San Juan Islands

Well, before I went to bed last night I had pretty much decided to spare myself the cost of more ferry rides and to go to the Cascade Mountain Highway instead of the San Juans today. That all changed while I slept, I guess. When I woke up I decided I really wanted to see San Juan so I got the hell out of the shit hole that was the Mark II Motel and headed back to Anacortes. This time I had a ferry schedule and I arrived just in time for a quick breakfast and then the ferry ride. The earliest ferry straight to Friday Harbor was not till 2:45pm, so I took the 12:05pm one to Orcas instead. I’m glad I did!

Orcas turned out to be absolutely, stunningly beautiful. I had the most wonderful time. When I was buying my ferry ticket the ticket seller lady told me I should go to Mount Constitution cause on a day like today the view would be great; so that’s what I did. It was about a 30 minute drive to the top, but you can see from the pictures that it was all completely worth it. It’s only about 2800 feet high, but when you have a summit that looks out on islands and tons of natural beauty it doesn’t take a lot of height to do the job.

On the way back down the mountain I stopped at one of the trail heads for Cold Springs, which sounded good to me. I get a thrill from drinking from mountain streams, so that sounded like a good place to do it. Unfortunately, there was a sign at the trail head saying no potable water from here on, so I didn’t have any. It was very pretty though.

I headed back to town and got back on the ferry to go to Friday Harbor. The ride was very nice. It reminded me of something, but I can’t think of what. I feel like every time I ride one of these boats it’s taking me back to something I miss, but I don’t think I ever spent a lot of time on a boat anywhere in my life. My Dad was in the Coast Guard, and he really enjoyed it and felt a great attachment to the sea, so maybe I am channeling him. I know that the smell of salt water, and the shriek of sea gulls and seeing a lighthouse on a rocky point just pulls right at my soul and I love it.

Anyway, I didn’t have a plan for Friday Harbor, and by driving through the town I could see it was going to be pretty dead. It’s a Monday evening in the off season. Not a lot going on.

I took a drive out to Lime Kiln State Park which was supposed to be the best place for seeing whales from the coast (instead of on a boat) and I hiked out to the viewing area. I didn’t see any whales but I did see a sea lion right up close! He was maybe 20 or 30 feet away just chilling on a rock! So cool! I tried to get a picture, but when he heard me he just flopped right into the water. So beautiful.

It was starting to get darkish so I checked the little brochure that came with my ferry ride for places to stay. Under the “really cheap” section I found Juniper Lane Guesthouse which was described as “New, hip, gorgeous, wi-fi” which sounded like just the place for me. The prices were also supposed to be from $30-$165 which sounded great.

I kinda blew past the place at first cause I wasn’t sure what I was looking for. I thought about heading into town to see if there was something closer to the action (heh!) but after seeing it was only 1.3 miles away I headed back.

I peeked in the door of what seemed like the office but it was dark and no one was around. When I peeked back out a girl was walking up towards me. She introduced herself as Juniper, the owner of the guest house and told me all about it. The place is absolutely beautiful and every bit as cool as the description made it sound.

She has a nice web site with a ton of pictures, so just check that out. If you are every in Friday Harbor you *have* to stay here.

And that’s it for my San Juan Islands adventure. Today was great. I had a really nice time all day and I found a perfect room to sleep in, which is a welcome change from yesterday.

You can click the birdy at the top for today’s pictures.

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