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.
Adventures On San Juan Island
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Adventures On Orcas Island
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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 we 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.
Hope you’ve secured your preferred spot at Spencer Spit for this year!
Yes, indeed! It’s all worked out wonderfully well. Hope you’ll make your way back to Lopez this summer, Dia. oxoxo
I’m already getting excited about traveling the PNW this summer. It will be sooo much cooler than last summer. I really want to see the lavender farms. Maybe the two of you too. Glad Eric’s better.
Pam, you can be assured of a cool summer—I don’t think there’s any other kind in the PNW. I’m actually hoping there will be some days when I don’t have to wear fleece. :-) The lavender farms are wonderful—and the festivals in the summer are fun. It would be great to meet up with you!
Sounds like you have island fever all right, just not the kind that makes you want to leave. I was told that it was snowing over in Burlington this morning, wah! It’s not sticking though.
We look forward to your return.
Sheila, we’re delighted that Lopez is once again on our horizon. We can hardly wait to see you guys! I’m working up lots of new music for our evenings together. oxoxo
Wonderful collection of photos. That area looks beautiful and intriguing. I’m sorry to hear it’s snowing again in Ashland. That kind of cold is not fun in a RV. I hesitate saying we’ve had one of the best winters along the Texas Gulf Coast – warmer than usual. At least warmer weather for you is just around the corner. Sounds like your summer plans are coming together nicely.
Thanks, Ingrid. I’m happy to hear you’re having good weather in Rockport—we’re hoping to get back there next winter. Fortunately, our Arctic Fox is really cozy and we haven’t been cold at all—as long as we’re indoors. :-))
You both have an amazing life. We will be getting over there one of these days soon. We have more “stuff” to pick up at my Moms and in Klamath Falls. Would like the weather to be a tad bit warmer and drier. Hug Eric for me.
Brenda, let us know when you’re in town. We’d love to see you guys. I shouldn’t complain about the weather, considering the amount of rain you’ve had to deal with on the coast! I just hugged Eric for you. :-)
Love the grass and gravel labyrinth…would work here in our back yard.
Diana, do you recognize that labyrinth on Orcas Island? We walked it together a couple of years ago when you came up to visit us. I think it’s definitely a good project for your beautiful back yard. :-)
I’ve thought of you so many times as your mom and dad told me about Eric’s recent surgery. I’m so glad the worst is behind you and you’re looking forward to a great summer! It will be here before you know it! Mom is in an assisted living in Tallahassee now so I don’t see your folks as often, but I miss them and Eastpoint.
I’m so happy to hear from you, Barb. This was definitely a major detour in our life plan, but it’s all working out well. We’re excited about our summer plans, and will be heading to Florida sometime late fall. Hopefully we’ll see you next winter! Much love to you and your family.
When I worked in Seattle and Bremerton, it was great to ride our bikes to the ferry on our days off and see where we ended up. You brought back some great memories for us with your beautiful pictures. We never made it to Orcas Island but will have to put that on our to do list when we return.
So glad you are able to start planning for this summer.
Debbie, that sounds like a fun, spontaneous way to explore the islands! Orcas Island is lovely—you would enjoy Turtleback Mountain—we hiked it for the first time last summer and the views are terrific.
I am hoping we can get to Lopez Island to visit this summer for at least a day. I’ll be in touch with an email to discuss some details:) You have me so curious to see the place in person. Love your summer photos:)
Pam, I hope you guys will come visit us on Lopez. I promise you will love it! It’s every bit as beautiful as I’m leading you to believe.
Isn’t it wonderful to have such fond memories of summer when it’s really winter right outside your door?!
I’ve never been to any of these islands, but your photos make me want to go!
Lisa, our summer memories are definitely sustaining us through the long winter—and giving us something to look forward to that’s right around the corner! I think you and Hans would really enjoy the islands.
Such gorgeous pictures. Such wonderful memories. No wonder you are going through them with snow outside and looking forward once again. Your pictures are always so much fun, merman, Eat Sleep Read – YES!, love the Raven, love the Labyrinth. Ok that’s enough. I just love your pictures as always. If/when you hang up your keys, would you be tempted to move there? It sure looks like paradise. I’m surprised it isn’t over run with people.
Thanks so much, Sherry. I’m glad you’re enjoying the photos—they do bring back wonderful memories for us. Lopez definitely feels like “home” for us—but I’m not sure I could live there year round. The winters are pretty long, and gray, and wet. I think that, plus the remoteness, keeps the island from being overrun.
As much as I am losing my tolerance for cold winters as I get older (I used to love them), I have never loved hot weather. So spending an entire summer in the PNW (wearing fleece!!!) sounds positively dreamy. Your photos are gorgeous.
Laura, I grew up in Florida (too hot and humid!) and lived in Boston for 10 years (way too cold!!). The West Coast is pretty much just right. I don’t mind fleece, even in summer. :-)) So glad you like the photos.
Thank you for “digging these out” to share – every one makes me want to be there. As wonderful as the green and lavender are, I really love the golden grasses on Mt Finlayson. I’m really hoping we can get up there in late July. Can’t believe you’re still getting snow!
Jodee, it would be wonderful to see you and Bill this summer! You’re going to love the PNW. I hope you’ll consider coming over to Lopez. The islands are truly magical, like no place else in this country.
Each time I see a system passing thru where you are, I always think of you guys and wondered how you are coping with this crazy cold weather. Fortunately the pics you took of your summer in the islands kept you warm and longing for summer.
Some of your pics taken in San Juan Islands looked familiar.
Mona Liza, we’re soooo ready for warmer weather! It has been a really cold and wet winter for Ashland. Fortunately our trailer is cozy and warm, and the sun shines at some point every day, so we’re able to get out for long walks. Otherwise I would be totally bonkers.
We sure had a good time with you guys on our too short of a visit this last summer. We’ll definitely stay longer next time but it won’t be this year. Our plans for the summer are Montana and Idaho. We’ve been on the Texas coast for about a week now near Rockport and are digging it. The birding has been excellent and we found a good place that has a happy hour with cheap oysters and beer. (inexpensive beer, not cheap beer) YUM!!! It’s definitely not snowing here. We’ll send a little warmth your way!
Henry, we love Rockport! It’s been a few years since we were there, and we were just talking yesterday about spending a couple of weeks there on our way to Florida next winter. We’re looking forward to your photos! p.s. You must tell us the name of the brew pub/oyster bar. Have you been to the little dive with the fish murals made from beer caps? I think it’s called Pop’s Place.
I love the San Juan Islands, too. How lucky that you have found a summer home on Lopez to which you can return again and again. It sounds like the perfect spot to enjoy a gorgeous PNW summer. And if I recall, you are also heading to Salt Creek? One of my favorites!
Linda, we really enjoy having a place that we can settle in for the summer. For us, there’s nowhere better than the PNW. We’re so excited about returning to Salt Creek for a week in June—I remember that it’s one of your favorite spots. Tidepools, yay! :-)
Such wonderful photos, such fantastic memories they brought forth for me. I couldn’t be more excited for the two of you, having a trip planned to your “second home” this summer. Having the ability to move forward and live life fully again, putting Eric’s health issue behind you, is a true blessing. We are so looking forward to seeing you both this fall.
We are incredibly grateful to be moving forward, LuAnn. And we’re thrilled that we’ll be seeing you and Terry in September! :-))
A beautiful reflection on the beautiful islands of San Juan!
Thanks, Loretta. It was fun sharing Lopez with you and Henry last summer. :-)