Late August in the islands is a time when tourism slows down and everybody takes in a deep breath of the clean island air. Parking spots are easier to find and lines are shorter at the grocery store. For islanders, it’s a time for putting up the garden and orchard fruit and vegetables and preparing for back to school, football, and shorter days. It is a beautiful time for boating, with glorious sunsets. People lucky enough to own their own boats may visit one of the many marine parks in the islands, which include Turn Island and Jones Island. Jones Island has a dock for visitors and the deer are friendly and love apples. There are many parks for boaters, some of them also available for bikers or cars. For a list of Marine State Parks, DNR Parks, Public Beaches, and Island Parks that are accessible by boat visit this link www.orcasislanddirectory.com/island_marine_parks.htm. The park on Lopez called Odlin is a good example of a multi-use park. There is a county dock for unloading camping gear, and bouys to leave your boat at overnight. The dock is a short walk from the campsites. Bikers and kayakers frequent this park, which features campsites directly on a sandy beach, a rarity in the islands. From your boat or tent you will have lovely views which include the ferry going by several times a day.
Also unique is Sucia Island, where there are some sandstone caves to explore and a nice beach. This picture below shows an island family enjoying a boat trip to Sucia at sunset. Sucia is very close to Orcas Island.
Wherever your car, boat, plane, bike, or feet take you, enjoy this special time of the year in the San Juans. Savor the last days of summer and build a bank of memories that will take you through the winter with dreams of the islands.