Days 9 & 10: San Juan and the Whales

Yesterday we woke up super early on Orca Island (well, early for us) and we biked 15 whole miles first thing so we could catch the 12:40 ferry to the next island. We did have to make a pit stop in the middle of the hustle so Mom could have a coffee break. Thankfully, we made it to the pier with plenty of time to spare.

We sailed on over to San Juan Island, the main island. The town was very touristy, and we had some fried seafood with piles of French fries for lunch.

We tried desparately to find a state park close to town, but the nearest one was 18 miles away. We were pretty beat from our 15 mile hustle that morning. We did find a “resort” that had $35 camp spots. That’s right: $35 just to set the tent up. However, it was only 5 miles from town so we decided to go there.

Before leaving town, we needed to sort out how we would get back to the mainland. I wanted to go to Forks, where the Twilight books are based. Mom is ready to leave Washington. I found a ship that would take us to Port Townshend where we would be able to take a bus to Forks. The catch is that it’s a $60 per person whale watching boat. I made the reservations and they told me to be at the dock by 1 the next day.

So we set off to the “resort”. It was just a 5 mile ride, but it seemed that after our 3 hour break and our mountain climbing experience the day before, rigamortis had set in. It took forever to get there.

On top of the sore muscles, my depth perception seemed to be off after staring at pavement all day. My eyes would think the road was on a decline, but I would have trouble pedaling. After stopping for a drink of water, I would see that I was actually riding uphill.

Finally, we got to the resort and was assigned a $35 spot of dirt. We did each receive two free shower tokens a piece. While in the bathroom, two little girls told us that the middle shower has a broken timer, so we can just put one token in and the water will stay on forever! They were right! I had a hot 10 minute shower.

We had a late start the next morning. It was cold and drizzling, which makes me want to stay in my sleeping bag. Mom said she was going for her second shower then getting some coffee from the general store. I sort of just hung out in the tent for an hour, wondering where she was and slowly packing. Finally she came back, saying she had to wait on the store girl to actually make the coffee. I re-banned morning showers after that because they always set us back at least an hour or two.

It was 11:20 by the time we were finally leaving. Mind you, we had to be at the dock by 1, we had 5 miles to bike, and we hadn’t eaten a proper meal yet because we were out of oatmeal. At least we were full of coffee.

Thankfully, we made it to town by 12:15. I went into a restaurant to grab some sandwiches for us to go. It just happened to also be a bar, so I had a Blue Moon while I waited. We had to run around the docks and try to find our boat. We finally located the Puget Sound Express, and the crew strapped our bikes to the top of the ship.

We sailed for about an hour before coming to a spot that they told us was 1200 feet deep and home to some Orca whales. There were about 15 other boats also out whale watching in the same spot. For the most part, the whales were far away, but we watched them surfacing for about an hour.

After our time with the whales was over, we kept on sailing to Port Townshend. From there, it was a short 2 miles to Fort Worden State Park, which apparently used to be a military training facility. The park lady made Mom mad by charging us $5 extra in addition to our usual $12 because we were from “out of state”.

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