– Ben Martens

San Juan Islands

Saturday morning started dark and early as I headed over to Kirkland to pick up Tyla. We made our way up to Anacortes and caught the 8:45am ferry to Friday Harbor. The ferry ride is a gorgeous one hour trip through the islands.

Tim from San Juan Kayak Expeditions was waiting for us as we walked off the ferry. He drove us down to the beach and gave us a very thorough overview of how to use all the gear, safety information, and tips for a successful trip. He also suggested a great route that took into account the wind and tides. Since Tyla and I are both kayaking newbies, we chose the easiest route.

We rode past a couple rocks that were covered in seals and ended up at a tiny island which might have just become my favorite summer spot in Washington. You can walk around the whole island in 20 minutes but it's actually a state park. There are about a dozen campsites which are only accessible via boat. Tim said it gets pretty crowded in the summer but mentioned a couple quieter islands nearby. I'm already planning the camping trip in my head. The usual camping crew should prepare themselves for an incredibly awesome camping trip next year. The first picture below is looking east from the campsite and the second picture is looking back west at one of the campsites. The third picture is Tyla checking out the seals.

We felt like we had the whole island to ourselves and only found five other people on the island during our hike. After a nice picnic lunch (with Liz Lovely cookies for dessert!), we meandered our way back, taking time to watch the seals. Tim picked us up and drove us back to the ferry for the trip home.

All in all it was an incredible afternoon. I know you can rent kayaks down by the arboretum for a lot cheaper, but the scenery and the equipment are no comparison to what we got from that rental company. I think I speak for both of us when I say this is a highly recommended trip! We'll be doing it again.