Lopez Island to Orcas Island - Tea for Tim - CycleBlaze

May 14, 2012

Lopez Island to Orcas Island

Pinch me, I think i'm having a dream!

After declining the sun's offer to watch her rise I was up at my normal hour, although away slightly slower than normal as I spent a while chatting to Nigel and Chelsea. At the ferry terminal, most of the hour or so I had to wait was spent chatting to Charles and Phyllis, who had also been camping at the same bay and had been kayaking and cycling - a lovely couple with some great stories to tell.

First impressions upon arriving at Orcas Island were that the island is busier and more commercialised, although certainly not to it's peril, and definitely hillier. In fact, the highest peak of the San Juan's is on Orcas, Mt Constitution at 2407 feet, and was the aim for the day. After visiting the Post Office and Library, then the grocery stores and having lunch, the ascent began. Today has been a t-shirt and shorts with no socks day, with lots of suncream applied, and the heat from the clear blue cloudless skies made progress to the top slow. However, when I arrived, the views were spectacular, with views of the Olympic Mountains, the Cascades, the Canadian Coastal Range, and most of the prominent peaks visible, although it was too hazy for Mt Rainier.

Mt Baker from the top of Mt Constitution.
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I then settled in to a State Park Campground by Cascade Lake with a huge and very well built kitchen building dating from the 1930's when President Roosevelt put to work many of the nations young unemployed in the Civilian Construction Corps, who had made much of the infrastructure within the Moran State Park. I also spent a while chatting to a young couple from the Olympic Peninsular, the only other occupants of this great campground, and ended up sitting around a campfire with them roasting marshmallows.

1930's cooking shelter at campground.
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I now know why they call the island Orcatraz - you just can't leave.

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Today's ride: 34 miles (55 km)
Total: 1,545 miles (2,486 km)

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