San Juan Islands | A Kayaking Adventure

I feel like I need to start with one of those tap-tap-tap, is this thing on/I'm sorry things have grown quiet kind of intros. I haven't posted regularly this month. At all.

I have my reasons. :) Fortunately, you'll be happy with what you get. Cause that's how amazing you are. Always satisfied.

And if you've ever been on a weekend getaway where you camp within five big-foot steps from the beach and get to photograph the sunset and ride the daytime waves in kayaks and peddle around the island oooing and aaaahhing at the cute farms with your family --- you'll know the feeling of true satisfaction.

I didn't want to pack up camp.

I'm getting to that place, I think, where nature provides deep peace and exhilaration at the same time. I've felt this before, but now I'm naming it. I'm recognizing the incredible therapeutic value of it and I'm choosing it for myself again and again, as often as possible. Soaking in the sun {I fell asleep on the beach while the boys dug holes}, feeling scared and then thrilled by the waves rolling under the kayak, not minding the hard rain as we waited for the ferry, inhaling campfire-scented air with a smile on my face.

It IS something.

Nature is healing. It is worth investing in. It is actually, a gift straight from above.

Scroll down to the bottom for trip details...

And so now along with the books on my birthday list will be wishes to travel, to see, to feel, to experience more foggy mornings like this one with my precious family. Thanking God for this beautiful earth.

We went expecting rain. Actually, we nearly canceled the trip because of the gloomy forecast and would have missed out on this glorious unpredicted day. A bit of rain the first night, but we stayed dry in our tents. Then, mid-morning, the sun melted away fog and warmed the beach.

We camped at Shaw Park in site #7 {close enough to the outhouse, far enough from the next campsite}. And we kayaked from the beach below over to Canoe Island, around it, and back. Purple and orange starfish, translucent and ruddy jellyfish, and WAVES. Waves to hit with the front of the boat, not the side. Waves to hit out away from the rocky shore. Waves to make the boys squeal and laugh.

We really loved Shaw Island. Peter said it was "Shawsome". He's turning quite clever, isn't he?

Our weekend plan included two islands, so after that incredible kayaking adventure and some grub, we drove over to the ferry dock to hop over to Lopez Island. The larger of the two, Lopez has a sweet little village with a library and bakery and miles of bicycle-friendly roads. We tested out the cinnamon buns {5 stars!} and the library {totally cool}, then pitched our tents for the night in site 17 at Odlin County Park {close to the outhouse, very close to the beach}. Sunset didn't disappoint. Pete actually saw it first and told me to go get my camera!

Setting up the tent can wait, Mom! Come see this!

Our last day on the island was a bit nutso {don't bother driving to Shark Reef or Agate Beach and be sure to fill your tank with gas on the mainland}. Ferry schedules changed and so did the weather, making us thankful we had packed up camp early that morning. We found a spot in the boat boarding line, then rode our bikes back to the beach to play some more before the rain soaked us to the skin.

Cool side note: If you visit Lopez, let your kids take a spin in these cute little paddle boats -- free for the borrowing on the shores of Hummel Lake. Pete and Buzz would have paddled around for hours if we had let them.

Family bonding -- check. Nature in our bones -- check. Memories to last -- check.
Oh, and you should ask my husband about his splashing experience on the ferry car deck...

Trip Details:
Shaw Island {so tiny and tranquil} -- we stayed at Shaw County Park and loved it. This island is perfect for biking with kids -- we may have seen one that was a jogger. This county park was also our favorite kayak launching spot. Canoe Island was within easy paddling distance.

Lopez Island {delightful as well} -- we stayed at Odlin County Park. Gorgeous ocean-front sites. Very close to the ferry dock.