ANACORTES, WASHINGTON--Two weeks ago I had never heard of Anacortes, and two years ago I had never heard of the San Juan Islands. Yet here we are, after more than 3 days of driving, waiting in Anacortes for tomorrow's ferry ride to the those small islands north of Seattle, the San Juans.
Our plan is this: we are leaving our vehicle in the Anacortes parking lot and taking only our bikes. We plan to bike our way through Lopez, San Juan, Orca, and Shaw islands. We figure to spend about a week doing this...camping out, drinking coffee, staying in b&b's, staring at the ocean and sunsets. Our rides each day will only be about 10 to 20 miles. MaryAnn is carrying all her own stuff in a pair of panniers and a sack bungied to the top of them. I'm pulling my trusty little Yakima trailer.
Meanwhile, we spend the night in Anacortes. Our bags are packed...but I'm sure we will have to repack them in the morning. We'll get to the ferry early because I'm going to have to assemble the trailer and prepare the bikes before we go. We have eaten everything in the cooler, including a giant portion of improvised chicken florentine with vermicelli.
Did I mention that it is cool here? The bank thermometer says 64 degrees at about 9:00. We took a walk down to the marina. It is only a block away from our motel. I have always dreamed of ships ever since I was a little boy. I would search the dictionary for types of sailing vessels. The dictionary would always have a picture of each type: schooners, sloops, catboats, yawls, ketches, brigs. I loved them. My tendency towards motion sickness tempers my enthusiasm at this point in my life.
On the way here we went through the Tolt valley...in honor of The Artist Ken Saville, who talks of this place often. He comes up here almost every summer to do art workshops with school kids. I called him on the phone as we did it. He urged me to get a hamburger from the stand in Fall City. We did. And it was pretty darn good.