Last night’s wedding at Roche Harbor brought out a lot of tears from relatives, but no one cried as much as the sky did! Alanis Morissette would have been proud! Anyway, everyone had a great time despite the wetness, and now I am up again before the other folks to finish up Round 2 of this weekend’s San Juan Island adventure!
Roche Harbor is on the National Register of Historic Places as the site of Washington’s largest lime works, circa 1886! This company town was owned by John McMillan and grew quickly to produce over 150,000 barrels of the masonry material every year!
Today, though, Roche Harbor is a luxurious waterfront resort with exquisitely cultivated gardens, an excellent venue for weddings and catching up with old friends!
Those old friends were meeting for breakfast in about an hour and a half, though, so I had to hurry up and visit the second half of San Juan Island National Historical Park: English Camp!
Unlike the Americans, who groaned and suffered in barebones barracks on the south end of the island, the English, who lived here from 1860 until 1872, were all too accustomed to making the most of damp, rainy island life!
Led by Captain William Delacombe, who arrived in 1867, the Brits built a new officers’ quarters and planted gardens and orchards! They had games and holiday celebrations to pass the time in the midst of international tensions! Sometimes, they even invited their American counterparts!
Today, the solidly built buildings have been well preserved, and the formal garden still shines on the shores of Garrison Bay! With the clouds breaking overhead, this was a lovely place to spend a morning. But time, as always, was short, and I had to hustle back to the hotel for breakfast!
After breakfast, I caught a ride with my friends, Cory and Brenna, to the ferry line at Friday Harbor. With lots of time to wander, we set out for ice cream, shopping, and general sightseeing in the historic seat of San Juan County! This gorgeous harbor was founded by a Hawaiian shepherd on the payroll of the Hudson Bay Company, named Friday. Originally, this was Friday’s Harbor!
Friday Harbor is also home to resident animal celebrity, Popeye the one-eyed seal! Popeye has lived in the Friday Harbor Marina since 1995, eating scraps tossed out by the local fish shack and posing for photos and selfies! No one knows where she (yup, Popeye’s a lady seal!) came from, what happened to her white eye, or where she hides the pups she’s been spotted with from time to time. There’s even a rumor that she travels between Friday Harbor and Victoria pretty regularly! She was pretty nice and was very gracious to take a photo with me!
At last, the ferry pulled into port, and I hustled back to climb in the car. By now, the sun had come out, and we cruised among breathtaking island seascapes to the town of Anacortes. From there, it was time to brave the southbound traffic to Seattle. I’m not worried, though! There’s still one more day of adventure ahead!
See-ya-ttle later! Too much? Nah!