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Odlin County Park on Lopez Island is a delightful campground with 31 camp sites, some right next to the beach. We enjoyed campfires til the last night when a fire ban was instituted by the county fire marshal due to high fire risks. We can relate to that and did not complain. The sandy beach is great for going barefoot and beach combing. The dogs found some sticks and two tennis balls so they had everything they needed to stay busy when they weren’t napping. Our friend took Ken fishing for escaped Atlantic Salmon. See this article  and this one too for more information about this non-native species. And then he loaned us crab gear so we could catch and eat dungeness crab!

Life was very good to us on Lopez Island. No doubt, we will return!

Our campsite at Odlin Park had plenty to offer however we did manage to drag ourselves away to enjoy some of the highlights around Lopez Island. It’s pretty small – only about fifteen miles long and maybe seven miles wide. That doesn’t leave much space for public lands and trails. There are several nice beaches and some require a healthy walk so that limits how many folks get out to them each day. Vistas from high bluffs have views from the Olympics to Vancouver Island to Mount Rainier and Mount Baker.

Lopez is one of the San Juan Islands. There are many tiny islands in this archipelago but only four of them – Lopez, Shaw, Orcas and San Juan – have ferry service. They exist in a rain shadow meaning they get very little precipitation, just sixteen inches per year. Water is a scarce resource on the islands so most folks don’t have green lawns and trails are dry. Weather is mostly quite pleasant.

Day 1

We hooked up the tent trailer and headed across the mountains, leaving behind hot weather and smoky skies and allergies generated by the smoke. At Happy Creek we all enjoyed a little walk and cool water before heading back out on the highway bound for Anacortes and the big ferry dock. While waiting for our boat, the girls enjoyed a walk on the beach and the scent of saltwater and seaweed. It was Sky’s first ride on a ferry and she overcame her fears of new things and enjoyed the trip to Lopez Island. We arrived to find two of our dear friends from Twisp camped right next to us! After setting up camp, I got out in my kayak for sunset and Ken joined our friend David in his boat just in time to pull up the crab traps! Dinner was served.

All too soon it was time to leave Vieques. We’d had a wonderful trip – full of good yoga practices, good food, friendship, warm water and more. I hope to return someday. There was lots more I could have done and certainly I need another chance to practice snorkeling. Many thanks to our yoga teacher, Lindsey for coming up with the idea and organizing it and showing us this beautiful place that she has visited many times before.
Happy Trails!

Vieques, like many other islands around the world, has been plagued by non-native animals introduced for one reason or another. The human population is less than 10,000 and the horse population is around 3,000. Many of these horses are feral and some are perhaps simply let out to graze til their owners decide they need them. More people appeared to ride horses than bikes. Chickens are everywhere. Their incessant crowing woke me up at night. Dogs and cats are allowed to roam and most do not appeared to be neutered. I was disappointed with the lack of birds – both in numbers of birds and diversity of species. It may be a slow time with many having migrated away for the ‘winter’ season however I was told that there are never a lot of birds, certainly nothing like Florida. Even sea birds which would presumably not be affected by the introduced species on the island, were few and far between. Frogs, toads and lizards were everywhere. At night the frog sounds provided a white noise for sleeping. I named one frog the marimba frog due to its call that sounded like marimba notes. Another tiny frog says its name ‘coqui’. We saw one bright green iguana on the west end of the island. These were introduced for a reason that I don’t know.

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