Monday morning we “slept in” and made a dinner-breakfast of spaghetti with tomato sauce, supplemented with mushrooms and chard – yum! Sara and I packed up our tents and left camp earlier than the rest of the crew. Everyone else was headed back to Anacortes later that morning, but we were headed to Orcas Island to continue the second half of our San Juan Islands trip. Even after multiple calls to the Southwest Airlines baggage counter (at 3 different airports), there was no indication that Sara’s two checked bags would be delivered, so we headed into Friday Harbor to replace some of the lost items. A 45-minute shopping spree later, Sara was the proud owner of some new chacos, underoos, paddling gloves, and other items. We made the usual stops for water, ice, and coffee before boarding the inter-island ferry.
Another (attempted) early start! At 6:50am (only 20 minutes late) we departed the campsite, made a quick-ish coffee stop in Friday Harbor, and continued to our second San Juan Island kayaking destination: Haro Strait. This strait runs along the west side of San Juan Island and is known as the best location for orca whale sightings. The main public put-in site is at Smallpox Bay in San Juan County Park, which is apparently where a number of Native Americans plunged into the icy cold water to rid themselves of smallpox and instead died of pneumonia...
5am: it’s time to wake up for the earliest ferry! In classic Nena-style we (Nena/Sara/Bridget/Ale/Alex/Maria) took the first ferry from Anacortes to Friday Harbor at 6:25am. We were directed to Lane #4 where we parked, ate yogurt and cereal, and watched a gorgeous sunrise. We wandered into the waiting area and found a Seattle’s Best coffee machine, which delivered wonders for $1.50. “Now boarding the 6:25 ferry to Friday Harbor.” Oh crap, we return to the car just in time to board the ferry, parked behind another pair of kayakers and next to a massive flammable liquids truck. The ferry to Friday Harbor lasted ~1 hour.
For 4th of July Alice and I first decided to visit her favorite spot in Marin: Tennessee Valley. The hike takes you 1.8 miles from a parking lot through the lush valley to an open coast beach. Tennessee Cove lies between Muir Beach and Rodeo Beach - both of which we visited last year on a coastal paddle. Dark sand covers the narrow, steep beach at the end of the trail. Alice dodged crashing waves to run around a point and explore another narrow beach on the other side. Ten minutes later I began to wonder whether it was time to send out a rescue team, but she soon sprinted back around the point...
A couple weeks ago a patchwork group of us spent a night camping out on Tomales Bay. Last year's trip was super fun and we wanted to recreate it. This year we started on the west side of the Bay, near Inverness, and paddled north until we found a beach that was sufficiently wide for camping. For the rest, I'm going to be lame and refer you to Rob's blog post (click the Journal tab), which awesomely and succinctly describes this year's fun. He also has all my photos, so go look there! :) Click Read More for a map and trip stats...
The perfect kayaking trip should start something like this: a cool foggy morning, bundled in your favorite sweatshirt, with 30 minutes of meditative/caffeinated (do those cancel each other out?) beach sitting: bare toes hidden inside the boat for warmth.
In September 2008, Nena and Terry met and moved into a little apartment in Cincinnati, Ohio, where Terry taught Nena how to dance like Justin Timberlake and Nena taught Terry how to recycle (ok, so both of those lessons failed). However, some of the cross-cultural exchanges stuck. For example, Terry developed an affinity for hiking and country music that grew long after the end of the Procter & Gamble internships. In May 2014, Terry visited Nena in California with one request: go on a California adventure.
Commence road trip to Morro Bay, in the first person...
This is a blog about exploring the outdoors (mostly by kayak), traveling, trip planning, and coastal engineering. It currently focuses on kayaking in the Netherlands and Belgium, but previous posts cover Upstate New York, California, and much more. See the Complete List of Blog Posts for a history of the site. Looking for something specific? Search the site here.
In addition to the blog, check out the Water Nerd section, where I write about coastal engineering and hydrology.
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Maps in each blog post: Click the icons to learn more about the launch site (amenities) and destinations. Click the square in the bottom-left corner to see an aerial photo behind the route.
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