Day Fifty Two: We Will (Drive) a Thousand Miles, to Reach the Shores of Emerald Isles: Washington (Anacortes, Orcas Island)

Events of Wednesday, May 7th, blogged Wednesday, May 14th

It got a little chilly overnight, so someone decided to join me in the sleeping bag for some warming cuddles . . .

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Once we finally warmed up enough to properly greet the day, Annie and I wandered back down to the beach in hopes of spotting our flippered friend again. I think I saw his head bobbing off in the distance, but I couldn’t be sure. Annie really enjoyed sniffing around the beach and was having so much fun, she even voluntarily paddled out into the water… perhaps looking for any leftover fish??

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Another fun feature of this campground is a two-mile loop drive that encircles it, offering lovely ocean and forest views. We were planning to ride through in Marigold, and the loop is supposed to open to vehicles by 10am, but when the loopkeeper seemed to be running late I realized – DUH – why don’t we walk it instead? MUCH better idea. We were able to get a far more spectacular look at the views, Annie encountered another dog that inspired her to do playful zoomies, AND we found more random woodland poetry!

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The morning was already off to a great start, and we hadn’t even been to downtown Anacortes proper. Time to rectify that. Side Note: my friend Jason informs me that Anacortes is named after the wife of the founding father . . . ANNIE Curtis-how cool is that?!

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Downtown Anacortes is pretty darn near perfect. Lots of yummy restaurants, TWO bookstores, quaint shops, a RECORD store, a movie theatre, a grocery store, random Bigfoot sightings, and the ocean, ALL within walking distance. And you GOTTA love a town that goes the extra mile to make even the trash cans fit the motif!

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Since I was planning on hopping another ferry and heading to Orcas Island, I thought it might be nice to grab a bite to eat first, and maybe some nosh to take with. Jason had recommended a place with the (perfect for a pun loving art history major) name of Gere-A-Deli, and OHMYGOD everything I ate there was BEYOND amazing. Nothing fancy-just super fresh, and super tasty.

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So this is finally the food post that Grace has been waiting for. I had the Thai Peanut Chicken Wrap with a side of to-die-for coleslaw (and I’m not even a big fan of coleslaw)! It sounds like a simple little sandwich, and I don’t know how to describe it properly, but it practically sang in my mouth. Then I got some sort of lemony quinoa mixed with corn to take with, and it was so good I’m seriously going to write for the recipe when I get home. And don’t get me started on what they cryptically call a ‘Panda Bear’, but which is essentially a Hostess Cupcake as reimagined on Mount Olympus. Heaven!!

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As Jason was batting 1000 with his suggestions, after lunch and a stroll through town . . . (Side Note: could there BE a cooler way to set up a cookbook section in a bookstore?)

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. . . I decided to take another one of his tips and drive to the top of Cap Sante for a sweeping view of the whole town. Gorgeous!

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While we were up there, this just happened to randomly drive by, and I only wish I could have gotten a side-by-side shot with Marigold.

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Anyhoodle, as much as I really hated to say goodbye to this little hamlet I was rapidly falling in love with, it was time to check out the San Juan Islands, and in particular Orcas Island. And that meant it was time for another ferry boat ride. But at least this time I was prepared. But first! There was an hour wait to board. Doh!

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Annie seemed a bit calmer loading onto the boat this time, so I decided to risk it and go for a little stroll on the deck (I also really needed to pee and it wasn’t a SheWee apropos sort of place) and do a reverse “King of the World” pose . . .

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But someone started barking so long and loud I could literally hear her one deck up and on the other side of the boat even OVER all the other clatter and commotion. So I went back to Marigold and enjoyed the views from there as best I could.

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Orcas Island is the “Just Right” intermediary between (relatively) crowded and touristy San Juan Island, and basically primitive backcountry Lopez Island, the two other main islands in the chain. This one is mainly rolling farmland and forest punctuated by cute little towns filled with artwork by local artisans. And there are a LOT of talented artisans on Orcas. Unfortunately, lingering in Anacortes and improperly managing the ferry schedule meant I arrived just as most things were closing up. So Annie and I took a leisurely stroll through the seaside town of Eastsound to kill some time. The town itself is super quaint, but see this? That mound in the water is Indian Island and it is only accessible by foot, and only on 40 days per year, and only at low tide. Clearly, right now is not one of those times. Remember this.

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A good chunk of the island is incorporated into Moran State Park, which was created by the CCC fellas back in the 1930s, and has lakes, trails, mountains . . . and wonderful campsites. . .

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Plans to take the ferry over to San Juan tomorrow evaporated as I was growing increasingly enamored with Orcas, so we had a leisurely evening, a Gere-A-Deli quinoa dinner with a touch of Panda Bear cake for dessert, and fell asleep two happy campers.

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