We spent two and a half months on Lopez Island last year, our sixth summer in the islands. And we didn’t return to the mainland until we sailed back on the ferry to Anacortes in September.
That’s a long time to be on an island that’s only 15 miles long and eight miles wide. Do we ever get island fever? Not really. In addition to magnificent outdoor recreation opportunities and a calendar filled with cultural events, Lopez has just about everything we need—superb local foods, a weekly farmer’s market, a delightful library, excellent coffee shops and cafés, and even a terrific bike shop (we do a lot of biking on the island, and there’s always something in need of repair). For everything else, there’s FedEx. We do, however, enjoy hopping on the inter-island ferry on day jaunts to explore nearby islands.
The San Juan archipelago has 172 named islands and reefs, most of which are too tiny to be inhabited. The Washington State ferries serve four: San Juan, Orcas, Lopez, and Shaw. Each island shares spectacular Pacific Northwest Island scenery—emerald forests, pastoral farmland, and sparkling jewel-like bays. But each also has a slightly different flavor, and it’s fun to explore all of them.
The first of July, we’ll be sailing once again to Lopez Island. We’ll be settling in as interpretive hosts for two months—a position we love, on an island we love, surrounded by people we love. We’ll once again be doing lots of inter-island journeys, and look forward to sharing our explorations with you. Meanwhile, I’ve been sorting through photos of last summer’s adventures. It gives me something to look forward to, especially since it’s snowing again today in Ashland. This has been one long, crazy winter.