Orcas Island Adventures

Our ferry docked on this island midmorning and we began our explorations immediately. Orcas Island is the largest of the San Juan Islands off the coast of Washington but even at that is only 57 square miles of land. 

From mountain to meadow to sea it is a delightful discovery and we are all excited to drive the quiet country roads and see more of this enchanting little spot on the globe. These tiny deer abound across the island.

Heading up the road to Mt Constitution in Moran State Park. This seemed to us to be The Enchanted Forest.

Pausing along the way...

...to take in the sweeping panoramic vistas.

We have reached the top of the Observation Tower on Mount Constitution, the highest peak of the San Juan Islands. 

Jacki and I already know we like a good hike but Julian surprised all of us, even himself! He accompanied us on numerous byways and mountain trails during our stay. Though I am not one for the heights of adventure I did linger quite near the edge of this precipice for the sheer beauty of the views it had to offer.

When I glanced over at Jacki, who had gone on a bit further, it made me feel a bit queasy. My motherly instincts came to the surface and I launched into a be-careful-stop-scaring-me lecture.

High above the trees

Dale actually joined us for part of the hike then found a resting place at the base of the tower. Jacki came back down and showed him where we had been.

We hiked back to Cascade Falls, one of several falls along the woodland trails.

My very own mountain climbers!

Our guest house, Buckhorn Farm Cottage, was on a ten-acre farm nestled into the side of a ridge and totally private. It was our dream of an escape into the country come true. Nothing fancy but clean, inviting, and quiet, with friendly and helpful landlords.

Welcoming front door...

Breakfast on the lawn

One afternoon I set out bread, cheese, butter, and honey. What's not to love about a snack like that? I'll tell you. It's when the bread is hard and stale from storage on the back shelf of the car in the bright sunshine. Oh well...we tried.

Cute little pots of flowers were scattered around the cottage.

The owner told us to help ourselves to ripe figs in the garden, so we tried to find them but only came up with green ones. This photo of Dale and Jacki inspecting the fig tree reminds me of Matthew 21:19, where Jesus looked for figs on a tree and found none. No, we did not curse this tree!

The art of Relaxation. I already miss those Adirondack chairs, that view, and the sense of peace surrounding the property.

The deer came right up close to us in search of apples that fell from trees near the house. One actually scared Jacki. She had no idea any living thing was near her chair when suddenly she heard it crunching apples.

Less than 10 minutes' walk from our cottage we had a small stretch of pebbly beach strewn with a few pieces of driftwood.

On one side there were numerous boats moored off the coast along a private beach.

No sand here, just smooth and shiny rocks. 

Along the way we spotted this sign post... 

...and a rustic little lending library at the end of a country lane. Over and over again we thought of Anne of Green Gables and Prince Edward Island. We've never been there but it had the feel of the books we've read, despite being an island on the opposite coast of North America.

Eastsound is the darling little village nearby.

Again, we found an abundance of flowers in bloom.

One morning the library was having a book fair and these two girls were making beautiful music with harp and violin.

Lunch at Roses Cafe was a pleasure indeed. We were seated out on the front porch and could enjoy the sights and sounds of the village while taking advantage of the cool breeze. 

We had to wait about half an hour until they reprinted their lunch menus.

So they offered us a drink menu while we waited. Mine was lovely. 

Pasta with clams? Absolutely delicious!

There was a bike rental in the village, so I dropped Dale off at the library, then Julian, Jacki, and I got fitted with our bikes and headed off down the road. Here again, Julian totally surprised me. He was all into joining us and he definitely added to the fun.

The children stop to figure out our route. It's a treasured moment for this mother's heart. Since the end of homeschool they seldom work together, each having separate jobs. This matter of taking charge of the map reading, it made me realize how quickly they are becoming adults. Which reminds me of one reason why we wanted to take this trip in the first place. We are carefully making use of the moments we have together while they are both still living at home.

The bike route followed the road as well as veering off into the forest for a more narrow trail and bumpy ride. 

The end of the ride signaled the need for ice cream in homemade waffle cones. Clever Cow Creamery in Eastsound fits the bill.

Roadside flower stand. Dahlias are the star of the show in these parts and I wanted to buy them for their pure and simple beauty. Alas, our stay was not long enough to justify the expense. 

Our country cottage really was primitive according to today's standards. We had neither cell phone nor internet service. Once in the village, it was available, so while we wait for the Madrona Bar & Grill to open we catch up on our phones.

This little island will forever hold sweet memories for all of us. 

Travel and exploration with the family is a blessing we don't take for granted. We have not always been able to do it when we wanted and thank God when the opportunity arises and the way is clear to go. This has been a priceless gift from our Father.