United States
San Juan County

Here you’ll find travel reports about San Juan County. Discover travel destinations in the United States of travelers writing a travel blog on FindPenguins.

9 travelers at this place:

  • Day33

    Free Joey

    July 31, 2017 in the United States

    Today marked the final travel separation from my dear friend and travel companion Kate. Kate has been the most wonderful friend and travel companion a girl could ask for. When life hit a major bump in the road at the start of the year the possibility of joining Kate on her loosely planned adventures helped see me through some really dark days. I said from the outset that I didn't know for sure if i would get to embark on such an adventure but boy am I glad that I did. I'm not usually one for believing in 'things happen for a reason' but events of this year may just sway me on that. Kate is incredibly wise and thoughtful as well as being funny and kind. We have had such an amazing time together. Nothing quite prepared me for the shock wave of emotion that hit when we said goodbye from our last Uber together at Pier 69. I kid you not, I didn't stop crying for nearly an hour. I'm tearing up again now just thinking about it. Neither of us would have been on this very adventure without the other. Kate's original plans entailed several Trek America tours but having a buddy who was willing to drive opened up the possibilities and we did far more together than either one of us would have done separately. Kate was now off to Vancouver to pick up her 3 week tour across Canada. I was originally supposed to fly home from Seattle. However, when it came to booking flights a little monkey on my shoulder (let's call her Jane!) started pondering the possibilities of travelling solo back across Canada on the trains and back to NY where I started. This would be the least prepared and itinerarised segment of the adventure but I was equally excited about it. They say travelling solo is something everyone should do once in their life so this would be my go at it.

    I had a very special day planned today. I was off to the San Juan Islands in search of Orcas. I can't lie, I have been a little obsessed with the fear inducing but beautiful whales since Free Willy hit the cinemas in the early 90s. The obsession continued long into adulthood whilst I avidly followed the campaigns against Sea World and went to the cinema alone (something I do rarely) to see Black Fish which documents the life of the Orcas in captivity that have attacked their trainers - fatally or otherwise. Needless to say it has been a life long dream of mine to see them in the wild so I had high hopes for today.

    The journey to San Juan was just short of three hours. Once the none whale watching passengers disembarked at Friday Harhor we set off on our whale watching adventures. I was fortunate to make two new friends - Maggie and Alison whilst securing our spots on the top deck. The San Juan Islands are stunning. If anyone saw Free Willy 2 - this is where it was shot. It wasn't long before our boat found a pod of transient Orcas. I could barely breathe. They were so majestic the way they glid through the water. Of course, unlike all the photographs we see, it is rare that we get to see the whales venture far out of the water. However after taking over 800 photos I did manage to get a couple which 'showed their faces'. We were fortunate enough to see a couple of calves too. Sadly no breaches or spy hops though. That being said, we did watch a seal basking in the sun to find moments later it was gone and was subsequently shared amongst the pod for lunch. Nothing like a live David Attenbrough show to keep you entertained.

    After over 2 hours of watching the Orcas we returned to Friday Harbor for a few hours onshore to browse the shops and enjoy the local ice cream. I indulged in a scoop of 'Moose Tracks' which was only slightly regretted as it contained mini reeses peanut butter cups and I do not to peanuts. Somehow I survived.

    Being one of the first to reboard the vessel I grabbed a good table seat and kept an eye out for Maggie and Alison to join me. Meanwhile I was joined by Nathan who had spent time with family on the Island and was returning back to work in Seattle. The girls and I decided as we had a 3 hour trip back to the Emerald City we would indulge in the very reasonable on board wine and discounted snacks. By the time we hit the second bottle, Nathan had put down his book and joined in too.

    We met a group of girls from Boston that had just spent 5 days on the Island kayaking in search of the resident pods and had not seen a single whale. We couldn't help but feel a little guilty! Not long after we cast off and were heading back through the islands, the boat stopped it's engines and we were called to the deck. Another pod had surfaced and was heading right for us. These came far closer than the previous pods and we even got a little spy hop out of one. Sadly despite the image count on my camera I somehow missed it. Still we were really pleased that the Boston girls got to see some at last!

    On getting back to Seattle, our little crew decided to go and grab dinner together. It transpired we were all living/staying near Green Lake so we grabbed an Uber and enjoyed some more wine and some delicious food before I headed back to our Air BnB minus Kate.

    I was pleased to finally meet our other host, Kailie who I had been communicating with prior to the trip and had kindly arranged for me to be able to stay an extra night in their office to stop me finding alternative accommodation for my last night in Seattle. I also had the pleasure of meeting their pooch - Mr Brojangles! I was sad to see my Seattle adventures drawing to a close but I'd be seeing it off in style the next morning.
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  • Day74

    Brown Island Fun

    July 29, 2016 in the United States

    Following Kelsie's birthday celebration we traveled north and boondocked at the Tacoma Camping World. Got an early start Monday morning and headed to the Fidalgo Bay RV Resort, parked the motorhome then took the ferry from Anacortes to Friday Harbor where our friends Gary and Carrie took us to their vacation home on beautiful Brown Island. We had a fantastic time hiking, kayaking, crabbing, visiting Wescott Bay as well as Roche and Friday Harbors and especially savoring Gary's delicious meals. We couldn't have had a better stay... good friends, good food, good drink, good times! Many thanks Gary and Carrie, you're the best!Read more

