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San Juan Islands (mainly Lopez)

I've been going to the San Juans since my parents took me there over 25-years ago. I usually stay on Lopez Island because it's beautiful and really laid back with lots of fun stuff to do. It's a great island for bike riding, kayaking, hiking, and just lounging around and reading a good book. But most importantly it's home to Holly B's which has the best cinnamon rolls in the universe! Your day should always start by grabbing a latte at Isabel's, walking across the street to Holly B's to get a cinnamon roll, and then enjoying them on the deck while you people watch or read a book.

There are lots of places to stay on the island but we've recently fallen in love with a couple neat houses. One is the Bay House which is located about a mile outside of the village and has a stunning view of Fisherman's Bay. The other is a studio cottage owned by the same people but is located right in the village. There's actually two cottages next to each other and would make a great place for two couples to hang out with a great deck and gardens connecting them. The cool thing is that they're pet friendly, which is hard to find. You can find their page at http://www.interisland.net/cc/.

Having spent time on Lopez at least once a year since I was a kid I've got lots of photos, but here's some I took on a couple trips in August and September 2005.


 

Anacortes Terminal

To get to the San Juans you take the ferry from Anacortes (okay, there's other ways, but this is how I get there). You have to get there early, so there's lots of time to wander around and take pictures.

Heron

I love this shot of the heron sitting on the piling with the ferry behind him. You should see it framed with a green mat, it looks outstanding.

Reflection

I love this shot with so much water between me and the ferry.

Heading Out

Check out the fog bank on the right side of this shot

Heron

I spend a lot of time taking shots of Herons while I wait at the ferry terminal

Christi and the Boys

On one of our trips up we took the dogs. they had a great time!

On the Ferry

Here we are all packed up and ready to go.

Agate Beach

We rode our bikes out to Agate Beach and did the one mile hike out to Iceberg point from there.

Agate Beach

We took the dogs out to Agate Beach and let them play in the water. If it was up to them they would never have left.

My Toy!

There was some arguing over the toys but they did pretty good with each other.

Duke

Duke's tired, but would have kept fetching all day if we didn't make him stop

Rocco

Rocco hanging out on a rock at Agate Beach

Christi and Duke

Christi and Duke on that same rock

Us

Here we are hanging out on Agate Beach giving the dogs an opportunity to dry off

Tuckered Out

I love this shot! I framed up a 12x16 print for Christi and it looks incredible.

Us Again

Another shot of us on Agate beach

Fog

This is a great bay on the way to Agate Beach. That old ship out there is really cool.

Shark Reef

If you hike out to shark reef there's a great view across to the light house on San Juan Island, not to mention the nifty seals on the rocks

Rocco Leap

We took the dogs down to Spencer Spit state park a few days later and let them run around

Duke Leap

I framed up a big version of this one too and the water drops are crystal clear and frozen in motion

Duke in Motion

Another cool shot of Duke in the water

Swimming Back

Duke returning with his toy

Rocco

The splash frozen in mid-motion is real cool in this shot

Bird

Isn't this guy cute!

Iceberg Point

In all my trips to Lopez I'd never been to Iceberg point, perhaps because of all the "keep out" signs, but they're lies because there's a public right of way all the way out there.

The View

This picture doesn't capture at all how cool it is out on Iceberg Point. We're definitely planning to bring the kayak out here to sift through the kelp beds

Seal

These guys are so cute! I can't way to get some better shots when I'm out kayaking.

Kayakers

I was so jealous watching these guys just cruise around the beautiful water at the point

Zoey

A shot of my parent's miniature Australian Shepherd. She is so adorable.

Framed Ferry

A cool shot of a ferry framed by the flowers at the Lopez Ferry dock

Heading to Friday Harbor

Christi on the ferry to Friday Harbor

Friday Harbor

The ferry dock at Friday Harbor

Lunch!

This is a great place to have lunch overlooking the ferry terminal. They even let you bring your dogs up on the deck.

The Garuda and I

This is where I began my love for making jewelry. It's a great shop on Friday Harbor.

A Wonderful Poem

This was hanging in a great little book store on Friday Harbor. It is such a beautiful poem.

Here Comes the Ferry

The ferry coming into Friday Harbor

The Bay House

The house we stayed in is the one on the right under the big tree. Yes Tricia, I was mistaken, it is not a "pine" tree, but is in reality a "fir" tree.

The Bay House

Here's another angle on the Bay House. It's an adorable little two bedroom with a fireplace and a deck to relax on.

The Garden Cottages

The entrance to the Garden Cottages where we stayed when we went up at the beginning of September.

Cottage Interior

I cobbled together five shots of the interior. I didn't do a great job matching them up, but it gives you an idea of what it looks like. It's a one room cozy romantic octogon with a kitchen and even a washer and dryer.

The Cottages

Here's a view of the cottages from the back, we stayed in the one closest but the other one looked nice too.

Annie

The "Annie" was a beautiful boat we saw while kayaking in Fisherman's Bay

Dan & Tricia

Dan and Tricia kayaking with us in the Bay

Bald Eagle

He was hanging out in a tree at the edge of the bay. We were able to cruise right up under him.

Eagle Flight

Here he is taking off

Shipwreck

This old boat is so cool

Sonja

This boat was actually at the bottom of the bay until recently, but it's back up and looking good.

Annie

Here's the Annie from another angle

Cormerant

I was able to get a cool series of shots as he took off from his perch

Taking Off

Here he is right after he jumped off his perch

Walking on Water

I love how he skims across the water

Final Shot

His wings look so neat in this shot

Farmer's Market

My dad set up a booth at the Lopez Market to sell his pottery when we were up there. Here he is looking at one of my photos with my mom, Christi, and my little sister. His pottery is incredible. You can see more of it at http://www.markswatzell.com/pottery.

Music

I loved this guy rocking out with his accordian.

Guitar

I've wanted one of these guitars every since I got "brothers in arms" by Dire Straits. Now I don't know how to play a guitar, but isn't it bitchen!

Violin

She was far out.

The Bay Cafe

If you go to Lopez you have to eat at the Bay Cafe. Their dinners are first class and the view of the sunset is incredible.

Sunflower

A beautiful sunflower by Vita's which is a great shop to buy ready-made gourmet dinners.

Love Dog

We couldn't help but eat at this place.

Holly B's

No trip to Lopez is complete without a cinnamon roll from Holly B's. Now once a day is probably too much, but I can't help myself.

Holly B's

Here's the inside of Holly B's (plus Christi looking adorable)

Lambkin

Of course Lambkin made the trip with us.

Christi by the Bay Cafe

A shot of Christi as we were about to head into the Bay Cafe

Isabel's

Get your coffee at Isabel's! Sure it's across the street from Holly B's and there's a coffee shop right next door, but Isabel's is genuine and has great coffee.

The Warning

A shot from inside Isabel's. I love the ferry warning, and it's pretty much true.

The Road

I isolated the stripe on the road and turned the rest of the shot into black and white

Landscape

I could have spent days shooting landscapes on the interior of the island. There are some outstanding farms.

Sheep!

They used to have a yearly sheep dog trial on the island but they don't anymore. It was really cool and I miss it.

In Flight

I lucked out with this shot. My camera was stuck on the wrong setting but I didn't realize it. I meant to be shooting faster, but was at 1/50th of a second so I was lucky to get a decent shot that wasn't completely blurry.

More Sheep

More sheep with nifty hay bales in the background. I wish they'd had these back when I was bucking bales on the farm. Driving around and picking them up with a loader would have been easier.

Lone Boater

A shot from in front of the Bay Cafe

Clouds

Some great cloud formations in front of the Bay Cafe.

Sunset over Fisherman's Bay

I got some great sunsets when we were out there this year.

By the Bay Cafe

I framed a big version of this and it's beautiful. This is not retouched, it looked just like this.

Paddling

I ran out of the house to catch a shot of this guy before he got away, but his engine wouldn't start so I got some great shots of him paddling in.

Perfection

This is one of the best shots I've ever taken. The gradation of color and the little boat in the foreground tied by a rope really make the shot.

Framed by Trees

I like how the trees frame this shot. I have another version with a longer exposure, but I like the texture of the water on this one.

Down the Road

I walked further down the road and got this shot of the sunset. I like the pilings in the foreground.

From the Deck

This is a shot from the deck of the Bay House

Picket Fence

Another cool shot from the Bay Cafe. I told you the sunsets from there were incredible.

Reflection

The view from the Bay House