Reflections and images from my travels

Wednesday June 6 2018. I awoke afresh in Eastsound. The boutique hotel was very quaint and the rooms were lovely. As I was preparing my gear I saw Louise and Tinus getting ready to leave quite early. The local establishments were not open until 8 AM, so, I wondered what they were planning. We had to be on the ferry to San Juan by 10:35 AM but we had to ride from Eastsound a distance of 18.3 km. I decided to wait around and have a coffee and light breakfast at a local bakery. I got there early and waited but at 8 AM the doors had not opened. A woman was waiting with me and was very perturbed that they were not open on time. She rapped on the window to no avail. She left in a huff ( she was most likely a tourist) and as soon as she was away the bakery opened.

I was off and the ride down was glorious. Perfect sunny weather and a very quiet and pastoral road. It was good for the senses and the aching quadriceps from that big climb yesterday. I got to the Orcas Ferry Terminal about an hour ahead of schedule. I was soon joined by Louise and Tinus who had breakfast in Orcas Village. This is why they left early. We sat in the warm sun and chatted and laughed. They really are good company. The ferry arrived and all three cyclists got on. So quiet.

We landed in Friday Harbor and went right up to our next B&B Tucket House which was within 5 minutes of the Ferry Terminal. It was a beautiful place. We were able to store our bags/panniers prior to the Loop Ride. Louise and Tinus went for coffee and a bite and I started ahead.

The Island Loop was very quiet and scenic. The roads were undulating. My first stop was at Lime Kiln State Park. A whale watching and kayak site. I had a nice snack sunning myself on the rocks with the gulls. There was a lovely lighthouse and kayaks to get photos of.

I was off to the next stop which turned out to be English Camp. A sign at the site explains it better than me.

War over a pig! Thankfully, cooler heads prevailed. We could learn something. The trail down was nice and the grounds were lovely and well preserved structures like a field medical unit and serviceman’s quarters were there to be appreciated.

I rode on and came to the posh and trendy Roche Harbor area. What a nice area to have a bite as I was quite hungry. A nice bowl of clam chowder and rockfish fish tacos would do nicely. There is a lot of cottage sites for sale and one of the nicest marinas I have seen.

On the way in I noticed an interesting park I just had to check out on the way out of Roche Harbor. I spent some time wandering through Sculpture Park. Yes, it is a park of sculptures which are for sale to fund local community projects. I really enjoyed the sculpture letting me know where I was. They were a bit big to fit in my panniers!

As I was leaving Sculpture Park to get on my bike I heard a call and said hi to Louise and Tinus riding by up to Roche Harbor. We spent quite a bit of time together but during the day we rode separately and at our own pace so we could enjoy the islands individually.

The ride back to Friday Harbor was quite quick and I enjoyed the farmlands and cooling dusk realizing this was my final ride on the San Juan Islands. Just to add salt to the wound, I passed the local vineyard which was of course closed. I soaked it all in!

I got back to the B&B, went up to my cozy room and eagerly consumed the homemade cookies and truffles waiting for me. Yum! I found out they have a hot tub and enjoy a well deserved soak. I walked around town and then had a light dinner and Belgian Ale at the San Juan Brewery located close by. I missed Louise and Tinus. We had talked about having a final dinner together on our last night, but, I figured they had dinner at Roche Harbor and would come in later that evening.

My island tales are over for now. I will remember the glorious, solitary rides on quiet roads, the smell of sea air, the lovely parks which were informative and restful, the company of Louise and Tinus, the extremely disappointing vineyard hours, the challenging and rewarding ride up to Mount Constitution, but most of all, gratitude that I am still well and eager enough to ride for adventure.

Tomorrow, I sail back to Anacortes to start the next chapter in my journey the Olympic Peninsula sans comfortable accommodations. Follow along with me.

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