Autumn Is Upon Us

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The colorful symphony of colors along the road might be enough for some visitors, but if you want to get outside of the car and feel the fall, here is where to go.

Mount Constitution on Orcas Island. Drive toward Olga on the road to Moran State Park and go under the archway. If you want a beautiful sight, drive all the way up to the top of Mt. Constitution and gaze at the islands below. There is a spectacular viewpoint along the way and an old stone tower you can climb up at the top. Go up Mount Constitution for the real feeling of being on an island surrounded by water.

South Beach at American Camp National Park on San Juan. If it is a particularly windy day you can actually see some pretty big waves crashing on the pebble beach at the end of Pickett’s Lane. The Salish Sea is usually relatively calm, but this is the spot to see some action.

Go out Beaverton Valley Road toward Roche Harbor and you will see a truly blazing red tree at the States Inn B and B. The former owners called their ranch “Blazing Tree” because of this tree. When you have passed the entrance to English Camp National Park, note a few cars along a trail head on the left. This is Mount Young, really a hill rather than a mountain. The trail takes you to the top of the hill and the views out over Westcott Bay to the North are lovely. On the way you will crunch your shoes along a well-worn path of maple leaves from some glorious old trees.

And for a pre-Halloween spook, continue on to Roche Harbor and park just past the airstrip to take a short path to the mausoleum of the McMillan Family. Well within the woods is the grave site monument which consists of several chairs around a marble table surrounded by come columns, one deliberately broken. Original plans were to top this scenario with a gold dome, but one of the McMillan sons thought this would be too ostentatious, or so the story goes. The McMillans ran the limestone quarry which developed into the resort of Roche Harbor. Enjoy being outside on San Juan this time of year. And watch out for the ghosts of years ago at Roche Harbor.
Photo Courtesy of: Gene Nery – Orcas Island

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