Category Archives: San Juan Island

9/22/2019 Anacortes & Deception Pass State Park, Day 12


A Few Photos Taken from the Jolly Trolly Yesterday


Lime Kilns at Roche Harbor


The Bus Driver’s Frenchies


People Keep Hangers for their Commuter Planes


Arriving English Camp



We passed an Alpaca farm before passing a local eccentric’s art. He keeps a fire burning in the strawberry in the winter so bikers and hikers can get out of the rain and warm themselves.  One time a fellow mooned the Jolly trolley.  He wasn’t there today.





Another Eccentric built this Eight Story House




Ellen’s Burrata Lunch


Not the First Tesla X Campers We’ve Seen!


Lakedale Resort at the Lakes



The Lakedale Lodge



A View from the Lodge over the Deck


Local Art for Sale, A Towhee

We were up late for us, 8:28 AM.  Coffee and cereal for breakfast followed by shaving and re-organizing Li’l Beast.  A quick check of the ferry schedule and, “We could make the 11:00 ferry to Anacortes if we hurry.”  We chose to save Orcas Island for another trip, Whale watching and the weather conspired against us.  “I’d rather be sad that we didn’t go than sad that we did, got bashed around in the rain, and saw nothing.”  We packed it in and drove off for Friday Harbor, but not before dropping the DVDs and a chocolate or two off for Tracy.


Friday Harbor


Friday Harbor Ferry

GPS took time coming on line.  I drove toward Friday Harbor hoping that the ferry access would be easy.  GPS started working as passed a ferry sign pointing to the right.  Two fellows were guiding traffic though the ferry was just starting to load.  “Go around the block to parking lot B and take row 8.”  I forgot the row 8 part but did find the parking lot.  When we arrived row 5 was driving away to board the ferry.  Then row 6 and row 7.  Ok, I approached the fellow directing traffic who said, “You’re in the wrong line.  Go back to row 8 and wait.  You are on standby.  We’ll get you on the 1:30.

Ok. Back around the parking lot to row 8.  I was behind one car.  Two or three others lined up behind me. We waited for a while.  I got out to chat with the fellow directing traffic.

“So I’ll be on the 1:30 ferry?”  “Maybe, you don’t have reservations, right?” “We were told we wouldn’t need a reservation.”  “On inter-island ferries, no reservation is necessary.  Going to Anacortes on a Sunday you need a reservation.”  Ok, we’ve got a 2:30 minute delay and more time wandering Friday Harbor. “We’ll be moving you down to the lower staging area soon.”  Cool.

We were directed down to row 8 in the lower parking lot and motioned to continue on.  We were boarding the ferry!  Li’l Beast was the next to last vehicle on the ferry.  There was a single car that staged behind us.  It parked 1 inch behind our bicycle rack.  One Inch! 


Off the Ferry, Anacortex


Cog back in Washington


The Oyster Run, Anacortes 2019

We were lost in phase 10 and “we’ are arriving Anacortes.” Back in Li’l Beast the center row was flagged off the boat first!  I thought last on, last off.  This was a very neat trick.  There was no customs check as San Juan Island is part of Washington state.  And coolest of all? Washington ferries in the San Juans carge for east-to-west traffic, but not for west-to-east!  No ticket and no payment was required.

The thermistor I ordered last week should be waiting for us at RiteAid, Anacortes.  With that as a waypoint, we rode off.  Ride aid was a block down the road after our first right turn into Anacortes past a Safeway at the corner. The gals at RiteAid were very happy to help, but had never issued an Amazon pickup before.  It took a while to figure that the barcode the system wanted was the one sent in my email.  Moments later I left with the thermistor in hand.  Our ‘fridge has been quiet since the loud fan incident. I’ll replace the old thermistor if the fridge goes noisy again.

Back at Safeway for milk and fizzy water, we found parking was a mess.  An entire section was gated off and full of motorcycles. We noticed cycles everywhere going up and down the street,, parked along the street, everywhere. We parked in Anthony’s Seafood across the street.  I figured they wouldn’t mind as there were lots of space.  In “Yeah it’s not as rowdy as last year.  I guess the rain has a dampening effect on the festival.”  “What festival is this?”  “Oh it’s the Oyster Run.  It’s an annual motorcycle get together themed on oysters, music, and a good time.”

