Ok, I admit it could be the 12,056 days of 90 degree heat in Asheville, but I am in love with Lopez Island in the San Juans, off Seattle. It could be the temperature, the fabulous people, the Orcas which leap and frolic around the place or maybe I just need to be elsewhere for a while. I'm thinking that I will start with two weeks a year, and then move to a month...
Jane and I traveled to Lopez in June as I was teaching a Resist Dyeing and Book Making Workshop that my good friend Jan set up. Lovely, talented students. And even a wonderful evening sitting in Jan's new studio, drinking wine and stitching. How could life be any better!!
One of the best parts about heading off to Lopez is the ferry system. I really like the idea that you can't really get off the island unless you want to swim in frozen water guaranteed to freeze your lungs as soon as they fill with icky sea water, or wait for the ferry - much more civilized. And this what you see floating up and parking at the Lopez ferry dock. (If one indeed does 'float' and 'park' a ferry.)
One night as a treat, Jan grilled fresh, wild, marinated sockeye salmon on the beach as I chopped the firewood - a skill from my hippie-living on the land and having a wood stove-month. Years ago.
I'm thinking that I look really cool in those sunglasses. Jane just looks thrilled to be eating fabulous food that someone else has cooked! And since food, next to whale watching and rock collecting, was one of our obsessions, we took pictures of exceptional meals.
But alas, we had to leave when all was done. Jane did get to see a pod of Orcas off Iceberg Point and called during class to breathlessly tell me. And we did do a ferry walk-on to visit Friday Harbor and check out the Whale Museum. But that day came when we loaded everything up from the Honey House where we were guests and headed back to the ferry dock. Here's Jane watching it all slip away.
But even once back on the mainland, the islands followed us.
We had opted for the red eye back to North Carolina, which meant a loooonnnnngggg wait at Seatac . Luckily Jane had passes for the Delta Lounge where we ate tons of food and drank a free gin and tonic every half hour and played with free WiFi.
We have already planned our Lopez trip for 2011 to be combined with teaching at the Pacific Northwest Art School, formally known as Coupeville. I hope I see my buddy - Orca - when we step onto that next ferry.