Lopez Island

My first day off happened to be gray and drizzly but the damp weather wasn’t about to douse my sense of adventure. I had already made up my mind to visit Lopez Island, another hotspot for sea kayaking in the San Juan Islands and also the island considered best for cycling since it is relatively flat. I left on board the 11:40 ferry with my bike and a backpack loaded up with camping gear.

A steep hill greeted me as I disembarked the ferry which was quite the obstacle to ride up while wearing a giant backpack. But once up the hill, it was smooth sailing down to Odlin State Park, my campsite for the night. The site where I pitched my tent was nice, a lush green hideaway surrounded by tall firs with an opening that overlooked the seas below. There was no way I would be able to build a fire because it was still raining and by now the fire pit was thoroughly damp. Oh well. I forgot to bring matches anyway. I loaded up a small backpack with some necessary items, and hopped on my bike.

As I got out on the road, the countryside was undeniably beautiful. Rolling grassy hills dotted with aging farmhouses. Horses, cows, and the occasional sheep roamed the countryside and growing along the ditches that lined the road were purple lupines and a wild yellow flowering shrub. I rode into Lopez Village on the west side of the island. The little town consisted of one main road with some tiny shops, bakeries, and restaurants. Two people had recommended that I try Holly B’s Bakery so I did. The oatmeal raisin cookie and the slice of pizza that I devoured were amazing. Next time I’m there I will be sure to try the carmelized onion brie bread (Kaitlin’s favorite).

After lunch and a short tour around Lopez Village, I headed towards Spencer Spit State Park. I passed some open pastures with a great view overlooking the water. The clouds even began to part and I saw the sun. Almost immediately I was filled with a sense of optimism and excitement….Spencer Spit State Park! I parked my bike and walked down a wooded trail to the beach. The spit was shaped like a triangle with a marsh in the middle of it. The sand deposited by currents coming from the north and south gave it a symmetrical shape. At this point, the sun was really shining through the clouds at this point and my mood was lifted by the beauty of the area. Bleached logs lined the gravelly beach and I sat on one and watched the waves rolling in. It was low tide and it smelled like it too. The pungent salty odor was refreshing.

By the time I returned to Odlin State Park, the sun was beginning to set over the water. I sat on a bleached log and watched the ocean turn a rosy hue. My first time on Lopez Island had been an enjoyable one.

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