Sunday, August 14, 2011

San Juan Islands On A Summer Day




Don has a three day weekend and we were looking for someplace interesting to go - something fun. We decided on the San Juan Islands and rushed about getting ready. It is an hour's drive to the ferry terminal in Anacortes - plus you have to be in line early to be sure of getting the sailing time you want. The islands are very popular in the summer, not to mention all the people who live on the islands and must go back and forth.

Off we went - a quick breakfast and on the road - arriving at the staging area a little over an hour and a half before sailing time - and we were one of the last cars to make the deadline. The weather was overcast and a little cool - but as the ferry approached the landing the clouds began to break up and the sunshine was nice and warm, even with a slight breeze at the bay.''


We passed a lot of other ferries coming and going from the islands. Even a small plane took off near the ferry landing. (click photo to enlarge)


Heading off the ferry, at Friday Harbor, on San Juan Island . . .



And up we go . . .



There were flocks of cormorants everywhere at the ferry landing . . .


The tide swirled in the passes and narrow channels . . .

Sailboats all around - everyone was enjoying the fabulous summer day!

In town there was a cottage with glorious gardens - and a painting class going on. Everyone had abandoned their easels for lunch in the garden . . .


Once on the island and out of town we began exploring the lesser traveled roads. There were lakes and ponds in abundance!



Long quiet roads . . .

Manzanita everywhere . . .



Whole forests of Manzanita . . .


At one end of the island is Roche Harbor. It is not a town, just a collection of condos, some homes and a harbor for high end yachts.
We parked right next to these little tiny cabins with lovely flower boxes . . .


We brought our lunch with us and at at the county boat harbor. This was our view during lunch. There was a slight breeze and warm sunshine -no need for even a light jacket.

You can rent the tiny little carts - called Scoot Coupes - if you want to doodle around the island. Someone brought their shiny red truck for their outing.


In the parking lot at Roche Harbor was this old stone bridge - no longer in use . . .


Built from local stone . . .


The arches are lined with locally made bricks . . .


One arch has lost all of its bricks . . .

Farther along, going back down the island, we came on Kayak Bay at San Juan County Park. I don't think this ladder on the roof of the campground office will be of much help any more.


Poor Vinny, abandoned for kayaks . . .


A very old log cottage at the campground . . . no longer used either . . .


In Kayak Bay we were able to find a sandy beach and enjoy the view and the weather. There was one Canada Goose on the beach, a crow and lots of kayakers. Click to enlarge the collage and you'll see a group of kayakers coming in from their lesson. Everyone from Grandma to young children.

We also saw a lot of whales - just outside the entrance to the bay. Not close enough to photograph, but close enough to see them jumping, diving and spouting. It was a wonderfully relaxing time.


Next was an alpaca farm - this is for you, Linda.




The roads are not well marked and many attractions are almost missed. There was a lot of turning around and and backtracking after we saw signs at the last minute. This is the only sign leading to a huge lavender farm. We got a brochure on the ferry, but it didn't give an address for the lavender farm - just a dot on the map.


We could smell the lavender as we drove by - and into the parking lot. There were acres and acres of all different kinds of lavender - and the scent was amazing in the warm sunshine. There were also aluminum sculptures in the gardens - and in other spots around the island.


As we were leaving the Lavender farm we saw these huge clumps of white lavender - or were they huge clumps of white - ? Do you call it lavender if it is white?


Another sculpture - this one needed more wind than we had today - it would be wonderful flapping in the breeze.



Back on the ferry - we had to get in line 1 hour before sailing time to make sure we got a place on the ferry. To pass the time we got a huge Rocky Road ice cream cone nearby and enjoyed the wait. We saw a lot more boats - out to enjoy the wonderful day - bright sunshine and the bluest of skies.


More cormorants on the pilings at the ferry landing. . .




And as we drove home - the clouds foretelling rain began to move in. (If a man leads his sheep to water, can rain be far behind) I love that old saying about clouds that look like sheep's wool.

We had the perfect day to spend on the island - sunny and blue skies and warm, soft breezes.




22 comments:

Deb said...

Great photos!

Happy Cottage Quilter said...

Jo, these pictures are beautiful. What a lovely outing! Thanks for taking us along.

The Quintessential Magpie said...

How wonderful, Jo.

Loved this post.

xo,

Sheila :-)

GardenofDaisies said...

Oh, Jo, you are really making me miss Washington!!!! It really looked like a beautiful day for kayaking and sailing and picking lavender and admiring sculpture gardens and watching whales, etc...

*karendianne. said...

What a gorgeous post. I sure appreciate you putting all these photos together and sharing this way. I love love love seeing the cormorants and you know Jo, the Manzanita is wild like that where I'm from (or was when I was a kid) and I loved it. What a strong, hard wood that is. Beautiful to look at. You brought back some memories that's for sure. Thanks for this one!!!

Pat said...

Thanks for taking the time to post such beautiful photos for us to enjoy!

regan said...

Oh my gosh....I felt like I was right there with you the whole beautiful day! Thanks so much for the little vaca! I used to love to take the ferries when I was a kid.....there is nothing like them, or the view from them!

jojo said...

looks like a beautiful day and a perfect destination! I haven't been there in years and didn't know of most of the things you pictured...time for a visit..;j

Belinda said...

Hey Girl.....what a wonderful post!!! I have been on one of those ferries too...a few years back!!!! You live in such an interesting and exciting place...I'm jealous!!!

pcflamingo said...

Love the San Juans! I remember many camping trips there as a kid, and visits to friends who were being camp counselors at Camp Orkila in my teens. They used to make the kids write letters home and my brother wrote one that said "I am having fun. Send $2. Love, Jim"

Crispy said...

What a wonderful day you had!! I haven't been on the "Islands" in years and years. My next trip out I will have to suggest a Sunday drive :0) Thanks for sharing your day!!

Crispy

Peg said...

What a fabulous day out!!!

Lili said...

Oh you lucky lady, that was quite the amazing day! I so enjoyed those shots of the garden with the painting class and that lavender farm that you could have easily missed had you not been persistent! Oh, and I did happen to notice we did not get to see a shot of your Rocky Road ice cream. Come on now Jo, you're slipping up, how else can we get the full effect of your glorious day!! ~Lili

GardenofDaisies said...

Hi Jo, it's me again. I totally understand the crying at school thing. I cried for two days when I started Kindergarden. After that, the teachers told my mom it would be better for me to wait another year. I started first grade the following year with no problems. And I loved school too. (So I skipped kindergarden year.)

Purple Pam said...

Another beautiful photo journal. Your day on the island looks like fun. You experienced a lot in that day. Glad you were able to make the ferry on time.

Christine Thresh said...

That was a wonderful jaunt. Thanks for taking us along.

Deb Shucka said...

I'm glad you had such a great day. This trip is one of my favorites to make. There's something magical about the San Juans, and I love the Washington State Ferry System. Lovely photos, as always.

Julie Fukuda said...

I just love the way you put that trip together for all of us to enjoy. What an un-expected gift!

Teresa said...

Beautiful picutres. You should work for their chamber of commerce or visitors bureau!

lila said...

That is perfect! You are lucky to live where you do!
a lavender farm...heavenly!

Nanci said...

Unbelievable! Your photos made me feel like I was there! Honestly Jo, you missed your calling...photographer, and I looked at all the little ones too!
It must have taken ages to give me this feeling of actualy having been there. Thanks so much!

Linda B said...

What a wonderful, beautiful. Day!!