Saturday, July 10, 2021

Orcas Island

East end of Buoy Bay; 10:01am. There are far, far worse places to be hungover.

Orcas is so lovely, but far more so when one has wealth and leisure. Our friends, who own the guest cottage in which I currently sit typing and enjoying an unobstructed view of the Sound, have been here for years...many more years than I've known them (and I met them in '98), and over the decades they've continued to acquire and improve their expansive property here.  The "cottage" in which my family is staying, rests on the site of the original cottage that they first had built when they came to the island...but it is now anything but "rustic," sporting solar panels, high-speed internet, beautiful furnishings, tasteful design and decoration, and enough bed and bathrooms to easily contain my family and in-laws (who are still traveling with us). 

The "big house" where the owners stay (at the top of the hill, rising behind me) also has a beautiful, unobstructed view, but I prefer to be closer to the water. A short trail leads down the cliffside to the beach (also owned by these folks) where my son has spent much of the last two days perfecting his rock-skipping talents. Yesterday afternoon, we saw three orca whales (transients...the kind that hunt seals) off the coast. Early in the morning, I saw a beautiful horned deer, dancing on its hind legs as it pulled down apples off the tree outside the window. I should have taken video, but I was trying very hard to forget the chain of my cell phone.

The coffee I'm drinking is from Seattle.

There is no need for the escapist fantasy afforded by Dungeons & Dragons here. Orcas Island IS an "escapist fantasy." Today, we will probably hike Mount Constitution and maybe kayak along the shoreline. Soak up the good energy, recover from drinking too much wine, perhaps relax in the hot tub, before our return journey tomorrow (via ferry) to the mainland. 

Mmm. And now my family is up. As a man possessing very small amounts of leisure (and no real wealth to speak of), I am once again called into action. Blissful musings of (fantasy) island living must now be set aside. I hope you are all having a peaceful and restful weekend.



  1. I've lived in Washington all of my life, the majority of it in the wester half, and I've to Orcas Island. I'm going to have to remedy that someday.

  2. Hey, "Mount Constitution" sounds very fitting for a D&D island...

    Sounds like great place to relax!

  3. I had to go and look this place up. It looks fantastic, especially if you have a boat to explore the straits and coves.

    Lots of wilderness adventure potential.

  4. Good man, taking your son out there. I grew up going to Camp Orkila, and my dad would also take me and my brother to Orcas Island as a base camp for kayak trips. We’d go out out around the San Juans and camp on other islands. We’d see killer whales and bears swimming through the water not too far off. Heady stuff for a boy. It was epic. Except for that time I mistook my dad’s night bottle for iced tea…