Northwest Trip Part 2: Kayaking the San Juan Islands

Jun 12, 2011

After leaving the Gorge, we hit some traffic on the interstate so we chose an alternate route...which turned out to be an amazing decision.
We got to drive through some of the most beautiful sights in the world.
Every time we come up here we fall in love with this part of the country all over again.
It's pretty ridiculous.

Josh said he would work at this little gift shop and sell fudge every day if it meant he could be around this scenery all the time. 

The Fleet Foxes boys provided the perfect soundtrack for this portion of the ride.

Probably fifty percent of the vehicles we passed on this drive had kayaks tethered to their roofs. Josh couldn't help but scream "KAYAK!" each time he saw one...which I assume was his method of casually convincing me that kayaks should be our next investment.

We drove through this cute little town called Leavenworth, and as soon as I saw this building I knew I had seen it somewhere before.

After doing some hardcore googling I realized this was the "Bavarian Village" used in the movie "I'll Be Home for Christmas" with Jonathan Taylor Thomas and Jessica Biel.

I fell in love with these trees we saw on the drive.

Ever since the incident, seeing signs like these highly increases the anxiety level.
We are both still wary of giant forest creatures running out in front of the car.

We ended up seeing 4 dead deer and 4 live deer...with no casualties on our part :)

About an hour into the drive we started noticing more and more snow...

Then we passed a little 'ole ski village

And then we hit this giant wall of clouds...
Which made for a very interesting/scary drive through the Cascades.

The new Bon Iver album provided the perfect soundtrack for this part of the ride.

We spent the night in a little fishing village called Anacortes, so that we could wake up early the next morning to make the ferry to the San Juan Islands.

Too bad this store was already closed or Josh would have gone broke.

We managed to find a pretty awesome local microbrewery, Rockfish Grill & Anacortes Brewery.

And got the sampler of course...

I couldn't pass up the Salmon in the part of the country...amazing.

and for dessert....


They made it with their chocolate porter and it was prettyyyyy dang good.

After dinner we walked to the shore.

The town had a few peculiar little wooden cutouts on various walls...

Here's our big 'ole ferry

The San Juan Islands was recently number two on the New York Times list of 41 Places to Go in 2011!

Here's our guide and the other sweet little couple (on their honeymoon!) who did the trip with us.

I forgot what this little sea creature was called...but it sure was awesome.

This point of land is the most visited spot in the world for killer whale watching
 (And unfortunately we didn't see a dang thing)
They told us it had been a week since the "pods" had traveled...we picked up some awesome whale watching lingo too btw.

This "summer house" was owned by one of the top Pepsi executives.
I mean...we rent it to him in the summer :)

Josh caught me a little jellyfish that doesn't sting!

And then he caught us a purple starfish! 

I love starfish and I lovvvvve purple!

We made a quick stop for lunch and a hike

This island was also the main location for filming the Sandra Bullock movie "Practical Magic."

There was a little seal out there but as soon as I took the picture he went underwater.
Mean seal.

If you look realllllly hard you can see Canada.

Even though we didn't see any killer whales, we still got to see dolphins and bald eagles...not to mention the fact that we got to brush up on our kayak skills. 

We absolutely loved every second of our kayaking trip. The company we booked it through was great (they have won Best Outfitter in the World by National Geographic twice!), our guide was amazing, and the scenery was incredible. 

have I mentioned that we LOVE Washington?

We had some time to kill waiting on the next ferry back, so we stopped for some brews & apps at Downriggers.

We couldn't pass up the smoked salmon platter and their famous onion rings.

We found the cutest bookstore with some pretty awesome books...

It's been much too long since the last time I pressed a penny...

After kayaking less than a mile away from the Canadian border, we couldn't leave without actually getting some Canada stamps on our we figured we'd head to Vancouver.

After all, we were told it was game one of the Stanley Cup playoffs (in Vancouver!) and it was Vancouver's first time to ever play in the Stanley Cup...we couldn't pass this up!

Unfortunately, the little buttheads at Customs said that they don't stamp American passports.

The customs people were tough cookies. They gave us a stern questioning.
Our particular favorite question was "Did you Canadian friends ask you to bring anything over the border for them?"

Driving in Canada was pretty nerve-wracking. Seeing a sign that says the speed limit is 100km can kindaaaaaaaaaaa freak you out.

We made a wrong turn and accidentally found this scenic overlook of downtown Vancouver.
There were even some awesome chairs...

We couldn't believe our luck. The city was beautiful.

That's the Vancouver Canuck's arena where the Stanley Cup was being played while we were there.
Too bad we didn't have a spare $800 for a ticket.

Vancouver was so great...they even had pretty potholes! :)

Oh yea, we picked up a very kind hitchhiker and took him and his girlfriend to their car...

...and in Seattle they offered to take us for a ride on their sailboat around the harbor.

Check back later for the last update from the trip...Part 3: Seattle!

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