Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Trip to Orcas Island & the Outlook Inn in Eastsound, WA - Feb. 21st to Feb. 24th, 2014

(from the All Snowed In department)

Hi everyone,

We took a family trip to the San Juans last weekend.  Dana got a great deal at a place called the Outlook Inn in Eastsound, WA located on Orcas Island.  I have been to San Juan Island (and the city of Friday Harbor) many times, but I've never been to Orcas Island. 

Orcas Island is interesting.  It's the largest of the San Juans, but it has no cities.  There are towns, but they're "unincorporated communities", if you will.  Eastsound is relatively large for a town - there are grocery stores, cafes, restaurants, gift shops, etc. - but there are no streetlights.  When the sun goes down - it gets DARK! 

We arrived in Eastsound on a Friday afternoon, and were rewarded by the scenery:

(Note:  The island you see just offshore is apparently called Indian Island)

Very nice indeed.  We checked into our hotel:

and got this view from the balcony:

(This was taken Saturday morning - too dark on Friday.  No streetlights, remember?)

The next morning - Saturday - we set off on an Orcas Island adventure.  Orcas Island is basically shaped like a lowercase "n".  Eastsound is at the apex, so we traveled down the right leg towards Rosario resort, Moran State Park, Mt. Constitution and Doe Bay.  We had lunch at Doe Bay - it was wonderful.  Here's a few photos of the cafe and Rose enjoying "The Best Hot Chocolate Ever!!!":

(Hot chocolate - locally sourced!)

Outside, there was a cool statue overlooking the fog enshrouded water:

As we headed back to Eastsound, we took a detour to the town of Olga.  This is it:

 There was a third building, but it burned down:

Coming back through Moran State Park, it started to snow:

Sadly - the road to Mt. Constitution was closed.  Probably a good thing too, with all the snowfall.  But it was clear by the time we reached Rosario Resort:

We had a great tour inside Rosario Resort and Spa - we got to see the museum, and hear the pipe organ.  Then we headed back to our hotel in Eastsound, dodging a snow flurry or two, unware of the surpise awiting us tomorrow morning:

Yes - that's right.  Snow on Sunday.  It totally transformed the landscape.  We were planning on heading back, but based on the cars we saw slipping around, we decided to stay another night and head back on Monday.  So - we ventured out into the snow to explore Eastsound:

(Get ready for snowballs.  Rose threw them at us non-stop)

It was pretty miserable out there:

But - luckily - Darvill's bookstore was open and they had hot chocolate!  We warmed ourselves up at the bookstore, then headed back to our hotel room to watch movies, do puzzles and enjoy the fireplace, while the snow fell silently outside.

Still - it was a lot of fun having a "snow day".  The weather reports were saying that the snow would start melting around 4:00 AM, so we figured that tomorrow morning there wouldn't be much snow left.  Instead:

Yeah - there was more snow.  The weather service updated the alert to 4:00 PM and mentioned more snow was expected.  Dana & I figured that we better try to catch the noon ferry.  The roads had been freshly plowed, the air wasn't nearly as foggy and there was better traction with the fresh snow. 
It was kinda white knuckle driving - Dana is an awesome driver - but we made it to the ferry terminal in Orcas Village.  And - yup - no snow:

All in all, a great family adventure!  Here are some parting thoughts:


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