Saturday, July 30, 2011

Washington's Wonderful Woods (Part Two)

Following a great time at the cabin, our trip to the the San Juans and in particular, Orcas Island was one for the books. Beautiful weather, hiking every day, our favorite campsite, and not too many crowds made it a WONDERFUL adventure.

The ferry trip always starts things off with a bang, especially after getting there and knowing you have a spot. It's so exciting! This trip we saw dolphins in the sound. And it was the most BEATIFUL DAY!

My husband is a camping rock star-though I have my important roles, he does the bulk of the work, happily. The site we stay in each year at Moran State Park is HUGE and private. Deer pass through, there is a stream running nearby, and there are several HUGE trees that have been there so long, their deep ridges could tell stories of the park's history. Note the hammock hanging in our site-and those would be my legs in it......

This year we spent one afternoon lolling by the water. The weather was SO HOT, I'd never experienced that in the San Juans before. Luckily Cascade Lake was there to cool the girls down. They played in the sand for hours.

Early in the week we headed into Eastsound to Darvill's as I'd just finished a really good read and was hungry for something else to enjoy. I chose The Postmistress a new book by an author I'd read recently.

Aren't the hollyhocks growing on the streets SO PRETTY?
This trip we did a hike every day. Our longest hike was 3.9 miles around Mountain Lake, and we loved it so much, we did it twice. I love walking around a lake trail-it's in my bones. Though there was an occasional grumble, for the most part the kids did great, too.
Someone had written a word with sticks on the side of the trail.

This door leads to what the girls have coined, the "hermit of the hills." I think the kids will especially remember this about Orcas Island.
The girls and I love to beachcomb at Crescent Beach, found on the way to Moran State Park near Eastsound. Oh, the endless treasures offered up by the tide: three different clammy shells, oyster shells, lots of beautiful stones, many a crab, smooth sable-colored driftwood and worn sea glass. Avery even found a sand dollar burried in seaweed. This is also where we've spotted blue herons, ankle deep in water, stalking their prey.

Atop Mount Constitution in what the girls call "tickle tower", we were able to see nearby Lummi Island to the east, an especially meaningful sight to Julia, whose dear friend vacations there often. It was a breathtaking view.

We had the best trip to Orcas, but after nearly two weeks on the road, we aimed our compass south a day early. We decided to return to the cabin for the night to cut our trip home in half. It ended our Washington tour quite nicely to see my mom (who hadn't left yet) and soak up the beauty at Clear Lake for one more warm summer evening.

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