Today we woke up early and broke down camp quickly knowing we had to catch a 9:30 am ferry to San Juan Islands. We rode the 17 miles to the ferry in good time, making it with 30 min to spare. I think our legs might be getting used to this whole ride for 12 hours type deal. We’re happy about that.
The ride to the ferry was pretty. Mornings in the PNW tend to be gray and dreary, but like I said, it adds a magical undertone to the whole experience.
When we got to the ferry, we thought we had plenty of time to relax before boarding. Guess again. As I was grabbing some warm clothes from my pannier while Sheena was waiting for a breakfast sandwich, I had who I thought was a stranger ask if I wanted a water. I turned around ready to decline the offer and realized it was Tom from yesterday! As an aside, yesterday when he talked with us he gave us seltzer water in exchange for conversation, so he gave us more today. He explained that he was picking up his aunt from Bellingham and saw us this morning riding and followed us to the ferry. We talked briefly about the San Juan Islands and I met his Aunt Biddy, a super sweet woman, but the conversation took a lot of time and we had to get our bikes on the ferry. I said goodbye and he reassured me he wouldn’t be following us again, and ran to meet up with Sheena, who was still waiting for her breakfast sandwich. We rushed the kitchen staff and got the sandwich and ran to get our bikes on board. We almost missed it, but we got our bikes on right in the Knick of time. We tied our bikes on rather precariously and got to sit down and relax for the hour ride. The ferry was a gorgeous trip, although a bit cold. Didn’t get to see any whales just yet! However, on the ferry was a woman on a show I consider to be a guilty pleasure. Dr Pepper (yes that is her real name) from Married at First Sight (like I said – it’s a guilty pleasure show, I have trash taste in TV) was on there with her husband. I spoke with her briefly. I’m pretty sure I’m the only one who recognized her, but cool sighting none the less!
After the ferry we deboarded and spent some time in town. We had to grocery shop, where I finally got a hold of the pack supply folks for the JMT (phew, one less thing to worry about), and started our ride to Lime Kiln. Along the way, we were told by multiple people to beware – the roads are narrow and there are lots of hills. Reassuring! As we were headed down one such hill, Sheena lost a riding glove. We were debating in a driveway whether or not to dump our gear and go back up the hill to retrieve it when the owner of the driveway talked to us – again, warning about the hills. We explained that Sheena lost her glove and that we were just gonna forget it and move on. We did just that and after almost forgetting about it, that same guy stopped next to us and gave her her glove! Really made our day!
San Juan is a pretty big island off route, but a very gorgeous place to explore. Nicknamed the Orca watching capital of the world, we came in hopes of seeing a whale. No such luck, as the ranger told us it was too early in the season for whale watching. Darn.
But regardless, it was a gorgeous ride. We pulled off at one particularly breathtaking view labeled private property. Before stopping, we were planning on trespassing and take a few quick pictures before going on our way. We didn’t realize there were people standing looking at the empty lot, and I quickly assumed they were going to buy it to build on it. “Geeze,” I thought, “these people sure are loaded. Wonder what they do.” After looking them over for a little, I realized it was Dr Pepper from the boat! We got on our bikes ASAP cause I didn’t want her to think we were mega creep stalkers and file a restraining order. Thus, dashing all my hopes of being on the show and any hope I have of finding my future husband! (Sarcasm).
We were told that the road we took around the island was the most beautiful road in the world. Though amazingly scenic, the jury is still out on this rather obtuse statement.
We arrived at Lime Kiln at 2:45, giving us plenty of time to relax and look for whales. Guess again! This particular state park does not allow camping. So, we had to move on. Luckily, there is a county park 2 miles down (or should I say up…) the road. Because google maps said those 2 miles would take 20 minutes, we knew we were in for a rough ride. And we weren’t wrong. We haven’t seen hills like that since the Appalachian days of the Transam. We weren’t thrilled, but we made it to San Juan County Park in one piece with still plenty of time to relax.
The campground we’re staying in is seriously amazingly beautiful. We’re close to the water and even have our own private beach. Definitely worth the 2 extra miles to get here.
Although we didn’t see whales, I did see an otter! He was adorable and I wish I could’ve snatched him up so Addie could have a brother. Unfortunately, my shrieking at how cute he was scared him off (as it would any normal creature with working ears) and he sprinted as fast as he could back to the safety of the water. Darn, sorry Addie!
Tomorrow we’re riding around the other half of the island and taking the ferry back to Anacortes where we’ll meet back up with the official route. After tomorrow (and all these San Juan hills) we’re hoping our biking legs will be ready to go so we can start tacking on more miles!