Winter 17' on Orcas Island & Family

March 15th 2018

It's been more than a minute since I took the time to jot down a few lines.....

OK... with me it's never just a few lines.

(dun dun dun..... enter dramatic music here) As we last left the islander, he was swinging a hammer, shuffling lumber piles and being reminded that his 54 year old, sales career body, wasn't conditioned for that trade any longer, so alas, I hung up my tool belt and stored away my tape measure for good this time.

It's true....Island life has it's benefits, pleasures and a few interesting twists for sure, but it never disappoints in the beauty that seems to be around every corner.  From playful herons..... (are they blue or grey... the debate continues), amazing lunchtime vistas, picturesque water scenes to a strange looking goatee wearing guy lurking about a wooden critter, the island has it's beauty's... (insert eye-roll here).... even the night sky, absent any ambient lights from the city, street lights are pretty spectacular for the star gazer in me.

I've only left the island, literally 3x since I arrived July 22nd. and with every islanders trip to the mainland, they are full excursions. Needless to say, since getting my canine bestie back after my whirlwind 14,000 miles, he & I are pretty inseparable, so he goes off island with me. Domino & I have been mates for over 11 years now and our battling grey hairs forming around are faces are proof that we've shared more than a few adventures.... and yes, he's an avid TV watcher as long as there's another canine on the screen....

Orcas being only accessible via ferries and sea planes or private boats it is an undertaking that takes some planning. You consolidate your errands / appointments / family visits into this once a quarter type trip...(for me anyways, others go off more regularly)

While off island, I'm undoubtedly stuffing every square inch of my car, as much as possible, with mainland type stuffs. Groceries from the mainland stores... which is not to say that we do not have a 10,000 square foot grocery store on the island, pretty much the only one of any substantial size, that has a full inventory of everything you'd ever need, It's just sometimes nice to walk through a Costco, or a Cash & Carry, and NOT pay island pricing, or even driving through a fast food place is a special treat as there are no food carts or drive-through spots on Orcas.

On a trip off island back in late December, Domino & I actually stole away to Eastern Washington to spend time with a portion of my family for the holidays (I'll come back to family shortly...)

With Orcas Island being one of the furthest most Northwest points of the contiguous United States, on the Northern side of the Rock (affectionately called that by some long toothed locals) you can ALMOST throw a rock over to Victoria B.C., it is approximately a 6.5 hour drive to the Yakima Valley, including ferry ride, and that's of course before I stop and get carpal tunnel from shooting pictures of truly some amazing scenery along the way.

The Skagit valley is just 15 minutes off the ferry landing in Anacortes, the seasonal snow geese are renowned, people flock from everywhere to see this amazing sites. (Yes, I just used flock as a pun)...... The birds come into this protected "reserve area" almost as if they have a knowledge of when hunting season begins, and know exactly which farmers property to land in, that is protected by the reserves.

I have quite literally seen hunters set up the decoys across an irrigation canal and the birds know that that canal is a dividing line of the reserve and thousands of them will perch 200 yards away from that canal. The sight is brilliantly white, and the noise is often times deafening as you will see in the photo, I actually lost count after 9,226.... ;-)

Familia........... por mi, es muy importante...... (please don't correct my spanglish, I've always said, it's enough to get me fed and into a fight....;-))

Seeing family over the holidays was very nice!! Didn't get to see all members, mostly due to in-climate weather and distances, but everyone has a loving hug from across the state during the holidays. Nieces & nephews are now all growed up.... and some having kiddos of their own, making me seem like a  GREAT uncle.... sheeeeesh! It's very nice to be in the same timezone with them, as for so many years, it was often times an airplane ride away.... Family includes blood lines and those brothers from another mother type and now their kids, that have occupied most of three decades with some.

December did bring a new residence for me, once again, there's so many hidden jewels on the island for housing. As a jewel, they are rare and difficult to find. Pure kismet / blessing that this spot was in front of me. A cute, small studio off of Obstruction Pass Rd....with a phenomenal view....

I'm including my Youtube channel that has some fun clips and adventures from over the years.

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCTc8NXnV-_mbsi7XozKXvDw?view_as=subscriber

Please find me on Instagram (kellyephotographee) and (Kelly E Armstrong) on FB

PLEASE take a moment to leave a comment in the guestbook.

More travels & adventures to come...... thanks for spending a few minutes with me.

 

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