You can call or look up the Washington State ferry system online to find out about ferry schedules. We arrived about an hour ahead of time to assure our place in line and to enjoy the scenery while waiting for our boat to come in. Lenora and Steve disappeared over the edge of the parking lot to explore the beach below.
|A retreating rain shower over one of the islands.|
|Stopping for passengers at Shaw Island before crossing the narrow channel to the Orcas Village ferry dock on West Sound,|
|Lunchtime at Cascade Lake. Fishing, swimming, boat rentals, camping, and hiking are popular attractions in Moran State Park.|
Mt. Constitution, the highest point in the San Juans at 2, 407 feet elevation, is the centerpiece of Moran State Park. We missed the views from the summit because the twisting road was closed half way up, perhaps because of a recent windstorm. But the trail to Little Summit was right there at the turn-around, so we wandered up the hill. Lenora and Steve came upon this miniature deer and her fawn. The little deer are everywhere. We were told they are small because they are confined to the island; hence inbreeding has caused succeeding generations to become smaller and smaller.
These two young bucks are about as big as medium-sized goats, and with their albino pigmentation that's what we first thought they were. Albinism is another common genetic characteristic among the San Juan deer.
|A view from the Little Summit trail|
|Little Summit, a short walk from the road, halfway up Mt. Constitution|
|Ships and islands on a cloudy day.|
|When the day is cloudy, take closeups!|
Although our day on Orcas Island was partly cloudy, we didn't experience the steady rain that was happening on the mainland. That's because the San Juans lie within the rain shadow of the Olympic Mountains. That makes them part of Washington's "banana belt", giving them only about half of the annual rainfall of Seattle.
We drove from one end of the horseshoe-shaped island to the other, ending at tiny Olga, with its popular restaurant-art gallery and its picturesque post office, and never ran out of lovely vistas.
While waiting for the ferry back at Orcas Village, we enjoyed coffee drinks at the 1904 Orcas Hotel and explored a couple of souvenier shops. Next time we'll stay overnight so we can enjoy more of this charming place.
|This little boat seemed sad to see us leave.|
|It's back to the desert for Lenora and Steve.|