Orcas Island, WA July 17, 2018

We continued our stay in Birch Bay, WA and on Tuesday we took the car on the ferry to another one of the San Juan Islands: Orcas Island.  20180717_11083920180717_110906IMG_20180717_110952

The ferry made a brief stop on Shaw Island to pick up a few walk on passengers. It was another great ferry ride with beautiful scenery. 20180717_11133920180717_11145620180717_111729

We arrived at the tiny village of Orcas on the southern shore.  Orcas Island, at 57 square miles, is the largest and most rugged of the San Juan Islands.  Horseshoe-shaped, it has the highest peaks of the underwater mountain chain forming the foundation of the San Juan islands.  

Unlike Friday Harbor on San Juan Island, there is no big tourist area here.  Eastbound, a small village along the waters of Fishing Bay, is the major town with a few restaurants, shops and art galleries. Around the island are several bed and breakfast and small resorts for those desiring a remote get away. Rumor has it that Oprah Winfrey recently bought a house on Orcas Island. IMG_20180717_120204-EFFECTS

The gem of the island is Moran State Park, Washington state’s fourth largest.  The park is 5,252 acres with five lakes, 38 hiking trails and several campsites.  MT Constitution rises 2,409 feet from the Salish Sea and is the highest point in the San Juan Islands.  We drove thirteen miles to the park along forests and hilly farmland with cattle grazing in the fields. IMG_3195

Once we entered the park, the road was winding, narrow and steep to the top.  Almost at the top was Little Summit with a geocache and great views. IMG_3145IMG_3146

At the top is a stone tower replica of Russian watchtowers from the 12th century.  20180717_142915

The view of the San Juan Islands, MT Baker, the Cascade Mountains and Rosario Strait was magnificent.  IMG_3168_stitchIMG_3186IMG_3173

Can you see my prince in the tower? 20180717_142640

This 53 foot stone tower was built by the CCC (Civilian Conservation Corps) and completed in 1936.  It is one of twenty historical buildings built by the CCC in the park.

While in Moran Park we also hiked to Cascade Falls and another smaller falls. IMG_3141IMG_3143

We had a wonderful day on this beautiful island, including finding some geocaches. While geocaching we saw a deer munching on some apples from an apple tree in a yard. IMG_3137

After we left the park we came to a rock wall with some really weird artwork.  Creepy! IMG_3197IMG_3203

Before we knew it, it was time to catch the ferry home. IMG_20180717_161550

We really enjoyed our stay in Birch Bay and nearby Blaine. Blaine is such a quaint little town with a Main Street decorated with flowering hanging baskets and America flags. 20180718_143107

Across the harbor we could see the Canadian town of White Rock. 20180718_142953

Next up: Another ferry ride, this time with the RV, and a new campground

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