If you plan to visit any of the San Juan Islands during the summertime, it is smart to make a reservation ahead of time for the ferry, especially if you plan to travel with a vehicle. Our reservation was for Monday morning on the 7:25 a.m. ferry from Anacortes to Orcas. It was a beautiful day.
It was a wee bit chilly, but that didn’t stop Scott from capturing the beautiful sunrise coupled with a marine push that produced the spectacular fog this particular morning.
We arrived at Orcas Island in less than an hour. The island is shaped like a horseshoe. The ferry is located on the bottom left side. Once we got off the ferry, we traveled north on Orcas Road (#5) to Lover’s Lane, which is not only the center of the horseshoe, but also the town center of Eastsound (#4).
Our first stop was at my friend’s son and daughter-in-law’s store in Eastsound.
There is a wide assortment of really cool jewelry, most of which was hand designed by the owner. She also draws all of the artwork that is screen-printed onto the clothing by her husband. Their collection of items come from all over the world. Their “lust” for “wandering” around the globe allows for the broad scope of worldly novelties. The store did not open until 11:00 a.m., so we decided to take a ride around the island to kill some time.
First, we headed east and then south on Olga Road until we reached Moran State Park (#14). I loved the welcome arch as we entered the park. We parked the truck and walked around, checking the place out. We thought about coming back to kayak on Cascade Lake, which was off to the right, if it warmed up.
Next, we continued on Olga Road to Pt. Lawrence Road to Doe Bay Resort (#14). It was mostly private roads, so we turned around and headed west to Obstruction Pass Road. There was ample parking here, and we took a short hike to see the views.
Obstruction Pass Beach is said to be the largest “public” beach on the island. The picture below shows most of it.
Then, we headed north again to Rosario Resort and Spa (#2). There was a lot of parking at this beautiful resort, but not one spot was open for us to park. Scott dropped me off so that I could take a walk around and take a few pictures. I would love to stay in this condo overlooking the water. It reminded me of the condos at The Sagamore, Lake George, NY.
In the opposite direction was the resort. My next picture shows part of the restaurant/pool area.
For some reason, I didn’t take a picture of the hotel. So, here is their website picture, which gives a much better view than I could have gotten from land.
Below if one more shot from the parking lot.
Later that afternoon, we stopped for a late lunch at The Madrona Bar & Grill which was located right on the East Sound. It featured steaks, seafood, and other American fare served in a rustic cottage with deck seating & water views.
Afterward, we drove to the hostel where we would be staying overnight. It was also located in the center of town, about one block from the water. Actually, everything on this island is pretty close to the water.
Below are some pictures taken from the backyard. There are a few options for sleeping to choose from…a private bedroom or a shared bedroom in the house, or outside in a tent, tepee, or bus. Not kidding.
The owners sleep in the little brown building with the red windows and door.
We checked into our private room on the second floor in the house and took a nap. When we woke up, we drove to Crescent Beach Public Beach (#10) with the idea of taking the kayaks out to catch the sunset. This was as far as we got.
The next morning, we checked out of the hostel and went to breakfast at Rosies. They are known on the island for the BEST breakfast. We arrived shortly after two large parties, and were asked by our server if we had to catch a ferry. We didn’t know then that it would be 45 minutes before we would see our food. I never had “baked” eggs before, so it was worth the wait.
We headed west to Enchanted Valley Road (#3) to see my friend’s son’s home. They had purchased some land about five years ago and are slowly building “little houses” to allow for their growing business and family. It was so wonderful to see this handsome, young man again. He is the son of my very dear friends that I grew up with. They must be so proud of the life their children have created for themselves on such a gem of an island.
We had time for a hike and “Murf” suggested we check out Turtleback Mt. Nature Hike (#7). It was an easy to moderate hike with some long uphills to some spectacular views.
We parked by South Trail and headed north to Lost Oak Trail.
Parts of the trail were shady and wide while others were sunny and grassy.
Some were narrow…
…and lead to a magnificent views.
It was time to head south to the ferry for our reserved 7:25 p.m. ride back to Anacortes. When we pulled up to the station, the attendant seemed entertained by our arrival time. He said that the 5:15 ferry had just left and the next one was not until 8:50 p.m. I told him that we had made a reservation over a week ago. Upon checking my text messages, I realized the mistake I had made. Instead of booking a round trip fare, I booked two one-way fares from Anacortes to Orcas. Since their return trip is free, we just had to wait another three hours for the next ferry. I’d rather be hiking.
We finally were on our way back to Whidbey Island, hoping to return to Orcas Island again some day.