We drove around a bit to reconnoiter, found the main street was closed off except for motorcycles, and found no parking for blocks.  We parked back at Anthony’s and walked.  I counted 100 cycles parked on the main street in a city block.  There were easily a thousand bikes here.  Motorcycle clubs from around the US were represented, guys and dolls with their colors strutted the streets.  I never had a sense of danger.  For the most part these were “old farts” enjoying a day out with their wives on their hogs.  With this many people in one place “anything could happen”.  There was a strong police presence.  Groups of six walked the sidewalks with no swagger or attitude. Everyone was chill.   A gal walked by with a tray of fried oysters.  I bought two.  They were very good and equally overpriced.


There were at least 100 bikes parked on each block, easily over 1,000 total










Crossing Deception Pass Bridge


Our New Home, for a Day

Cranberry Lake Campground

Where should we go for the evening. Closest was Bowman Bay – Deception Pass State Park Campground with full hookups! That’s unusual for a state park in our experience.  I drove down a steep narrow winding road to a sign at the bottom that read “Campground Full”.  The campground hosts occupied the adjacent campsite, but were not home.  Crap.  Then we noticed a sign that said reservations can be made at the main park entrance 3 miles south.  Ok, we were off.  About 3 miles later we found a turnoff for Cranberry Lake- Deception Pass State Campground.  This must be the place.  We turned in remembering the time we visited this campground with Jerry & Michelle.

We drove past a “campground full” sign and up to the entrance. Trudy welcomed us. “You’re full?”  “No, I should probably take the sign in.  We have lots of sites open.  Drive around and find a few you like.  Some sites are reserved, if you pick a few you should pick at least one that’s open. The campgrounds in the 100’s to 200’s are near the water and have no hookups, the others have water and electric.”  we found number 87 in the “near the water” sites that has water and electric!  It’s a double site, but with the other half empty it’s perfect.  It is level front to back and side to side.  We have no satellite reception through the trees, but our High Def antenna brings in 14 channels.  We can select from QVC shopping and reruns of old TV series.







Ellen cooked a stir fry with Chinese noodles, delicious and followed by some of our cheese cake. Then we walked toward deception pass at sunset. The skies have cleared overhead with dark clouds to the south and west. A few fishermen had nothing to show for their effort.  The tide was high and going slack.  The best time to fish deception pass is during an ebb tide which impedes the salmon’s run through the pass.  They congregate in whirlpools waiting for the tide to turn then make their run through the pass.   Like the fishermen out this evening, I fish when I can in good conditions or bad.

As we headed back, a kayaker and paddle boarder passed the point together.   They seemed to be together; she would wait for him to catch up.  They made for a great photo with the sunset beaming on them.

Back home, we’ve settled in.  There’s a 50’s movie playing on the TV.  I’m typing away, and Ellen is 50/50 between the movie and her smart phone.   The movie seems to be about a woman who is either losing her mind or who is sane and everyone else thinks she is crazy.  50’s female drama is so very over the top.

9/21/2019 Lakedale Resort, Friday Harbor San Juan Island, Day 11


Lakedale Resort

Lakedale has changed owners a number of times since it started in 1969. The three lakes surrounding the campgrounds are man made.  The lodge is well designed and inviting.  This is undoubtedly the best campground on the island.  Though the general store is small, it is well stocked.  Tom likes to talk about the San Juan Islands.  He’s a wealth of information and will few visitors off season, he’s also a bit bored.

In the lodge we met Tracy, and thanked her for her helpful phone call the other day.  “Oh that wasn’t me.  That was probably Sherry.”  While we were talking, a bus decorated as a trolley pulled in and around the lodge. “What was that?”  “Oh, that’s the Jolly Trolley. It goes around the island.  For a fee you can hop off and on at various stops.”  It’s $10 per person.  Why not leave the driving to someone else?  “Does the bus take credit cards?”  “No.”  I only had $14.00 in cash.  Tracy offered to lend us $20, “You can pay me back tomorrow.  Here’s a card for a taxi.  You may need it if you miss the last bus.” With a photo of the bus itinerary in hand, we set off to walk the campground. 



