Friday, April 6, 2012

Walks, Hikes and Wanders #7: A Mountain on an Island

I had a birthday recently, and to celebrate it, Mr. D took me on a two-day getaway to Orcas Island in the San Juans. We arrived around noon on Sunday, and once we got checked into our B&B and had some lunch, we headed to the trailhead at the south end of Turtleback Mountain. The owners of the B&B told us that the trail to Ship Peak was a nice one, and that it would be a pleasant two-hour hike, with some spectacular views. It was a beautiful day; perfect weather for a hike.
The trail is on an old logging road and climbs up the south side of Turtleback Mountain,  on the west side of Orcas Island. At first the trail was gentle.

But, surprise, surprise, the trail got steeper fast. Fortunately, there were benches placed strategically along the trail. Here is Mr. D observing the view to the southwest from one of them:

As you can see, the vistas were beautiful.  Here is the view to the south, looking across the islands to the Olympic Mountains in the far distance.

At Ship Peak (931 feet) there was a beautiful, but different view, across farm fields to Mount Constitution, on the east side of the island.

There was also evidence of Orcas Island's geologic past, this incredibly old stone alongside the trail.

We decided to hike further past Ship Peak before turning around to go back down. As we were making our way upwards, we encountered a local hiker, and she directed us to a trail that loops back down the mountain on the west side, and then rejoins the trail we came up on shortly before the trailhead. She told us to keep watching near to the ground and we would see the turn-off. Sure enough, about ten minutes later, we did.

We meandered our way down the mountain, back to the trailhead. Just up the road from the trailhead we came upon a scene that convinced us that spring, in addition to the hiking season, is finally here.

Happy Spring, everybody!


  1. What beautiful views! Makes you grateful to be alive in the world when you can see views such as these!

  2. It is pretty spectacular, isn't it? It was such a treat to experience this after almost a solid month of rain.

  3. Hi Julie, What a beautiful hike! I love daffodills! I recently documented a hike I went on in Normandy.

    Are you going to Yarn Over this year? I'm not, unfortunately. I'm going with some knitting friends to Arizona instead, but I wish it wasn't the same time as Yarn Over.


    1. It was a wonderful hike! I just took a look at your post about the hike in Normandy—oh, to be hiking there!

      No Yarnover for me this year, either. The Knitajourney retreat was my Minnesota excursion for 2012. I'm thinking seriously about Yarnover next year, however.