Sunday, December 2, 2012

Thankful for Orcas Island

On Friday after Thanksgiving, Matt and I headed out of town. I lived on Orcas Island in the San Juans for a year and a half, but hadn't been there since last year when I did a triathlon. It seemed like the perfect place to go for a mellow, rainy fall weekend. As we drove into the main city of Eastsound, I had to stop to check out Island Hoppin' Brewery. It just recently opened, and is the first and only brewery on the island. We got a sampler of each beer, ranging from Pilsner to Stout. My favorites were the American Wit and Blackcurrant Cider, and apparently sometimes they have a barley wine which I wish I could have tried.
Then we drove to the east side of the island to check in to our cabin at Doe Bay Resort and Retreat. If you've never been to Doe Bay, it's a great spot. Accommodations range from camping to yurts to cabins to a big retreat house. They have outdoor soaking tubs and a sauna in a beautiful wooded setting. The cafe serves original, delicious food with an emphasis on local and organic ingredients. In fact, they have a large garden on-site and grow a lot of their own produce. We enjoyed an amazing dinner of local greens salad, bay scallops in a cider reduction, and barely-crisped oysters in Parmesan broth, all while listening to live music from Bradford Loomis.

On Saturday morning we drove to Moran State park, and Matt dropped me off at Mountain Lake. I ran the 4.5 miles around the lake while he took photos up at Mount Constitution. That is one of my favorite places ever to run- good distance, gentle hills, gorgeous view, and in the off-season there is virtually no one there. I ran passed just one woman. Back at Doe Bay, we had another fabulous meal- brunch of a local oil-poached duck egg with spicy greens over grits, and killer biscuits and gravy.

Then we headed to Eastsound to say hi to a couple old friends, drink coffee, and pick up a few groceries. Even though I've seen this view a million times, I will never stop enjoying the view from the beach downtown.
In late afternoon we hiked up Turtleback to catch the sunset.
That night we cooked dinner with a friend in his cabin in the woods. After wine and great conversation, we returned to Doe Bay for one more evening soak before bed. I wish we could have stayed later on Sunday, but we left early so I could get back to Seattle for some family functions. I was so thankful to be able to get out of the city and onto a beautiful island for a few days, but also thankful to return to home and family.

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