San Juan Island

Trip Start Jan 06, 2011
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Flag of United States  , Washington
Monday, June 20, 2011

Monday, June 20th

We decided that since it would take us some time to get to the ferry because we were biking we would catch the 11:55am ferry.  It was a 6 mile bike ride to the ferry so we headed out at 10:30am to give us plenty of time. There actually is a really nice walking/running/biking trail that runs by the campground and along the water in to downtown Anacortes. We were able to take the bike trail for a while before turning to drive across town to the ferry. There were definitely more up hill stretches on the way to the ferry than downhill, but there was a huge hill down to the ferry at the end. It was great for the finish of the bike ride to get to the ferry, but we knew it would be horrible later when we were just starting out our trek again.

We got to the ferry fine and bought our tickets. Then we were able to check out some tourist flier's to see what we really wanted to do once we got on the island. The ferry ride took about an hour and I read most of the way.  Jared went out when we were first getting started to take some pictures. Before we knew it we were pulling in on San Juan Island. The ferry docks in Friday Harbor, which is a cute little area of coastal shops, galleries, and restaurants. We walked around a little bit to get the lay of the land. We checked out some antique stores and then headed over to where we could rent mopeds. We weren't sure if we wanted to since it was pretty pricey and we thought there was a bus we could take to get to where we wanted to go. We decided to head to the visitor's center to check out about the bus before deciding on the mopeds. The guy at the visitor's center informed us there was a bus and gave us the schedule. The bus was about to leave so we decided to catch it since it was going where we wanted to go and would cost less overall.

We headed to the bus, which was $20 round trip total but still less than the mopeds would have been. The bus took us out to Lime Kiln Point State Park, which has a lighthouse and great views for whale watching. The woman driving the bus gave us a little tour of the island while we drove out to the park and she informed us that she has already seen some whales on earlier trips out. Apparently there are a couple of different pods of orcas that you can usually see around the island. Of course when we got to the park the information said that the whales had been seen heading north at 1:30pm. It was now 2:30pm, so we were hoping that they would head back down. We walked over to the lighthouse to check it out and the information there said that passed on past data the best time to see the whales in that area was between 3-4pm. We were there right in prime time. We hung out at the lighthouse for a while waiting and then decided to head over to the whale overlook area. From this area if the whales go by you are really close to them. We waited there for a while until it was time to catch the last bus which was at 4:30pm. We were pretty bummed that we didn't see any whales and decided that this confirmed that we are bad luck when it comes to wildlife sightings.

The bus was right on time and we ended up riding back out with the family of 4 we had ridden in with. On our way out from the park the other guy spotted some whales coming up from farther south. (I had told Jared the whales would come as soon as we left) The bus driver was very nice though and pulled over for us. Unfortunately Jared didn't really get any good pictures, but we saw about 4 different orcas. One of them breached twice and it was awesome to see it jumping up super high in the air. It was just so quick that Jared couldn't get any pictures of it. He did get the splash on the water and we were super excited to see it. Our bus took a different route back and the bus driver continued being a tour guide for us. We also were able to see a red fox on our way back to the harbor and she pointed out a 7 story house.

When we got back to the harbor we grabbed a slice of pizza for a little meal and then walked around town more. We stopped in at the San Juan Vineyards tasting room and then headed over to the San Juan Cellars tasting room. We purchased two bottles from the San Juan Cellars that were on special 2 for $14. We had a nice chat with the lady in this tasting room too. She said that her and her husband own the company. They said that all the grapes and wine are grown and made in central Washington, but the only place it is sold is this little shop. She said that since they live on the island this is where they sell their wine. Once we finished up with the tasting it was time to board the ferry to head back.
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