We woke up on our sixth and final day at San Juan Island ready for a day full of adventure! There were a few places we had to visit in order to make sure that we explored the entire island.
We had to get up earlier than usual in order to head to False Bay. It is known as False Bay because at certain times of the day, the shore of this bay stretches for a mile, and at other points in the day, the water reaches right up to the rocks, so that there is no shore and nowhere to walk. It’s a neat phenomenon, and I am sure that I am not explaining it very accurately. We had to get going in order to make it to False Bay while it was still possible to walk out far onto the beach before the water was to rise and overtake everything.
Armed with plastic bags in order to collect some shells, we headed out onto the “beach” (or what was the beach, until the tide came). There were a multitude of shells, but most of them that we turned over still had creatures inside of them, so we never really know what we were picking up! Also, while our trip to False Bay was a new experience, it was also one of the most terrifying times of my life. This is because as we walked farther out, we came across small patches of water where the tide was beginning to rise. These areas of water were full of tiny little creatures: fish that would seemingly jump out of the sand and start swimming when you walked by, tiny little crabs in the seaweed, and what looked like miniature sharks that moved along in the sand. I don’t care how tiny any of these sea creatures were, they were scary to walk through, and more and more started to pop out of the sand at random times and swim over our feet, causing us to jump and even scream at some points. I am sure they were harmless—I mean, I escaped the ordeal without a scratch—but it still frightened me half to death. While I do love watching barnacles and jellyfish, I do not love being up close and personal with creatures that I have never come across before in my life.
I have to say, though, I consider our trip to False Bay to be successful, if only because I came home with some interesting sea shells that are different than any that I have collected from other beaches! False Bay was also more like a real beach than any other on San Juan Island, as it was made entirely of sand instead of rocks.
We had to drive back home to clean our feet and legs of sand and gunk from our venture, and then we set out to Roche Harbor, which is on the opposite end of the island from Friday Harbor. For the most part, Roche Harbor felt just like a smaller, high-end Friday Harbor (due to the fact that it is actually a resort town), with the same type of shops and restaurants (just with higher price tags). There was no Popeye the seal to see here though!
Since Roche Harbor was so much smaller, and the clothing much more expensive, there wasn’t too much for us to do here, but we had to visit while we were on the island in order to experience everything on San Juan! It was worth it, if only for where we stopped to get lunch, which was at the Lime Kiln Café. While this café was the cheapest place for us to grab a bite on Roche Harbor, I doubt that any of the more expensive places could have been better! I ordered the Wild Shrimp Baja Wrap, and it was one best things that I have eaten in my entire life. Truly! I still have dreams about these shrimp wraps. It was definitely the best meal that I had throughout my entire trip on San Juan Island, hands down.
After lunch, there wasn’t anything left to do at Roche Harbor, so we decided to pay a visit to the San Juan Islands Sculpture Park, which is a free park that is home to dozens of different sculptures from artists on the island. While the loop did not take us very long to complete, it was neat to see all of the t pieces of art! We also had the entire park to ourselves, which is always a bonus. The property itself was beautiful as well.
Our next stop on our last day was the McMillan Memorial Mausoleum, which is open to the public and just a short walk through the woods. There is so much history and science behind this mausoleum and its architecture that I am sure that I cannot do the full story justice. The mausoleum consists of a round stone pedestal surrounded by an awning held up with imposing columns, and underneath this there is a table surrounded by chairs. Each base of each chair holds the ashes of a different member of the McMillan family, with the backs of the chairs serving as headstones. Along the trail on the way up to this structure, there are also multiple graves, although most of the headstones are so old and worn out that it is almost impossible to read the dates or the names. It was pretty spooky! I will include a link to an informational article down below if any of you want to read up on the full history of the mausoleum. It is certainly interesting and more intricate than you could ever expect!
On our last night on San Juan Island, we took a short sunset hike up a trail that began about five minutes from the house. Throughout the first section of the hike, we were completely surrounded by trees, making it seem as though it was pitch black outside before the sun had even set. You can imagine how dark it was when we were on our way back down after the sun had set! It was less than a mile up to the top of the hill, and we were afforded the perfect view of the sunset! Maybe not as wonderful as our view from Lime Kiln, but it was still magnificent.
We packed as many activities as we could into our last day on the island! I will include links to everything that we saw and did on our sixth day in case you guys want to explore any of it yourselves!
While you’re looking, though…
Don’t Forget to Make It Meghan!