  • Day6

    San Juan islands, WA

    August 1, 2017 in the United States

    August 1, 2017

    Place: Seattle, Port Townsend, San Juan Islands and Friday Harbor, WA

    Weather: 77 and sunny

    Hours Driving: 35 minutes x 2 by ferrry and 2 hours 14 minutes driving (roundtrip)

    States Drive Thru: Washington

    Miles: 70 miles

    Restaurants: Downriggers

    Movies:

    Games: Pictionary

    Books:

    Hotel: Ginger Houseboat on Lake Union

    My eyes slowly opened at 5:15 AM as morning breaks over Lake Union and a pink light fills the windows of the boat. I slept well and I don't think I was anxious about waking up in time for the 6:10 ferry to Bainbridge Island. I waited for my 5:20 alarm to play The Cup song. The gentle clapping at the beginning of the song is a nice wake up sound. If you choose not to wake, "I got my ticket for the long way round..." Anyway, I started the coffee pot and roused the crowd gently so as not to conjure up the sleeping meemies who stick around with their grumpies for a while. Matthew carried a few complaining meemies right on to the ferry. You've got to love them away.

    Getting to the ferry on time was the only thing that worried me because I didn't know if it would be busy though I've been on the ferries many times with my sister and going to Whidbey Island to see my brother and MIssy (and Cody and Mitchell). If we missed the 6:10, we might not make the drive to our 8:30 appointment with the whales. It was actually easy-peesy. Rhea also reassured me the night before how easy it would be especially at that insane hour. There was no wait, we drove right in and headed for the deck for coffee and hot chocolate and a 35 minute ferry ride (and a hot chocolate spill by an unnamed child-probably the meemie did it). Now we are driving for a little over an hour to Port Townsend to make our 8:30 meeting time. We should be early.

    We in fact arrived early to a cool marina of big boats and little boats, sail boats and motor boats, old boats and new boats. The air was cool which led us to believe it might be even cooler on the water. We checked in and boarded our boat. We were assigned a 6 person table in a boat that probably holds, at most, 60 people. There were about 35 on today. Our hosts were great. They were super friendly and knowledgeable. They served their specialty Blueberry Buckle and various warm and cold drinks. If you purchased their mug for $5, you get unlimited drinks for life. We bought them and told the kids that they had to come back someday with their families and get a free cup o' Joe or hot chocolate. They were excited about that.

    We left at 9 AM with a chill in the air. We cruised out looking for whales. We spotted a few on the way out to Friday Harbor. So cool to see. We cruised through the San Juan islands and stopped in Friday Harbor for lunch. I would recommend this town. Super cute. Good restaurants and shops. Harbor town. Looked like Maine a bit. We had lunch at Downriggers on the deck overlooking the harbor. Ahhhhh. I had the most delicious mussels. Paul had a corn tortilla encrusted halibut salad. I loved that too. Elizabeth had clam chowder and a salad (and half of my mussels). She said this clam chowder doesn't beat her dads again. Matthew had a delicious looking chicken sandwich and Ben had spicy chicken wings (all over his face). Even the cute young girl cleaning away his mess giggled at the spectacle he made with the hot sauce. We had a great lunch and headed out for our second half of the day.

    We traveled to Anacortes and through Deception Pass at Whidbey Island. Seeing naval base brought back memories of visiting my brother, Missy and Cody and Mitchell. I listened for Prowlers. My nephews could hear my brother's planes from miles away and plug their ears before I knew what was happening. I digress. We found a pod of Orcas feeding on a seal or something so says the naturalist. We sat and watched them for a while. Super cool. We got back around 5:30. I should mention that the weather was amazing. It got warmer throughout the day on the water though like swimming through a warm spot in the water, we kept going through periods of air that was 20 degrees cooler. Also, the water was a calm as anything. Our typical luck like kayaking at Pictured Rocks on the calmest Lake Superior (unheard of). Our guide today said that last week, their were 6 foot waves (and people puking). Our water was near flat most of the time. Thank goodness because I'd be a poker. I get carsick looking at a car. Even though we had a great day, at the risk of bad weather or choppy water, you might considered the 1/2 day trip just in case. That is hard to say though because Friday Harbor is cool.

    It was a great day. The kids all said they had a great time. Even though we didn't see tons of whales, they really enjoyed the whole day trip. There were no complaints about getting up though we had two nappers on part of the trip (see pictures). We are heading back to the houseboat now to BBQ some steaks for dinner. Already getting sick of eating out. Our biggest issue. We got issues...but you got em' too. Tomorrow, we are off to Portland via Mount Rainier and Mt. St. Helens.
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You might also know this place by the following names:

San Juan County, مقاطعة سان خوان, Сан Хуан, সান জুয়ান কাউন্টি, Kantono San Juan, Condado de San Juan, San Juan konderria, شهرستان سن خوان، واشینگتن, Comté de San Juan, San Juan megye, Contea di San Juan, サンフアン郡, 샌환 군, San Juan Kūn, Hrabstwo San Juan, سان جوان کاؤنٹی، واشنگٹن, Comitatul San Juan, Сан-Хуан, Округ Сан Хуан, سان خوان کاؤنٹی، واشنگٹن, Quận San Juan, Condado han San Juan, 圣胡安县

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