Lakedale Resort is a very small campground. It has a few log cabins that sleep 8 with one that sleeps 12, a number of yurts, a remodeled airstream, and lots of tent sights in addition to the 5 RV sites.  In season I’m sure this place is packed with families rowing and fishing the lake.


One of the Three Man-made Lakes

There’s a wedding this weekend.  The owners of the sculpture garden’s daughter is getting married.  On our walk we met a couple who will attend that wedding.  He is originally from Croatia.  She is originally from New York.  They live in Toronto and love the outdoors, which is why they’re staying at Lakedale.  “Wherever we go in the world, we look for hiking trails.  There are some fantastic places to hike that nobody knows about. Crete for example has the deepest gorge and a great hike. Then he mentioned Madeira. “Madeira has some wonderful hiking.  It’s fabulous.”  He also mentioned the coast of southern Portugal as a must visit.  Next they’re going hiking in Spain.

we’re taking a tour of Morocco next spring.  I’ve added a week’s stay in Funchal, Madeira. We’ll be staying at a hotel overlooking the port city, but we will also do walks and hikes into the rugged hills (mountains) of Madeira.

Wherever we go in the U.S. we meet international travellers, like ourselves. Travel opens the heart and mind to the similarities we humans share across cultures.  While different, we all want similar things for our families and friends. Legal immigration in the U.S. is broken.  I’ll leave it at that.


Friday Harbor

We took the Jolly Trolley around the island to Friday Harbor.  We passed the sculpture garden, Roche Harbor,English Camp, Lime Kiln Park, and the Lavender Farm along the way. Roche Harbor is beautiful and worth a visit.  I had planed to take a whale watching tour or a kayak adventure from Roche harbor, but I’m half way through a cold.  Even in great weather, going on the water with a cold is not a good idea.  English Camp has a huge plaque about a war between the English and Americans that almost erupted over a pig.  I’m curious, but with no internet cannot provide more details.  There’s an American Camp elsewhere on the island that has a similar plaque.  Lime Kiln is “THE PLACE” to see orca from the shore. We considered dry camping near the park, but opted for Lakedale.  The Jolly Bus driver said, “When we come around the next turn, if you can see a number of whale watching boats, you’ll see whales.”  Great, but as expected there were no boats and no whales.  The consensus is that the whales are further up islands.  We San Juan Island tomorrow.  We can go to Orcas Island for whale watching or to Anacortes and continue on to Idaho.  With no whale sightings and rain predicted, we’ll probably head to Anacortes.


Friday harbor is quaint.  Like Sidney, it has one main street that runs to the sea and a wharf. Friday Harbor has a large marina to the left and a number of coffee shops, restaurants, and novelty shops.  We ate at the Downrigger, right on the water. Though there were people in shorts and Ts out on the deck, we opted to eat inside.  It was much warmer with the same view through wall to wall windows looking out over the bay.  We had a pastrami sandwich and burrata dish.  The seafood didn’t appeal for some reason. Our waiter said there are ATMs nearby and a Wells Fargo a few blocks up.

Two outfitters in Friday Harbor provide whale watching tours and kayak tours.  They were not busy.  We stopped into a bakery and took two pieces of cheese cake with us.  I took some cash from Wells Fargo to repay Tracy, and we headed to the last Jolly Trolley departing Friday Harbor today.

Tracy was closing the lodge when we walked in.  We repaid her $20 with thanks all around.  “I trust you guys” she said letting us take two DVDs without deposit.  We’ll give her one of our caramel chocolates tomorrow as we leave.

“Back home”, we had a bit of cheese cake and coffee  It took a bit for me to get the DVD working.  We have one less power plug for our devices.  I’ve also got a 3-input HDIM switch that “usually” works and the audio/video cable to the 2nd TV is disconnected.   It’s something I’ll deal with later.  I’ve said that every year.  When we get home it’s out of mind and does not get fixed.  Anyway, The Northwest Passage is a long historical piece that covers the history of adventurers first attempts to find the passage to what climate change has done to the north west.  It’s fascinating.  “The Boy in the Striped Pajamas” was a surprise.  It’s a good movie, but the ending is tragic not very uplifting. It’s not a great bedtime film.

Rain is predicted for tomorrow.