Riding a ferry out to the San Juan Islands might be a yawner to PNW locals, but for landlocked Coloradans like myself, doing so is like taking a ride on the space shuttle. I’m even fascinated by what kind of rope they use to tie the thing to the dock.
So we loaded up as bicycle passengers in the afternoon for a short cycle tour on Orcas Island, dinner on West Sound, and a late ride back in a nearly empty ship. This was a recon for a bigger trip we’ve got on our bucket list for some later date. Nice break from backcountry skiing.
Ever since I learned about the San Juans years ago, I’ve been fascinated by this archipelago of 172 named islands. Some are larger with well developed communities supplied with electric power via undersea cables. Other islands are uninhabited, some even nature preserves. Would be cool to have a boat and a list of all 172, and visit every one.
Orcas was probably a good example of how the inhabited San Juans are a haven for well off folks who like to at least summer away from the hustle and bustle of on-shore life. Along with the obviously more deluxe dwellings, it’s amusing to see the occasional pirate enclave replete with a trailer house or storage shed made from an overturned boat.
WildSnow.com publisher emeritus and founder Lou (Louis Dawson) has a 50+ years career in climbing, backcountry skiing and ski mountaineering. He was the first person in history to ski down all 54 Colorado 14,000-foot peaks, has authored numerous books about about backcountry skiing, and has skied from the summit of Denali in Alaska, North America’s highest mountain.