San Juan Island - Summer 2004

Sunday August 1 we drove from Vancouver to Anacortez (USA) where we parked, and boarded a ferry (with only our bikes and backpacks) for the 1 1/2 hour trip to Friday Harbor on the San Juan Island - the most developed of the four larger Island that the ferry lands at. Hundreds of yachts of all sizes, we pushed our bikes up the hill and 1 mile trip to Discovery Inn, where we were to stay for the next 5 days.

The road around the perimeter of the Island is around 50 miles - very little traffic, and the roads are lined with juicy blackberries - a bicyclists paradise. On Monday we rode 10 miles to the south-eastern part of the Island to the "American Park" and walked the trail to the sea. Many exotically sculptured (weathered) driftwood logs. Lots of slippery slimey green stuff on the rocks (low tide) but fortunately full of sharp barnacles, so we managed to maintain our grip. Returned and rested before our first ever sea-kayaking adventure at 4-7pm. Our guide was Amy - a very capable young student from Colorado doing this as her summer job. This was a wonderful unique experience which we have never had before. Very low down on the water, bouncing up and down on every wave we watched a seal bobbing up and down, seagulls resting on a kelp island - as we did. I broke of a piece of kelp and blew it like a fog horn.

Tuesday we biked north 10 miles to Roche Harbor. A delightful unique spot - we decided to return there and do another sea-kayaking trip the next day, so hurried back to be in time for our sunset whalewatching boat ride. Did not see any whales, but many different birds, seals, and a spectacular sunset. We returned too tired to even hot-tub!

Wednesday we rode early to Roche Harbor for our second sea-kayaking trip - wonderful among the islands - saw an island covered with hundreds of seals and seal pups. We did not approach too close for fear of causing a panic - the seal pups could easily be smothered, so we watched them from a kelp bed. After that we spent a wonderful afternoon in the Sculpture Garden in Roche Harbor, which houses around 150 pieces merging into the scenic garden. We show only a few of the pieces - classical and modern family groups, birds, ducks, string and even a lifesize Don Chixote.

Thursday we did a hilly 10 mile ride to the west side of the island to Lime Kiln Park. The west side is very different to the east side - much less populated and more exotic - cliffs overlooking the sea, the road winding through beautiful lush wooded areas, finally arriving at the beautiful Lime Kiln Park with its picturesque lighthouse and whale watching overlook.

Friday morning we left early to catch the 8:10am ferry back to Anacortez - a very pleasant and enjoyable 5 day stay on the island.

Nili hugging one of the ubiquitous weird "Madrona" trees in the Sculpture Garden at Roch Harbor.

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