The ferry to Orcas Island comes in to the town of Orcas. (I think it counts as a town but it is pretty small!). Right across from the ferry terminal is the Orcas Hotel. It is an old style hotel and has a café as well. Restrictions meant eating in the café was out of the question but we did get take out food from there one night and it was great. The south facing harbor gets some nice evening light in the winter. The first time I was out walking there, I figured I would get a shot after I visited the local shop. That was a mistake. When I came out, the lovely light was gone and everything was in shadow. I didn’t make the same mistake again.
I made a bit of a road trip recently. I decided a day off work was in order and I had some aviation themed things I wanted to see so I set out early. My first stop was in a town called Brewster. The airport in Brewster is up on a bluff above the Okanogan River where it merges with the Columbia River. On a sunny August day, the view across the river was really nice. An island under the bluff provided some interest and the view across the wider section of river to the opposite bank was very nice.
There were plenty of boats on the river. It looked like they were busy fishing as everyone seemed to be in formation across the width of the river. I assume it was fishing that they had in mind but don’t know for certain. A tranquil spot for sure. A house on the waterfront would look appealing but it is a serious hike to get there from any centers of population so I doubt I will be contemplating moving anytime.
A while back I posted about the Amphitrite Lighthouse in Ucluelet on Vancouver Island. We saw it while walking on the Pacific Coast Trail. At the time of that post, I said I would post more from the rest of the trail. I guess I have finally got around to doing so. The beginning of the trail took us past the lighthouse but it was a bit backlit. As we walked further around the coastline, the light came to be behind us more and the view of the various inlets and islands got to be very nice.
It was such a tranquil spot. I suspect November is not the busiest time of year and the trails might be a lot more crowded in peak season but the sun was out and it was really lovely to be there. The rocky coastline looks like it is something that you need to know your way around carefully if you are in a boat. The presence of a lighthouse tells you that plenty have come to grief in the past. On a day like the one we had, though, it couldn’t have seemed more appealing.
There is an island out in Puget Sound which was once identified for development. Plots of land were sold to investors and the idea was for housing to be built. However, the whole thing fell apart. The reason for it not working out may have been related to the lack of a water supply or that the island is being eroded away and won’t last too long. Whatever the reasoning, the whole plan was shelved. However, one of the investors did not want to give up. He insisted on staying and legal proceedings ensued. He eventually won and now he lives on the island alone. His house sits up on the bluffs overlooking the water and it looks like quite a pleasant spot. A lonely spot I suspect but still pleasant. He has decorated the plot with some interesting things including a stormtrooper from Star Wars. He was out working on his land as we passed by.
Despite spending quite a few days in Friday Harbor, I didn’t actually take many pictures of the town itself. However, when arriving and departing, we had a better view of the town laid out around the harbor. The waterfront is prime real estate and, as you come in on the ferry, you get to see some very nice places on the island in the middle of the harbor. The area surrounding the harbor is more accessible for development and so there are a lot of places that are considerably closer together that the really pricey places.
Our hotel was a little up the hill and so had a nice view across the harbor. The construction activity below us means a slight distraction from the picturesque ideal but it really was a fantastic spot to hang out for a drink in the evening or for breakfast first thing (or as close to first thing as we could manage while on vacation!).
There is a place in San Francisco that I have meant to visit many times but have never been to – until now of course. That place is Treasure Island. At the midpoint of the Bay Bridge, it provides a great view of the city. I nearly went there a while back. On a Saturday I was coming to the city to visit a friend and made an early start to be at Treasure Island for sunrise. Unfortunately someone was in a hurry that morning, wrote their car off ahead of me on the interstate and left a bumper in my lane which I hit at some speed. This delayed my arrival by a few hours while Hertz switched out the car for me.
That is a slight aside. I finally got there. This wasn’t a photo trip. Nancy and I were heading in to the city and I suddenly decided to make a quick detour. We weren’t there long. I did take a look at a great Art Deco building that has the look of an old terminal building but which was a Navy building I believe. The city now uses it and it was closed when we were there but it will be worth a second look.
I did take some pictures. I was shooting into the sun so the look I was going for was more silhouette and highlight but we did have a good view of the sailing boats out at Alcatraz. This was part of a great sweeping view. Again, panorama jumped to mind. As with Twin Peaks, I can only show a small portion of it on screen but it was a nice lookout. Another location to be added to my list of places to visit at a more appropriate time of day.
We had the great pleasure of traveling to Maryland to stay with our friends Mark and Rosie a while back. They are friends of ours from the UK who are currently in the US for work. We spent the weekend with them and got to enjoy a part of Maryland that neither of us had spent much time in before. They live down near where the Patuxent River meets the Chesapeake Bay and there is plenty of water around you wherever you go.
As someone who grew up by the sea, I have always enjoyed being by the water. A good local spot to visit is Solomon Island and we decided to head there for a walk around and a spot of lunch. Since they have a boat, Mark and I decided to go by water while Nancy and Rosie took the car. I wanted to have a blast about in the boat and Mark wanted to go a bit faster than he would if Rosie was aboard so this worked for all of us.