During the short time we lived in Seattle, we ended up visiting Orcas Island twice.
The first trip we stayed in a yurt on the much less trodden western side of the island. When we arrived on the horse farm where the yurt was we talked with the owner about just how beautiful the car ferry ride over to the island was. “I know,” he said, “When I first moved here twenty years ago I felt like I could take that ferry every day and be amazed. But after a while, I started using the ferry rides to sneak in a good nap in the car just like all the other locals.”
After thoroughly enjoying the yurt we moved to the east side of the island where we camped on Monument Lake.
We did the hike up Mount Constitution which left from near our campsite. After beautiful flat trails along the lake and the forest the trail takes a sharp turn up the side of the mountain via switchbacks. The view from the top is as good as they come. Besides seeing all the San Juan Islands dotted in the ocean beneath us, that day we were able to make out the city of Vancouver and Mount Baker to the north and Mount Rainier to the South, giving us a view stretching 300 miles.
A few months later we returned to Orcas Island, looking out over the beautiful Puget Sound from the car ferry and admiring such a unique place. We went back to Monument Lake and camped along the shore and walked by the lake and explored the coastline. On the ferry ride home, we cracked a few beers in the car and took a nice long nap.