Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Good-Bye, Orcas Island...Until Next Time

Our last day at Doe Bay. It was sad to say good-bye to Skyview Cabin, but we packed everything up, making a few trips to the car in between rain showers. It cleared up a bit, so we decided to turn our key in and sit by the water for awhile. We had a lot of time to kill, since our ferry home wasn't until around 2:30.

Duchess paid another visit to the beach.  

I hadn't noticed this bench way up in the trees above the Sweet Spot Yurt before. I can imagine myself sitting there when we come back to Doe Bay for Thanksgiving. We already have the Sweet Spot booked!

  We'll be staying for four nights in the Sweet Spot in November. I don't care if it rains or snows, I can't get enough of this place!


Just hanging out and soaking up the beauty before we said good-bye to this special piece of Heaven on Earth.

We said good-bye to Doe Bay and drove to Mountain Lake in Moran State Park. 

  It would be nice to camp here someday... so peaceful. Of course, things might be different on a weekend in the middle of summer.

  Larry and Duchess walked out onto the dock.

There was a beautiful old picnic shelter which was most likely one of the buildings constructed by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s. 


I wanted to drive down to Rosario Resort. I have always had a love of old buildings. They have such stories to tell. Knowing nothing of Rosario, I thought the beautiful, big old building was constructed as the original resort, but it was actually the Moran Mansion,  built between 1906-1909 by Seattle Shipbuilder and Mayor Robert Moran.

 Robert Moran was originally from New York City, and arrived on the Seattle waterfront in 1875 with a dime in his pocket. He became a ship's engineer and was fortunate to work on several of John Muir's Alaska expeditions. He was eventually joined in Seattle by his brothers, and formed The Moran Bros. Company, a small family ship repair business that grew into a supplier for the Yukon Gold Rush, then a major West Coast shipyard. The Moran Bros. Company became Seattle's largest employer when it won a naval contract to build the battleship U.S.S. Nebraska in 1902.

By 1904, the stress of business had taken a toll on Moran's health and he purchased 7,000 acres on Orcas Island. He began to build his retirement home with the same integrity as one of his ocean going vessels: massive and solid, yet elegant and gracious.

The design of the Moran Mansion was inspired not only by Moran's nautical background but also by the popular Arts and Crafts movement of the time - a devotion to the honesty of craftsmanship, simplicity of design, and the joys of nature.

 Here's the porch of the mansion before it was enclosed. The ladies are enjoying a cup of tea on the porch, while others are playing croquet on the lawn.

We didn't go inside the mansion, but I definitely plan on doing so and visiting the museum when we come for our Thanksgiving visit . 

As we drove on down the road,  a deer decided to cross. We stopped,  and an idiotic young woman from the car behind us jumped out and shooed the deer away! Some people have no patience, even in a beautiful, relaxed place such as this.

  Moran hired the leading landscape architectural firm of the day, the Olmsted Bros., to enhance the grounds with their trademark naturalistic landscapes, water features and paths - elements designed to encourage the exploration of nature. I was intrigued by the pools and fountains, and we stopped and walked around.

The lavender plants must have been there for a long time - they were huge, almost as tall as me! And they smelled heavenly!

This bridge was obviously built in 1915.

I can imagine the ladies promenading along the pathways after their tea and croquet.

We'll have to visit sometime in the evening to see if these light globes still work.

I have a fondness for lily pads!

It was getting close to time to head for the ferry docks and get in line.

Good-bye Orcas Island - until next time!

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Day Two in Paradise

Larry wanted to hit the soaking tubs first thing Tuesday morning, and since it was a beautiful day, Duchess and I decided to sit on a chair overlooking the bay until he was finished.

This yurt would have had a fantastic view, but I can only imagine what the walk was like to reach it. A couple of years ago it wouldn't have been an issue...

  It was so peaceful... Duchess and I were the only ones here for an hour or so.

 As the light of the morning changed, so did the colors of the water.

We were joined by some crows.

 I noticed some birds swooping down low - I think they were some kind of swallow - and walked over to discover a small cave beneath the rocks. They were flying in and out, most likely breakfasting on bugs.

Duchess was such a good girl, tied to the leg of the chair, waiting patiently.

  I spotted a Blue Heron on a rock. He stayed in the same spot for an hour or so, waiting for something to happen.

 If I could have gotten a close-up, it would have looked like this...

  I worked a little on my cross-stitching. The miniature Navajo rug is coming along, slowly but surely.

 It was getting close to 10:00, the time I was supposed to pick up Larry from the soaking tubs. Duchess and I meandered back to the car, and just as I started it, he walked up, totally relaxed. We drove on back to the cabin and rested up a bit.

 Larry lay down on the bed and read for awhile, and then we decided that he could do that just as well by the water. After all, that was why we were there! So we put his book and my cross-stitching in a bag and we were off.

I could truly look at this view forever and never tire of it.

We had been sitting there for awhile when we heard a voice behind us and turned to see a woman walking two cats. No, it couldn't be! But it was - the Cat Lady from Tulalip and Angel of the Winds! "We know you!" Larry said. While we were staying in the RV parks at the Casinos, before settling down in Clearview, we had met this same woman. She had been living in her RV with her cats, moving from place to place, and was now doing the same thing on Orcas Island. Not a bad place to be a gypsy!

 Larry took Duchess down to the water to explore.

She doesn't like to go too far in, but she does like to get her feet wet!

 Meanwhile, I'm still stitching away on my little rug...

  We noticed a Heron on the other side of the cove - perhaps the same one, who knows?

The sky was changing, creating interesting shadows on the water.

 The Heron flew to a different rock.
  Our neighbors from a couple of cabins away launched their kayak, and in the process scared the Heron off, but they gave us something new to watch.

 A sailboat approached, moored, and came ashore on their rubber dingy. As they did, a sea otter swam out to meet them!

Eventually, we realized that we were tired and decided to head back "home".  We lay down and read and Larry took a nap until it was time for him to head back down for another soak. Duchess and I stayed home and enjoyed our quaint, cozy cabin.


We had oyster stew for dinner. The oysters were from a can - we didn't harvest them ourselves! It was going to be sad leaving in the morning.

More to follow!