Lopez Island, A How-to Guide

This summer we visited Lopez Island for the very first time.  This sleepy island in the San Juan Islands has been waiting patiently in our backyard all these years.  It was indeed quiet and relaxed, but she offered many delights to discover.  Enough delights in fact, that I want to move here.  Seriously. Herein one way to spend five wonderful summer days (or a lifetime):

Friday:  Meet up with your friends in Lane 1 at the Anacortes Ferry to catch an early afternoon sailing. Enjoy epic views from the top deck of the ferry for the hour crossing.  Laugh and point at swooshing seagulls with excited little boys.

Check into Odlin State Park for $25/per night.  Choose site #8 for partial shade and a path down to the westward facing beach.  Sit on driftwood logs and clink enamel camp mugs filled with Prosecco. Enjoy sunset.  Cook bratwurst and s'mores over the campfire.  Listen to lapping waves.  Snuggle little boys. Curl up in tents, smiling.

Saturday:  Drink strong coffee around campfire.  Devour your friends' delicious macadamia nut pancakes with bacon.  Comment on your excellent taste in friends.  Drop two crab pots off the dock and whisper gentle encouragement to the big boy Dungeness crabs below.  Ride bikes into the village to scope the festive Farmer's Market.  Buy pottery mugs from Jeffrey Hanks of Red House Pottery.  Eat bettter-than-Italian wood fire pizza and finish with fresh peaches.  Taste a flight of surprisingly delicious wines at Lopez Island Winery. Bike back to the campsite, read magazines and throw rocks in the water.  Pull up crab pots with three keepers.  Feast on mussels and crab.  Tell stories around campfire.  Snuggle little boys.  Brain teasers and more s'mores.  Curl up in tents, smiling.

Sunday:  Cook eggs for your friends for breakfast.  Drop crab pots.  Cycle into village to drink strong coffee at Isabel's Espresso.  Shop at Larkspur Vintage and buy floral top for $10.  Browse at Lopez Bookshop.  Picnic on the Village Green.  Pick up fresh blackberries, radishes, garlic, potatoes and spinach from Thorton's honor system farm stand en route to Shark Reef Sanctuary.  Watch harbor seals cavort with pups.  Cycle back to campsite and hi-five husband for riding fifteen miles on a bicycle.  Play on beach.  Pull up five crabs for dinner.  Feast.  Discuss poetry, religion, travel, books around campfire.  Snuggle little boys.  Curl up in tents, smiling.

Monday:  Exclaim over your really, seriously excellent taste in friends as they cook you orange bread french toast for breakfast.  Drive into town to rest legs.  Spend more time browsing at Lopez Bookshop. Picnic on Village Green.  Shower in public showers next to village green.  Drink malted milkshakes at the Soda Fountain.  Drive back to camp and spend all afternoon on beach reading magazines and throwing rocks with little boys.  Watch as little boys watch sand sift through their fingers, mesmerized.  Throw more rocks.  Feast on leftovers.  Plan more trips with friends.  Snuggle little boys. Curl up in tents, smiling.

Tuesday:  Sleep in as friends quietly pack up and depart.  Wake up to have strong coffee with muesli and prepare for the best family bike ride of your life.  Ride to Spencer Spit and walk on the beach. Throw some rocks.  Ride by Horse Drawn Carriage Farmstand and stop for some sugar snap peas, arugula and radishes.  Stop to pick raspberries at Crowfoot U-Pick Farm.  Picnic at Agate Beach Park, laugh at river otter's antics and throw some rocks.  Ride to Watmough Bay Preserve and gawk at Mt. Baker framed by headlands.  Promptly decide to return to spend all day tomorrow at this beach.  Ride all the way back to camp to complete 35 mile circuit.  Celebrate with surf and turf dinner.  Snuggle little boy. Fall exhausted into tent, smiling.

Wednesday:  Wake up and drink strong coffee.  Smile as you watch your son sit on his father's lap sharing a bowl of muesli.  Drink more strong coffee at Isabel's.  Spend an hour exploring the Lopez Island Library, possibly the coziest library in the world.  Definitely decide to move here.  Buy fresh juice from Vortex Juice Bar.  Shop at Village Arts Craft Coop and fall in love with Brenna Jael's book arts.  Buy several things. Have lunch at Vita's Wildly Delicious cafe, which is, yes, delicious.  Drive to Watmough Bay Preserve. Miss turn, round a corner to see an unexpected and completely unmistakeable hulk of Richard Serra sculpture behind a large modern glass house.  Observe private property signs and wonder aloud who could possibly have a Richard Serra sculpture in their backyard.  Turn around and go back to beach. Inquire with locals to find out that Paul Allen has a house on the island and the sculpture happens to be his; the large modern glass house turns out to be only his poolhouse.

Decide for certain to move to Lopez Island to hang out with Paul Allen at his poolhouse.  Lounge all afternoon at Watmough Bay.  Throw many, many rocks.

Drive back to campsite and enjoy one last campfire.  Snuggle little boy.  Curl up in tent, smiling.

Thursday:  Catch early ferry to Anacortes, reading real estate magazines. Start planning return trip to Lopez Island.

1 comment:

  1. No wonder you decided to return!! This was an epic exploration of a most wonderful island....Thank you again for having us along for the ride this time :-)