My previous, and first camping trip on San Juan Island, was in the cold harsh winter. Even as such, I had a great time and wanted to go back as soon as I could. So with the weather a little bit warmer, I took some time off from work and reserved another spot at the San Juan County Park.
After the long ferry ride to the island, I was in dire need of breakfast. So first up on the list was Roche Harbor.
I found a place to park the car and spent a little time walking around. This great blue heron was fishing the shallows during a low tide. So intent on getting a meal, it didn’t even seem to be phased at my presence. Let alone the fact I was crawling around in all kinds of embarrassing poses trying to find the perfect shot.
Directly behind the harbor is the old rock quarry. Seeing as how it has a little bit of altitude to it, I figured I would hike it up there and see if I couldn’t get a shot looking back at the harbor.
While hiking through one of the trails I accidently cornered a young deer.
Eager to find a way out, she didn’t mind coming into closer contact with me.
Further up, one of the quarry ridgelines almost takes me to a view of the harbor.
After poking around a bit more, I ran into this mother fox and her pup. See more of the photos and the story about the foxes here.
One of the many playful shots of the fox pup.
After the fox encounter, I finally got a couple harbor shots.
Actually, it turns out the best shot was from the road on the way up to the quarry.
Having spent a good amount of time at the quarry, it was time to head to camp and get set up.
Right after registering, a pod of orcas came through the straight.
A close up of one of the orcas.
A group of kayakers watch the orcas pass.
However, down at the shore, a pair of Canadian geese were less than impressed.
With the orcas out of the way and the camp all set up, it was time to do a little driving around the island and hit some areas I had yet to explore.
Even areas I was told not to explore.
This overlook was one of the areas I had been to before. But the weather was a bit better this time so I wanted to get another shot of it.
With all the flowers in bloom it was a great opportunity to get some new desktop shots.
And then this little guy came walking by. He’s got quite the shaggy winter coat, which looks like it’s half blown already. There’s a couple more of him in the foxes post I mentioned before.
From the same lookout, here’s a view of Cattle Point Lighthouse. Check out my winter post for more photos of it.
With the first day already coming to an end, it was time to head over to the Lime Kiln State Park and see if I couldn’t get some sunset photos of the lighthouse.
There was another photographer waiting for sunset, close to the same place I was wanting to go. We talked for awhile and it turns out he was visiting from Florida. Always nice to have a fellow Floridian in the Pacific Northwest.
With the amount of cloud cover that came in, the sunset didn’t look like it was going to produce better results from my last visit. So I said my goodbyes and gave up on the shot.
Back at camp, just in time for the final light in the sky.
The next morning I wanted to head back to Roche Harbor and spend some time visiting the Mausoleum.
It’s quite the interesting story, and a nice little walk though the woods.
If you have some time, park in the dirt lot in front of the airport entrance and make your way up the hill.
Found near the structure, the massive banana slug is doing whatever it is that slugs do.
Oh, and it turns out it was time for the Western Tent Caterpillar invasion as well. I spent a good amount of time flicking these guys off of me the whole trip.
Here’s where I spent some time jumping around the island. Most of the images were already taken on my previous day. But here is a deer (columbia black tail) in the middle of a field.
With another day coming to an end, it was time to head back to camp and get the fire going.
Of course I took some time to take some sunset photos of the Salish Sea.
A couple other campers enjoying the sunset.
It’s been a long trip and almost time to head back to Seattle. So I made my way over to Friday Harbor, got the car in the ferry queue, and spent the rest of the time taking some photos and having a drink.
Next time I think I will make my way to Orcas Island. Or maybe even do some kayaking around the islands.
If you’re interested in camping on San Juan Island, you can make reservations here with the San Juan County Park. There are some other private camp options, but none of them will get you on the coast like you can at the Co Park.