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]
Hi you guys,
I truly enjoyed every step of your journey.
Thanks so much!
Seka, we’re so happy to hear from you! I’ve been thinking of you. Want to come visit us on Lopez next summer? Or anywhere else that we happen to be? I’d love to see you. xo
You probably know the Irish blessing:
When I count my blessings I count you twice.
I feel the same about you, our friendship transcends the distance from Vermont to Ashland and all these many years. xoxo
Lopez Island looks like a fabulous place to spend a summer. Such wonderfully talented folks to share time with. We are planning to tour Washington and the Canadian Rockies next summer and are researching places to volunteer. Should the San Juan Islands be a consideration in May or June, or would that be too early in the season do you think?
It’s the perfect place to spend summer, LuAnn. I would say May is too early for consistently good weather. June has some beautiful days, but can also be really rainy. July through mid-September is generally perfect (with of course, a few rainy/grey days thrown in, but not many). There’s an opening for another host on Lopez next summer! (hint, hint)
I started putting together a very loose list of places to go and potential volunteer opportunities for next summer and Lopez Island is on the list. Do you know any specifics of when volunteers are needed and whom to contact?
LuAnn, I believe there’s a position available for a camp host next year, between June and September. Applications are made through Washington State Parks, and you can also contact Spencer Spit directly. I’ll email you more info.
It is easy to see why you love Lopez so much!
Emigrant Lake is more of a pond than a lake right now, but that does not distract from the beauty of the surrounding countryside. I saw a photo from May 2014 of the lake FULL…amazing how low it can go in one season. The recent 2 inches of rain just might provide a sheen of green in the next few days…
It’s amazing how low Emigrant Lake can go, isn’t it? Hope you’re enjoying your time in Ashland, and we’re still hoping to see you if we get there before you head south.
Looks idyllic. I can see why you love it so much. Safe travels.
It truly is idyllic, Jo. We’re hoping you and Fred might make your way up to Anacortes next summer, and take a day trip over to Lopez. It would be fun to share the island with you.
So idyllic. We really must come and visit! Hope to see you in Ashland.
We would love it if you could come visit us on Lopez! We’ll be arriving in Ashland at the very end of September. When will you be there?
Beautiful display of photos – what an enticement to visit Lopez Island. We too have a list of summer places we’d like to explore but will probably return to Colorado next summer. The draw of family and friends is strong and of course the scenery is hard to beat. So where are you off to for the winter?
You’re right, Ingrid, the draw of family and friends is strong. We want to travel to other places (Colorado is high on our list, after seeing your posts!) but summer is also the best time for Lopez. We had planned to be in Texas and Florida this winter but need to stay close to the west coast because of dental appointments. We’re thinking of the California coast and Anza Borrego in between appointments, and then Arizona as soon as we’re free in February.
Having visited the island I definitely understand the draw. That mocha alone would do it for me LOL. Glad we got to see your special place.
Haha, yes, definitely the mocha at LaBoheme, made with homemade chocolate and Lopez roasted coffee beans! Very addictive. I’m so happy you and Paul experienced the island magic this summer. As we talked about over lunch at Vortex, it’s difficult to resist returning to a place that we know and love — for you guys, Cape Blanco, and for us, Lopez.
I would LOVE to come there but I don’t have to in order to know how fabulous it is. All I have to do is look at your pictures of this beautiful place and the fantastic food. Sure wish I could grab that host job for next year. I had no idea you were a guitarist and Eric a drummer. Musicians are the very best people I think. Were you there July, Aug and Sept??? Oh sigh………………..and then Anza Borrego another of my really really want to go to places. Is my envy showing?
We were there from mid-July to mid-September this year, Sherry. Definitely the best months on the island. I’m envisioning you and David on Lopez. It’s definitely your kind of place!
Every time you blog about this island I get more excited to visit. You definitely have found a little treasure. Lopez Island has it all for a small place. How nice to see all the musicians:) I know we would enjoy listening to all the talent. No wonder you continue to return year after year:)
Pam, it really does have it all, at least as far as we’re concerned! I hope you enjoy Lopez as much as we do — and if we’re there when you are, we would love to share some island adventures with you!
Wow–this makes me a little sad that I only got to know you guys right before you left! But…here’s to WAY more music next summer. And who knows, maybe I’ll see you in Ashland before then! Cheerio!
I’m so happy that we got to meet you and play a bit of music together, even though it was just before we left. Meeting you gives us another reason to look forward to returning to Lopez! If you come to Ashland, we would love to see you.
how sad to leave such a cool place. Im sure the island will miss you and Eric for the time being till your return.
I think you and Steve should jam one day, both of you have the same guitar!
Cool, do we really have the same guitar? I didn’t know that Steve plays — I would love to jam with him!