With my son ready to head off to college again next week, we wanted to spend some time together -- and I wanted to scratch a long-term itch to go cycling in the San Juan Islands (just off the coast of Anacortes, Washington). I'd planned a tour of the islands way back in 1983, but it didn't work out, and despite living nearby the past 10 years I'd just never made it up there with a bike.
Our plan - very simple. Leave the car in Anacortes (2 hour drive from Seattle); take the ferry over to Friday Harbor, and then spend 3 days doing a loop of each of the larger islands: San Juan Island, Orcas Island, and Lopez Island. Cycling is really popular in the San Juans -- several commercial travel companies run combination cycling/kayaking/hiking trips through the islands; lots of locals travel to and from their summer places by bike to avoid the long lines to get cars off and on the ferries; and a fair number of other folks just ride out for the weekend.
Some pics, starting with our day Friday:
Approach to Friday Harbor by ferry:
Lighthouse at Lime Kiln park. You can just make out the coast of Vancouver Island (Canada) in the background -- I don't know why we don't have guns pointed at Victoria to keep those Canadians under control. In any case, this is a popular spot for whale-watching, but they were in a different area on this day. We did get a *great* look at one of our local Orca pods on the way home at the end of our trip.
Roche Harbor marina; this was originally the dock for a lime mine and lime kiln, now a resort/hotel/marina:
Haro Hotel at Roche Harbor; this was the original hotel at the lime kiln complex (Teddy Roosevelt stayed here):
Lots of nice inland views on the island:
My son is an enthusiastic bike commuter, but not a serious cyclist at all. Friday's ride (at 38 miles) was his longest ride every. Lots of rolling hills, a couple of steep climbs that had both of us in our granny gears. But more was in store for us on Saturday...
View from dinner Friday night: