Spencer Spit State Park

Spencer Spit State Park

There’s only one thing I hate about traveling to the San Juan Islands…it’s the long ferry lines in the summer time! In order to get on the ferry you really want on, you have to arrive a minimum of two hours before scheduled departure. Since I also have to drive almost two hours to get to the ferry dock in Anacortest, it really makes for a long day.

We left the house at 1pm so we would be in line in time for the 5:10pm ferry. While waiting for it, we had some snacks at a picnic table. Afterward, William and Jherek read from a comedia d’arte script that Ezra had written for the upcoming renaissance faire. Between the different character voices they used and Eleanor’s sound effects, it was really funny and I had lots of laughs. Anne also sang while playing her ukulele. After several hours, it was time to go back to our cars to get on the ferry.

The ferry ride itself is only about 40 minutes long. The gang continued with the comedia d’arte skits to pass the time and provide laughs for all. Once at Lopez Island, we headed to Lopez Village to get our food supplies for the weekend, then headed for camp at Spencer Spit State Park.

Originally, my baby bother, Billy, and his two kids, were supposed to be visiting me and were going to go along camping. That was why I had rented an Adirondack cabin instead of using a tent…I wasn’t sure what the weather would be like when I made the reservation six months earlier. It was nice not having to set up a tent before dark.

After getting the camp situated, I made us dinner, did the dishes, then took Anne and Eleanore into town where I knew there would be a great view of the sunset.

When we got back to camp, Jherek got a fire going so we could roast marshmallows and make smores. We finally went to bed about 11pm.

It had been a very long time since I slept on a wooden bunk with no mattress. In fact, the last time was when I was in girl scouts and about 12 years old. It was hard to get comfortable and when I finally did fall asleep, William was snoring so loud, the bunk bed was vibrating! Then Anne started snoring, though not as loud, and there was a symphony of snores in the cabin.

About the middle of the night, my back started to really hurt. As I was turning over, I heard someone walking outside and opened my eyes. It turned out to be William, who had gotten up to use the bathroom. It took me forever to fall back asleep.

When I finally called it quits and got up at 7am, I was surprised to see Jherek huddled in his sleeping bag, sitting outside in his chair. He looked awful! I thought maybe he was sick and asked if he was ok and he just shrugged and hunkered back down into his sleeping bag. Later, I would learn that he was a very light sleeper and William’s snoring was too much for him. He barely slept, plus his feet were freezing (it had gotten pretty cold during the night).

Day 2

I made everyone sausage and eggs for breakfast, did the dishes, then asked who wanted to go into town with me. William and Eleanor were game. Anne decided to drive her own car and Jherek, who didn’t get much sleep, opted to stay in camp, read a bit, and maybe snooze a little.

The Farmer’s Market in Lopez Village only had two produce stands – mostly it was artisan stuff for sale. Didn’t buy anything, but did have some french fries that were done on the grill (very good). We then headed to the grocery store to pick up some lunch items and go to a different park to eat. When we were done eating, we drove to Lopez Island Farms to try and visit the pigs. I had put a deposit on half of one of them (to be butchered in September). My dad used to raise pigs and butcher them, so I know exactly where my food comes from. I think too many people don’t think about it, nor appreciate the animal’s sacrifice. I had decided to get a local pig because I wanted to stock my freezer, wanted to support a local farmer, and get meat that was antibiotic-free. Too much of our food today is injected with things that are harmful and it’s why so many people are developing food allergies. Unfortunately, nobody was home, so we didn’t get to see the pigs.

We left the farm and drove back to camp to check in with Jherek and to put on cooler clothes (it had gotten hot outside).

Eleanor wanted her own adventure with me, without her father, so her and I went driving to look for photo ops. First, we stopped along the road near some livestock, destined to be kobe beef. There were dozens of young calves; many of them bulls. They were aprpehensive at first, but eventually a few brave souls got close enough for some head scratches. When I stopped, one even acted cat-like and nudged my hand with her head for more scratches. Then the mooing commenced and before long, all of the livestock in the pasture were crowding near our location.

Next, we drove to the parking for the Shark Reef Sanctuary (not sure how it got its name) and hiked in a little over 1/4 mile. There were great views from the cliffs overlooking the reef, though quite hot with the sun beaming down and no cover overhead. Many others were there, enjoying a picnic lunch while sitting on the rocks. Eleanor got bored quickly, so we turned back round and headed back to the car. She was anxious to get back to camp to ask her dad to take her kayaking.

Jherek did take Eleanor kayaking – a first for both of them. If I hadn’t been tired and taking a short nap, I would have loved to have taken pictures of them. But, exhaustion won out and I slept in spite of my lower back killing me. William was napping, too, and still snoring loud enough to wake the dead.

Around 4:30pm, we got a campfire going so we could have hot coals to cook on. I wrapped potatoes in tin foil and placed them directly on the hot coals. On the grate above the potatoes, I put ears of corn to roast. The guys wanted roasted garlic, so that was put on the coals, too, though I had my doubts about it roasting properly. When the veggies were close to being done, I cooks some strips of organic, grass-fed beef, sauteed some onions, and steamed some broccoli. The potatoes and corn turned out perfectly and were so, so good! The garlic, sadly, burned and had to be pitched. I think next time, the garlic goes on the grate with the corn.

With dinner finished, Anne washed the dishes, Jherek dried, and put away. Then, we headed over to the playground by the restrooms to play bocce (lawn bowling). It was really fun and some kids stopped to watch. I heard one father explain how the game was played to the kids. While retrieving my balls after one game, I saw something green jumping in the grass. At first I thought it was a green grasshopper, but was puzzled because we don’t have grasshoppers in western WA. Looking closer, I saw it was a tiny, green tree frog. I quickly caught it, then asked the kids who wanted to hold a frog. Their dad made them line up and take turns. They thought it was so cool and their dad was telling them about that type of frog. Eleanor went over and was last to hold it, then returned the frog back to the forest where it belonged.

Done playing for the evening, we walked back to our camp site. Jherek was choppping kindling for our evening fire and we were discussing when to leave the next day. We originally thought to catch the 1045am ferry back to Anacortes. I mentioned that there was one at 7:50 and there were noises of catching that one (which meant getting up around 6am). Right before Jherek was going to light the fire, I blurted out, why would we spend another miserable night on hard beds and being cold if were weren’t doing anyting else on the island before leaving the next morning (and it being so early). I said that the last ferry of the night was at 11:20pml and who would be up for just packing up and catching that one. Everyone, but Eleanor, was very enthusiastic about that suggestion. So, we packed up our cars and headed to the ferry dock, where we were third in line, in spite of it being a 2 1/2 hour wait. We fouind chairs at the closed coffee shop and the guys & Eleanor read more comedia d’arte.

By the time the ferry arrived, I was really getting sleepy. On board, the cafeteria was closed, so I got some coffee from a vending machine. It tasted awful, but I need something to keep me awake for the drive back home. I love my husband, but he drives like an old lady, so I didn’t want him to drive back.

We got home around 1:45am, unpacked the cooler, and went to bed. I think I was asleep within seconds. Though my back still hurts like the dickens (I scheduled a massage for this evening), it felt so good so sleep in my own bed after a night on a hard board!

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