Onward to the San Juans

We woke up early and loaded the car before departing for Anacortes, a coastal town about an hour and a half north of Seattle. The drive was an easy highway run. As we move north we passed through the Washington farming areas I’ve read about, including the Skagit Valley (home of the infamous Floret Farms). Finally we saw our turn west and continued until we hit the transport hub town of Anacortes.

Ever-prepared, we arrived at the ferry terminal very, very early. Everything I’d read said to do so, so we came with hours to spare making us first in line. Little did I know that the waiting is all part of the experience and in fact made for a lovely morning.

Like those around us, we turned off our car, pulled out some snacks, and set out on a walk. I went over to the terminal and grabbed a coffee before we headed down to the beach and perched ourselves on a log to enjoy the sea area and relax a while. Others combed the beach and  another couple sat at a picnic table eating donuts from town.


The loudspeaker blared when it was time to return to our cars in preparation for boarding. We hurried over and readied ourselves for the go ahead. Once on board each car was directed to a spot, and once settled we got out, locked up, and headed upstairs to the seating area. The boat has a little cafeteria filled with your average snacks peppered with local items too. What was surprising was the prices weren’t outrageous given the convenience.

I decided to head outside despite the cold and watch the passing islands and hope for some wildlife sightings. No wildlife, but the views were rather beautiful, complete with sailboats cruising by. The environment was so tranquil. It begged you to take a deep breath again and again, taking it all in properly.


The ferry stopped first at Lopez island, where we would visit next, then onward to Orcas island. The whole trip took only about an hour but we were, as promised, a world away from mainland Washington. As we approached Orcas I spotted the quaint port building in front of us, with Orcas printed in red block letters. We started up the car and cruised off the ramp, turning onto the only road away from the port.

We were immediately immersed into farmland, spotted with a variety of farms, some longtimers and others seemingly younger transplants. Berry bushes and fruit trees lined the roads. After a time, you might forget you’re on an island. As we approached our campground, the scenery changed a bit, and fields were replaced with emerald forest. We pulled up to the state park window and were guided in choosing our  our home for  the next few days.

This link provides information about ferries and to make a reservation for your car.

Camping on Orcas

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