As we rolled up to the Anacortes WA ferry dock to await our 0935 boat to Lopez Island, I had to ask myself – Is this November, or is it still August? Slight rain and mid 50’s felt a little bit like fall. But the calendar was saying it was still summer.
No worries, there were actually two bright rays of sunshine as we sailed off to the San Juan Islands for a few days. First- the sun was just trying to peak out from behind the clouds. Second – We were headed to Lopez Island to visit our life long friend Colleen, and anybody who’s ever met her would tell you, she’s just a bright smiling beam of sunlight herself on even the dreariest day.
Colleen met us as we motored off the ferry boat. The plan was she would lead us to her little cottage in the woods near Mud Bay. Colleen had a couple of work commitments during our stay, so Susan and I would be free to trash her house, and then hold a “Lopez Island TT” on the FJR 🙂
The gnarly steep gravel road down to Colleen’s house had me thankful I had been recently rekindling my off-road motorbike skills. Yikes!
One of the places we wanted to visit is the site of the old Richardson store at the south end of the island. The wharf and general store served as the hub of activity for nearly a century. Back in the late 1980’s we had ridden our bicycles there with our kids and had ice cream cones sitting on the dock next to the huge fuel tanks.
Sadly the store was destroyed by fire in October 1990 and never rebuilt. Here is an interesting history link.
We spent some of the afternoon noodling around the island. Some might say a motorbike with 142 HP, that can go 180 MPH could be a little “overkill” on an island where the speed limit is 40 MPH. To them I would say, “go write your own Adventure Journal, and leave me alone”.
We had a wonderful evening catching up with Colleen. We hiked to all her favorite beaches, had a great dinner, and laughed away the hours into the night.
As sunset approached we made the mile long hike out to Iceberg Point where we plopped down on the rocks and watched the sun turn the water into a million brilliant crystals.
We enjoyed a beautiful sunset, a quiet night, and woke to the usual thick layer of marine clouds. Colleen made us a big hearty man breakfast and then we took off for a little chauffeur driven tour of the island… complete with all the local gossip and who’s who information that only a local Lopezian’ would know.
This place was kind of fun. It is run on the honor system. You just walk into the barn, select your produce, flowers, pork sausage (what ever), write your name down on a slip of paper along with the items you bought… then just stuff your money into a little tin box on the counter. That’s it, shopping is done!
Of course we got in some more beach hikes
By the time we finished up the local tour that sun was out on the dock below Colleen’s house. The girls celebrated with morning mimosas.
Before long it was time for Susan and I to saddle up and head off to catch the ferry back to the mainland.
The joy of riding a motorbike throughout the San Juan Islands is that you always get to motor right up to the front of the line. No matter how many cars are waiting, or how long they have been waiting, motorbikes always load first!. Bingo! Looks like I’m in the front row!