San Juan Islands, Washington

Entering Friday Harbor

Despite rain forecasted for all day, we decided to head to the San Juan Islands.  A friendly waitress had given us a tip to take the state ferry to Friday Harbor, where we could walk off the boat and into an artsy town.

When we left the hotel, it was misting. During the twenty-minute drive we passed through bright sunshine, gray skies, and rain. That was the pattern all day—one minute beautiful, the next not so much. Interestingly, sunny or raining, the temperature didn’t vary.

Arriving early for the ferry in Anacortes, we took the loop drive through Washington Park. It first hugged the shoreline, with lovely views of distant islands, then returned inland through towering fir trees.  It was quintessential Pacific Northwest.  In contrast, landscape I saw from the ferry reminded me of the Maine coastline.

Friday Harbor lived up to our waitress’s description.  Though some galleries were closed (Monday, off-season), enough were opened to keep us entertained. The quality of the work ranged from touristy schlock to high end, traditional and contemporary art and crafts.

On the return trip we had a bonus. The captain came on the loudspeaker to announce that whales had been spotted portside. Sure enough, I got quite a few glimpses of a mother and child emerging. Only one photo shows their fins, though I did see a lot more than that.

In true Pacific Northwest fashion, we ended the day with a meal of salmon, cooked to perfection at Bob’s Chowder Bar & BBQ Salmon restaurant in Anacortes. Casual, inexpensive, with friendly waitstaff and scrumptious food.