Monday, September 24, 2012

Odlin Park-San Juan Islands

 Space #5 at Odlin County Park , Lopez Island

We haven't been camping in the San Juan Islands for a very very long time, so I thought this would be a good time to break in Ruby and introduce her to the beauty of the Pacific Northwest.  What a surprise to me that I was introduced to one of the most peaceful and gorgeous places to camp in Washington.  Apparently,according to our camper neighbors , we were one of the few couples who hadn't been to Lopez Island.  Rob, the Portland Firefighter has been coming here for 18 years; and Jeff and Judy from the  Cave B Winery in Eastern WA have been coming here for 13 years and the record holder was the gentleman who has been coming here for 40 years !  We planned on staying here for 3 days and after the first day we were heading up to the office to add 2 more days to our stay.  We camped here from September 13 to September 18-and next year we plan on coming back for 2 weeks in September.  Yes it is that wonderful. And now that we have learned to crab (courtesy of Jeff  ) we plan on coming back with a crab license and crab pot and spending 2 weeks crabbing in the San Juans.

Welcome to Lopez Island
We took the 9:35am ferry to Lopez Island from Anacortes.  We weren't sure what the Island traffic would be like on a Thursday heading west bound so we got to the ferry-almost 2 hours early.  We met Doug and Karen from the Vasa Park area of Issaquah,WA. They filled us in on the beauty of the Island and told us how they bring their boat up every chance they get to fish and crab around the Islands.  The campground is a County Park,Odlin Park , and is about 1 mile from the ferry .  There are about 7 sites directly on the water with the rest scattered through the forest overlooking the water.  It is one of the prettiest places we have ever camped.  The weather was incredibly cooperative.  Sunshine every single day and temperatures ranging from the mid to high 70's.  We felt guilty sometimes just laying on the beach or playing in the water-but the guilt didn't last long.

 Our favorite place to relax

We took a ride into town,only about 3 miles from the campground (if we had been smart,we would have taken our bikes-next time definitely).  We quickly found the local Red Apple Market Grocery. The grocery store has everything you could want or need-in case you forgot something at home, like the eggs I left on the coffee table! Then we took a little spin around the Island before we headed back to camp.

Fisherman's Bay

Our home for 5 days
Our first day here and we watched an Osprey dive for fish, a Blue Heron spear several little fish and several Pacific White Sided Dolphins swimming by. Some of our neighbors had been camping at San Juan County Park and were treated to a rare occurrence, 85 Orca whales gathered off the park-very , very unusual for all the pods to gather-can you imagine how breathtaking and exciting that must have been. Those folks who got to experience that amazing siting were truly blessed.

Our resident Blue Heron who would come to visit when the tide was out

 Daily view

Odlin Park is a dry camp-no electric or water hookup so make sure you are prepared. Odlin has a total of 30 camp sites available, 10 of which can accommodate RVs and trailers and one which can accommodate a camper van. 5 of the tent-only sites are reachable on foot only. There are pit toilets and a watering hole to replenish your water supply (you just can't hook up to it). You can find more information about each of the sites here along with a map of the campground here. The biggest challenge you will face it the Washington State Ferry schedule. It's also a little pricey -the round trip ticket for us ( a 22ft Sprinter) was $86 .  Even with that, I would go back many more times-it is a little piece of heaven on Lopez Island.  I am looking forward to our October trip to San Juan County Park.

The nightly sunset toast

 Just simply breathtaking

 This is the life-sunshine, the beach and nothing to do but relax

 We have fallen in love with Lopez Island

Hailey gives this beach 5 stars

Shake, shake, shake

 She would swim and chase sticks all day long

 The absolutely delicious fresh Dungeness Crab courtesy of our neighbors Jeff  & Judy

 Just pulled out of the crab pots about 1 hour ago,yum yum yum

Oh soo good and oh soo sad,it's almost gone

 It's 5 o'clock here !

 Our camp mascot

 Can I tell you how wonderful retirement feels ?

 I don't want Summer to end but I love the colors of Fall

 Another day in Paradise

 On the Washington State Ferry , saying good bye to Lopez Island

 Washington State Ferry Yakima

What a beautiful morning going through the San Juan Islands

 Passing another ferry

Outside of Anacortes,driving through the beautiful farmland 

 A wonderful foggy morning in the valley


  1. We only made it as far north as Mt. St. Helens (in '94) but I can see we still have many places to see and experience. My wife's cousin lived in Anacortes during that time, just three blocks from Burl Ives, but we just couldn't take the time to go that far away from our planned of the hazards of working lives. But next year...that is a different story!

    1. I highly recommend this campground, we would love to live on Lopez Island but it would make it difficult to see family and friends...they did some remodeling of the campgrounds and I'm curious to see how it turned out..I hope they left some of the beach sites