I can’t believe it’s the end of summer, and the end of our time on Lopez for this year. Our two months on the island have flown by—which is good because it means we’ve had a fantastic time, but not so good because we’re leaving behind friends and all that we enjoy about Lopez, at least temporarily.
This is the fourth year that we’ve spent part of the summer on Lopez. July through September is a seductive time in the San Juan archipelago. We love the easy pace of island life; the spectacular beauty of the island; the fantastic hiking, biking, and kayaking; the fabulous locally grown foods; and the perfect summer weather (unlike the winters, which according to the locals, bring gray skies, chilly temperatures, and horizontal rain). Most of all, we love the friends we’ve made here.
This has been a summer rich with friends, both our Lopezian tribe and our tribe of Ashland friends, who have traveled over the mountains and ferried across the ocean to spend time with us on the island. We’ve also had the joy of visits from our daughter and grandson, who live on nearby San Juan Island. It has been a blast. Our friend Sheila said this is like summer camp, and truly, it is. This has been the absolute best summer camp ever.
To our great delight, we had several Ashland friends come to visit throughout the summer and we shared with them our favorite places on Lopez—Iceberg Point, Shark Reef, and Watmough Bay. We hiked, we biked, we kayaked, and we showed off the island in all its gorgeousness. We went to Friday night wine tastings at Vita’s, we picked up picnics at the Vortex café, and we enjoyed dinners made from local foods at our campsite. For such a small island, there’s a lot going on, from art show openings and the wonderful Labor Day weekend Lopez Island Studio Tour to weekly Friday night music at Vita’s, the Farmer’s Market on Saturdays, and various other random and fun events at the library and community center.
Our friends on Lopez are all musicians and we’ve spent many an afternoon and evening making music and enjoying meals together. Many of our Ashland friends are also musicians, and our Lopezian friends warmly welcomed them. I found myself numerous times this summer thinking how fortunate we are, to have such wonderful friends in two places that are “home” to us.
In mid-September, we once again bid Lopez farewell. Sailing away from the island is always bittersweet. We’re looking forward to seeing friends again in Ashland, and now that we’re traveling fulltime, to continuing our travel adventures. Still, it’s not easy to leave Lopez. Although at some point we’ll be spending summers elsewhere (we want to travel to Alaska, and also Nova Scotia)—we’ve already decided that we’ll be returning to Lopez next summer. If you come to Lopez, I bet you’ll understand why we find it so irresistible.[portfolio_slideshow]