Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Orcas Island!

is just a ferry boat ride away? How come we've never been? We've been missing out!

We left after a leisurely morning in Seattle on Friday and arrived early evening on the island.
We ate at Chimayo, a New Mexican restaurant, which as K pointed out was appropriate. 10 years ago, we had gotten married and had our wedding dinner with friends and family at our favorite New Mexican restaurant in Albuquerque. As with most Mexican food in Seattle or the Northwest, the food was not quite what you'd expect but it was very tasty.

K had found a great B&B in Eastsound called the Kangaroo House. It was a beautiful craftsman and we had a wonderful suite. It was so wonderful that i think I slept 9 hours that first night because it was so quiet and comfy with no distractions (ie Dex the Duck!) and no responsibilities.

the next day started out clear and cold. We had a lovely breakfast provided by the B&B and set off for Moran Park and Mount Constitution after stopping by the store for picnic supplies. Mount Constitution was a little cloudy on top but it was still a stunning view. The drive down the mountain, we found a great spot to stop and admire the views north. We were treated to watching four (4!) bald eagles circling upward on thermals right in front of us. We could hear them calling to each other with an interesting chittering which I've never heard before.

On the recommendation of the Charles and Jill, the B&B owners, we went on an easy walk around Mountain Lake and up towards Twin Lakes still within Moran Park. That was the best! Very few people out and about and it was just beautiful with fall color, still waters and lots of interesting nature. We had a picnic of salami, cheese, yogurt and pears and were happy!

Since Charles and Jill's recommendations had been perfect, we decided to follow up on their beach recommendation. They had suggested hiking along the short trail in Obstruction Pass State Park to get to the pebble beach on Obstruction Pass. This was more of a hike over trails but nothing difficult and a beautiful beach as a reward.

Well after all that hiking about, we were tired and ready for dinner rather early. But it was too early so we made it into Eastsound to wander about the touristy shops. We did enjoy the Crow Valley Pottery "in town" store. It had pottery, artwork and various other items and we liked some enough to buy. Always a sucker for preserves, we got some pear and blackberry preserves for us and our neighbors who were cat sitting for us. The shop owner told the interesting story that the pears were from his orchards which were all over 100 years old and were Orcas Pears. Orcas pears weren't planted for prettiness but for taste and used to be shipped all over the country. I cannot wait for pancakes this weekend!

I slept another 9 hours that night. There must be something about island time. Breakfast was a more ornate affair and we caught up with the other guests at the B&B. They were determined to make an early ferry to leave the island and bolted quickly. We enjoyed our breakfast and thanked Charles for the excellent suggestions from the day before and did he have any more?

Being the great host, he did and recommended checking out the new park on Turtleback Mountain. An interesting success of opening a new wild area and I cannot wait to see what they do with this park in the years to come. It just opened in 2007 and there are only a few trails right now. We did a quick mile hike up 900 feet onto Shiprock and then right back down.

Then off to Orcas Village to safely make it onto the ferry we wanted and hang out and wait. Orcas Village is rather dull unfortunately. WE got onto the ferry and found our B&B breakfast companions. After bolting from breakfast, they missed the earlier ferry by 5 cars and then were stuck waiting in line for four hours. Ugh! We were pretty smug about the hike we had managed to sneak in.

Orcas was great. K and I can't wait to go again. It felt far away and yes, it can be tricky with ferry rides but all the great outdoor activities were fantastic. As the mark of a great getaway, it felt like we were gone a week for only a long weekend. Love it!

Full photos are ----> click here.


xsfgirl said...

The island sounds beautiful. We hope to come and visit you in Seattle soon and maybe we'll try to check out other places in your area.

PuddleThumper said...

Anytime! We would go back to Orcas tomorrow if we could.