Tuesday, December 9, 2014

San Juan Island Thanksgiving Day 2014

We took a wrong turn on the way to the Mausoleum at Roche Harbor and took a alternative trail but we got to see this deer in the forest.

And of course Mossey rocks

Good, we are going the right way now

John S. McMillin Memorial Mausoleum

After going through the gates, visitors must walk up three flights of stairs. The steps symbolize many things, especially to Freemasons. The first flight has three steps, which represent the three ages of man. The second flight of stairs has five steps, which represent both the five orders of classic architecture and the five senses. The last flight of seven steps represents the seven liberal arts and sciences and also symbolizes the seven days of the week.

Perhaps the most striking feature of Afterglow is the large, limestone table on the platform, which symbolizes the entire McMillin family meeting in unity over dinner. Around the table are chairs for each family member, with the corresponding names written on the chair backs. A hollow niche inside each seat serves as the place in which the family member’s cremated ashes rests.

A lot of Ghostly stories on the web about this unusual Mausoleum, McMillin was a Freemason so there are also a lot said of the individual elements and their significance in the whole of the  Mausoleum.

This is a must do 

Way to many Pieces  to photograph.

I like those that have movement. see http://youtu.be/na8jNqFe0j8

The Art goes on around the island as many homes have their own Art to mark the entrance to their property.
Driving along the Southern Edge in Search of American Camp, looking South across the Strait of Juan De Fuca and the Olympic Peninsula.

This end of the Strait actually gets little rainfall hence the prairies on the South end of San Juan Island

But I know the winds can Howl through here in the winter so I had to wonder how smart the Americans were to choose this piece f real estate for their Camp?

Of course it was all carved out by glaciers. 

Sunny or Gray, it is still a beautiful spot. The skys would cloud up and then clear several times this Thanksgiving day

From the rock in the Lower left I am standing next to in the pic above.

That point is Cattle Point, a famous light house that has surely saved many a mariner at the end of the the 96 mile long Strait of Juan De Fuca see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Strait_of_Juan_de_Fuca

The locals call it a Bunker instead of a light house.

The pic in the lower right is a map from American Camp to Cattle Point

Harlequin Ducks

We had seen this little light house about 6 times by water so I was glad to see it from a different perspective.

Jackle's Lagoon in the upper left see http://www.thesanjuans.com/san-juan-island-places/sanjuan-parks-forest/jakles_lagoon_sanjuan_island.shtml

see: http://youtu.be/3390KSaWiF0

Looking South, the Striat is huge and often replicates the conditions of the open Pacific Ocean. Sailors looking to sharpen their seamanship look forward to sailing the Strait to prepare for long ocean passages. 

The best place for a thanksgiving dinner n San Juan Island at the Friday Harbor Community Center, the Admiral does her Homework!

Best thing to do after a big Thanksgiving dinner is go for a walk along the Friday Harbor Marina

Just a few of my favorite boats from Top Left, pacific Seacraft 40, Cabo rico 42, Fisher Motor Sailor, Hans Christian, all Passage making vessels.

The Entrance to Friday Harbor from the San Juan Channel between San Juan Island and Brown Island on the right.

Two wooden vessels, one on the ltop left in need of some big time TLC and the green hull vessel looking Bristol. The Red Steel Hull is interesting and Scary at the same time. Lower right is the North side entrance to the marina.

Much more impressed with the English's' ability to choose proper ground for a camp. 

A short walk from the parking lot through the forest to Garrison Bay and English Camp

Our only Eagle sighting was here at English Camp

Garrison Bay is a very protected harbor.

We walked the 1 mile loop to Bell Point. Sure would like to cruise these waters.

Much rather get through a winter here at English Camp than at American Camp. 

The H.M.S. Zealous Defended the English Camp see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HMS_Zealous_%281864%29


San Juan Island Thanksgiving Day 2014

One of the Benefits of the Hillside Bed and Breakfast is the Awesome Omelet Greg prepares for your. The Other is Naoni and Greg can give you lots of local knowledge before you start heading out to explore the Island. By the time we finished a very complete breakfast we were armed with several tips on when, what, and how to see all the things on our list. There was another couple from Eastern Washington State who were first timers to the Island so we teamed up for the first stop at the McMillins Family Mausoleum near Roche Harbor. We heard about it on one of the Local Seattle Evening magazine shows on TV. But it is listed on the Wierd Washington sight at  http://www.weirdus.com/states/washington/cemetery_safari/mcmillin_tomb/index.php . We turned right instead of left resulting in a hunt through the woods but we finally found the Historical Mausoleum and had fun speculating on the different elements of what we were seeing. 
The Sculpture Gardens are just a short hop from the Mausoleum so that was the next stop. A lot of creative artist in the neighborhood for sure, I am partial to the sculptures that have some type of (wind generated) movement. The weather was forcasted to start getting nasty around noon so we wanted to see American Camp and Cattle Point before the rain started. Could have easily spent a lot more time at the Sculpture Garden but we know where it is.
As you near the South East side of the Island the forest disappear and rolling grassy plains begin.  I did not know was this end of the Straight of Juan De Fuca gets a lot less Rain so no forest. American Camp was pretty sparse and I wondered how they survived the winters here in the late 1800's as I know the winds can really howl in the winter as the cold air pours south out of the Canadian Frasier Valley right through the Strait.
"In winter, the Fraser Valley occasionally plays a significant role in the weather regime along the west coast of North America as far south as California, acting as a natural outlet for the intensely cold Arctic air mass which typically sits over Western Canada during winter. Under certain meteorological conditions strong winds pour out of the Fraser Valley and over the relatively warmer waters of the Strait of Georgia and the Strait of Juan de Fuca. This can cause ocean-effect snow, especially between Port Angeles and Sequim, where the air mass collides with the Olympic Mountains.[1] The cold air from the Fraser Valley can also flow out over the Pacific Ocean. Lanes of convective ocean-effect clouds and showers are produced as heat and moisture modify the very dry, frigid air mass. These then typically organize as a low pressure system which returns the showers to the coast south of Canada, often bringing snow to unusually low elevations. see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fraser_Valley
Cattle Point was important to me since we had seen it several times on our Whale watching ventures from the water. It is easy to recognize the importance of the light house as a navigation aid since it is at the East end on the North side of the Srtait and surely must have helped countless mariners in low visibility and bad weather conditions. We were very lucky, the forecasted weather must have stalled or something but we were getting hungry so we drove the short distance back to Friday Harbor (completing our circumnavigation by car) for the Thanksgiving Dinner see:  http://www.fridayharbornow.com/fridayharborthanksgiving.htm The cool thing about this was spending the time with Island Locals who provide you with the real feel of island life in the San Juans. This is when you wanted a month...we learned that if you really want to get to know a place like a local you need to stay at least a month and three months will really do the job, at least for places on the Gulf of Mexico coast. On Second thought you would need to stay here a year to understand what is is like in all four Seasons. I can already tell you the Spring, Summer and Fall are fine but what are those winter months like? The locals say they are in a Rain Shadow as well and lots of the rain skips over them but you would have to live here to really know just what they are talking about. 
We had just enough daylight left to drive back up to the North end and check out The English Camp. I wanted to take Naoni's suggestion and take the hike to Bell Point. We drove into the parks parking lot and we were the only ones there. Guess everyone else is glued to Thanksgiving Football?  We had the entire Garrison Bay and English Camp to ourselves, We did get to see our only Eagle sighting on San Juan Island here. 

No comments:

Post a Comment