Adiós, Orcas

We came back a few days ago from this year’s third and final visit to our island cabin. Like every one before it, the visit was good for the mind and body to just let life’s daily stresses melt away.

We didn’t escape the summer heat entirely. Our first couple of days were pretty toasty (90-plus), but after that things settled into a comfortable space and it was even raining lightly as we took our leave on a Saturday morning.

A few hours later, we were crawling through Seattle traffic, thanks to some guy in a compact who thought it would be a good idea to cut in front of a tractor-trailer on I-5 … and didn’t quite pull off the maneuver.

Welcome back to the mainland, eh?

In any case, here are a few images that make me wistful, but which I hope convey what it’s like to be up on Orcas Island, the jewel of the San Juans.

First night's dinner at our cabin: grilled snapper, roasted red potatoes, green beans from our Portland garden.

First night’s dinner at our cabin: grilled snapper, roasted red potatoes, green beans from our Portland garden.

In addition to short hikes with the dogs, board games and books, we kayaked out of Doe Bay.

In addition to short hikes with the dogs, board games and books, we kayaked out of Doe Bay.

We hit the water under the guidance of Cory, a sea kayaking guide from Iowa City (go figure), and another couple from Portland celebrating their 10th anniversary. Good vibes all around.

We hit the water under the guidance of Cory, a sea kayaking guide from Iowa City (go figure), and another couple from Portland celebrating their 10th anniversary. Good vibes all around.

After three hours of sea kayaking, during which we viewed a nesting bald eagle and a mink scampering on the rocks, we looked back out to Doe Bay.

After three hours of sea kayaking, during which we viewed a nesting bald eagle and a mink scampering on the rocks, we looked back out to Doe Bay.

We played a round at Orcas Island Golf Course. Pretty dry but very relaxing. Lori must have been my good-luck charm because I FINALLY broke 50 for 9 holes -- 49. Yes!

We played a round at Orcas Island Golf Course. Pretty dry but very relaxing. Lori must have been my good-luck charm because I FINALLY broke 50 for 9 holes — 49. Yes!

Socializing is hit and miss because you may come up to the island before or after others. This time we hit it right and enjoyed a paella dinner at Eagle Lake with a group that included a couple of retired California cops and their wives. From left: Lori, Gale, Phil, Lisa, Bob, Carl and Juliana.

Socializing is hit and miss because you may come up to the island before or after others. This time we hit it right and enjoyed a paella dinner at Eagle Lake with a group that included a couple of retired California cops and their wives. From left: Lori, Gale, Phil, Lisa, Bob, Carl and Juliana.

Heading home: A glimpse of Orcas Island from our eastbound ferry.

Heading home: A glimpse of Orcas Island from our eastbound ferry.

Passing ships. Literally. As we glided across the water towards Anacortes, a boatload of passengers headed to Orcas Island.

Passing ships. Literally. As we glided across the water towards Anacortes, a boatload of passengers headed to Orcas Island.

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