Sunday, August 14, 2016

San Juan Island 2016

Every year, my friends and I (and our respective families, though mine declined to come this year) make an Epic Pilgrimage on the Washington State Ferries to San Juan Island where we laugh, relax, and watch whales. This year's San Juan trip came at the perfect time: right in the midst of preparing to leave for college. Though I had one or two days of anxiety about all the things on my to-do-before-college list, I was able to remove myself from all responsibility except Camping Responsibilities and enjoy the time spent with my friends.

Here's the squad:

And here are some of our adventures:

Lime Kiln lighthouse. During the summer, a team of volunteers tracks our resident Orca Whale pods (J, K, and L) and gives informational talks about the whales.
Abbey and her Best Friend the Black Box saving the ocean one giant piece of Styrofoam at a time. We used our ingenuity to fish it out of the sea and drag it up onto shore (and before breakfast, too!)

Deer invade the campsite! In past years, raccoons and bees have been a problem. This year, the deer were a problem. They ate the bananas off of our picnic table as we watched from a few feet away (and took selfies, because, well, isn't that what my generation is supposed to do???).
Throwing the dummy for The Dog.
As usual, we visited the used bookstore in Friday Harbor and I found a book by Richard Adams! I didn't know he wrote anything besides Watership Down. I didn't buy it, but I took a picture so that I would remember to look it up later.
My camp chair found love!
Eagle watching at Brigg's Lake.
Watching the moon.

Looking for bats at English camp.
Reading in the wind and sun.

Beautiful sunsets.
Camping isn't camping without glow sticks!
Watching for whales.
They came SO. CLOSE! Probably within twenty or thirty feet of where we were sitting on the rocks next to the lighthouse. This was a special viewing not only because they were close, but also because these whales were from K-pod, which hasn't been seen since June. Because there isn't enough salmon in the water, the whales go elsewhere to find food.
The picture above is a snapshot from a video that my friend's mom took. My camera died shortly before K-pod came close, but my other friend's mom let me use her super nice camera to take pictures so that she could videotape the whales!
As a special treat to end the trip, I broke my sugar fast and ordered a raspberry-chai tea milkshake at The Hungry Clam. If you ever go to San Juan Island, make sure to stop by The Hungry Clam (conveniently located right next to the used bookstore) and order one of their milkshakes. They are the best in the whole world, and you can mix practically any combination of flavors for your Ultimate Milkshake of Destiny.  

Now I'm back home buying last-minute items and packing away my life in boxes. In less than a week I will move into my dorm! If you think of it, you could pray for me... specifically that 1) I would transition easily from being a formerly homeschooled and only child to a college student living 1,600 miles away from both parents and friends, and 2) that I would be confident in who I am. Sometimes, I chameleon into whoever I'm hanging out with and lose my true identity trying to fit in. I want people's first impressions of me at school to be of the Authentic Abbey: a geek saved by Christ trying to live according to God's values, not the world's.

I've been camping for ten days. What did I miss? What have you been up to?


  1. Someday I will have to camp and see these whales you speak about. :) Life is just not going to be the same without you, but we are excited for you, and so proud of you. I will be praying - especially that A.A. (Authentic Abbey) will be the only Abbey people meet at school. You will be missed deeply, and not just by your parents!

    1. It's sooo nice! Thank you for your prayers, Debbie. I know I've said it a thousand times, but I appreciate it a lot!

  2. Lovely little travelogue you put together here. Thank you for sharing your adventure. And you saw whales! How wonderful. That's something I've never had the privilege of seeing.

    There's something to be said about camping and reading, isn't there? No distractions, no schedule to cut that engrossing chapter short. It's like rainy days and board games, ice cream and peach cobbler, toddlers and sunshine - the perfect combination.

    You request for prayer reminded me of Beth from Little Women who so wanted to go play Mr. Laurence's piano but was afraid to do so. In the end her love of music helps her overcome her fears. As you grow in your trust of God, remember that he has not given you a "spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind." This comes from thinking more often of God and less often of yourself. Take hold of his promises and you will bless and be blessed as you start this new chapter of your life! I'll be praying for you.

    1. Whales are wonderful! It's amazing when they come close because they are so huge!
      Yes, reading and camping are the perfect combination.
      That's a great reminder, DJ. Thank you for sharing that with me.