Thursday, December 2, 2010

The San Juan Islands, Washington

Shortly after I got to Portland Donny and I decided to take a trip to San Juan Islands in Washington. I knew nothing about the islands except that they were beautiful. Beauty and pictures are an understatement of this place.

Even when going to a serene place I was reminded of this: There is never a dull moment.

Odd highlight of the trip: How many different places can we pitch our tent?

Without a car two people on a budget may have a hard time getting from Seattle to Anacortes. Getting from Portland to Seattle, no problem. $10 a person rideshare on Craigslist will get you there in four hours. Not many people hitchhiking-friendly people drive to Anacortes, however, with karma on our side, we were picked up faster than it took to write a sign.

We were picked up by an intriguing older man with quite a story. He told us his story as a Navy sailor whose ship was sunk in the Pacific due to a conspiring shipmate and captain. He was left in a raft for days without food or water, eventually washing upon Ni'ihau, the Forbidden Island. Long story short, this white man was transported to O'ahu and eventually a book and movie was made about the wreckage. This man was such a brilliant and eloquent storyteller I wish that would be my grandfather. I was most grateful for his hospitality and

Our first stop was Orcas Island. My friend Luis originally invited me to visit and offered to show us around. For the first night we camped in a friend's yard, which w
as a little odd at first, but was right next to the shore and quiet as can be.
The only issue I had with this trip began after this first night. I woke up with vertigo. I have no idea if I dislodged an ear fragment or just slept funny, but every morning I woke up with the spins. This is the most ridiculous thing
for a 26 year old, seriously. Torture me with foul smelling things or shave my head, but don't make me feel like an old woman, Karma. Jesus. I may as well have been sleeping on some train tracks. For fuck's sake. At least the view was pretty.

The next couple of nights we spent at one of the lakes. It was gorgeous. Cicadas singing songs, trout jumping at dusk, the campfire going. What goes well with all of that? Sailor Jerry's Rum of course! The world may end if Donny didn't have a drink in his hand. Drink trumps food. Although we tried our darndest to catch some fish, only babies were biting and the bait just didn't seem that enticing to eat.

The next few days were spent on Friday Harbor. What I learned about this island is that its packed full of tourists. The ones that flock to the island in the summertime. The main attraction for this island are the Orcas. We were fortunate enough to stay with one of Donny's friends that happen to own one of the kayaking outfitters. Which meant getting into a kayak for free! This friend also lived on a beautiful piece of land, so we had our choice to camp wherever we wanted. We chose the most interesting and dry spot...a trampoline.

I will say it was a chore to get situated in that thing with two people, but after it was relatively comfortable. At least more than acorns and tree branches. What annoyed me most was how friggin' cold it was in the mornings/evenings. I was definitely only dressed for summer, and wore the ONE sweater I had as though it were part of my skin. Although given a choice I'd still rather be frozen that wake up with vertigo.

The only unfortunate thing whilst on this trip was my inability to capture any Killer Whales with my camera. It probably didn't help that it wasn't waterproof. I guess I'll know better next time, because when those huge mammals breach it is a sight to see! I recommend the beautiful, tranquil San Juan Islands for a summer getaway.