Not too far from the Seattle area, where Exped USA makes its home, are the beautiful San Juan Islands. We like to escape to them often, with hiking boots, kayaks, canoes, hammocks and in this case, bikes.
The San Juans are an archipelago in Washington state, nestled right up against Canada. They receive roughly half the rainfall of Seattle and each of the four main islands (Orcas, San Juan, Lopez and Shaw) has its own unique feel. Ferries are the mode of transport to and between the islands, launching from the city of Anacortes on the mainland. When the bikes are pedaled off the boat, miles of rolling hills reveal themselves as some of the most idyllic cycling anywhere. Really, this place is special!
We spent 3 days on this trip - not long enough! We spent one night on Orcas Island and another on San Juan. After making camp on day 1, we took lighter loads to the top of Mount Constitution, which has impressive views to the Cascade mountains in the east and more islands below. On day 2 we hopped a ferry to San Juan and spun our way to the west side campground at San Juan County Park, with its views across Haro Strait and Canada's Vancouver Island. The final day took us to a well-deserved lunch at Roche Harbor at the north end, before catching the ferry back to Anacortes.
Our hope was that we could catch the last rays of summer sunshine before we shift gears to skiing. Mission accomplished!