up until we found the trailhead and then we hiked along the path, sometimes deep in a forest, other times on a sheer dirt cliff.
My brother and I continued our trip across the San Juan Islands, and on our second day we rode our bikes across Lopez Island from the ferry terminal all the way to Shark Reef and back through town to Spencer Spit. We passed many beautiful sights. At a crossroads, not a car in sight, totally quiet, sat the street sign below. What I like most about it aside from its weathered look and the long grasses blowing in the wind, is the content. Simple words: airport, ferry, fisherman. Simple as the island itself.
We didn’t see much action on biking along the road. A couple bikers here or there. Rusted barbed wire fences. Happy cows come from the San Juan Islands. At least I would be happy with light winds, bright sun and plenty of room to roam. We returned to the ferry in the evening.
Our third day we decided to explore San Juan Island, the largest and most populous of the islands. Friday Harbor is the main port of call. Upon arrival we tried to get our bearings. We only expected to spend a few hours there. We happened to speak to a local shopkeeper who suggested that we take a bus to the other side of the island. Literally within minutes we were on the bus, and the bus would return just in time for us to catch the last ferry back to Orcas Island.
In the few minutes we had off the bus (40 mins!), miraculously a pod of orca whales happened to come into view. The boats in the background were slowly following the whales, being sure to stay their distance. The kayakers in the foreground soon embarked outward to get closer. Oh, to have been one of them!
That night, back on Orcas, we perched ourselves on the edge of the cliff and took a million photographs at the sunset. The color transformed several times including pinks, reds, blues and fiery orange.