Northwest Coast Round Two

After the massive success of our 72 hour rip down to Seattle, we decided it was time for a second trip. This time we thought we would try push things a little past the coastline and set our sights on Orcas Island.

Due to the anticipated extra mileage, we recruited our good pal Grace Hilton (you probably know her, she’s Calgary famous) to keep us company. Being that we were now all officially adults meant we no longer had to worry about smuggling minors across the border, and our new-found maturity encouraged us to split the journey up into two days, so we loaded up our car with peanut butter and pringles and headed to Revelstoke for our first night.

We got up super early the next morning in anticipation of our big day ahead, and after waking up all our camping neighbours as we tried to packed up our tent, we hit the road. We drove through some absolutely gorgeous towns that morning including but not limited to Salmon Arm, Kamloops (like truly how is it possible to have a desert in the middle of British Columbia) and Abbortsford. After a challenging experience at the border involving some BC apples and a $12 dollar bottle of wine, we were relieved to cross the border in to the U S of A (the wine made it too, the apples did not.)


We spent the afternoon cruising through the land of the free and arrived at the Anacortes Ferry Terminal at around 3pm. Of course we hadn’t thought to book our place on the ferry so SUPRISE SUPRISE there was no more space. A lady working at the desk told us there was one more ferry going out at around 6pm and that tickets were all sold out, but if we came back around 5 and waited in the standby line there was a low-to-moderate chance of us getting on. This was a very high stress couple of hours for the ladies because not getting onto the ferry would have meant spending our one night in Orcas in a motel very far away from Orcas. But at 5pm, after finding strength in Taylor Swift’s Fearless Album, we went back to the lady at the desk and she told us we would just about squeeze on. You could say it was ~the best day ~( )

Below are some photos of us enjoying the Ferry, the most revolutionary form of transportation since the steam engine.

We docked into to the Orcas Ferry Port just as the sun started to set and honestly it was like rolling down a ramp into the promise land. The definition of a vibe. Just absurd. We wanted to get to our campsite before it got dark so we tailed it through the backroads and arrived just as the sun was setting. Our campsite really wasn’t a campsite at all, it was an eco-friendly GLAMPSITE which had 7 fully furnished, super hip super cool linen tents, flushing toilets and even a man to help us carry our bags up the hill to our site.


We loaded our things into the man’s wheelbarrow and considered going for a sunset swim but it was like 10 degrees so we decided it could wait until the sunrise. Instead we started a fire and had an approximately 3 hour conversation about how sick our lives were going to be when we lived on Orcas Island.

That night was hands down the most delightful night we had ever spent in a tent. We woke up at 6 and dragged ourselves out from under our down duvet covers to fulfill our pledge to go for a morning swim. The water was SO nice but sooo cold.

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Having successfully woken up the whole campsite again with our shrieking, we dried off and planned our day. We were going to take the 4pm ferry back to the other side, so decided to spend the day exploring the town of Orcas and maybe finding a hike. We drove into town to find some breakfast and realized nothing was open yet because it was still too early, but we saw some local people lining up outside of a bakery waiting for it to open and decided that was probably a good call. We picked up some croissants and coffee and walked around the town. It was only about five streets wide so we walked real slow. We hung out in the town until the shops started to open so we could go ask someone about the best place to go for a hike. We found a little trinket store and went in to talk to the lady working cash. She had a chihuahua called Gizmo. The lady gave us a recommendation of where we could go to find a nice view of the island, so Grace bought a hat and we said bye to Gizmo before heading up the hill to find the spot.

We drove to the other side of the island and then up this massive winding road until we got to this trail head, and we only had to walk a little bit to get to this viewpoint which looked over the whole bay. and It was such a pretty day so we just hung out for a while, but we didn’t want any more ferry issues so headed back to the car after a little bit and headed down the hill. We drove to the other side of the island and then up this massive winding road until we got to this trail head, and we only had to walk a little bit to get to this viewpoint which looked over the whole bay. and It was such a pretty day so we just hung out for a while, but we didn’t want any more ferry issues so headed back to the car after a little bit and headed down the hill.

Thankfully we made it onto the ferry easy peasy but we were bummed to be leaving so soon and all wished we had taken an extra day off work so we could’ve stayed on Orcas another night. Sam was so upset that she accidentally threw our chickpea snacks all over the car which was a real shame because it was our only remaining food other than graham crackers. But we planned to stop for dinner before getting to our campsite in Spokane which was only a few hours away so we things were all chill. 


After docking back in Anacortes on the other side, we hit the highway for Spokane. This was a pretty flat and boring part of the journey but we cranked the Eagles and ended up getting to Spokane at about 9pm just as the sun was setting. Since it was already getting dark we decided not to stop for food because we didn’t want to set up our tent in the dark. This was an error.  Our campsite was about 10 minutes inside a central park in Spokane so we planned to head there and hopefully pick up some food at the campsite store which we assumed existed but did not. We thought about heading back into town to get food after setting up our tent but we were all tired and honestly not that hungry, so we dug out the graham crackers and Keith’s for a light bedtime snack. 

We woke up again early the next morning and packed up the car to start our short leg home, only 12 hours today! We drove through Washington and into Idaho, through this town called Coeur D’Alene where Sam and I were filled with nostalgia as we remembered this was where we thought we threw our car keys into the Safeways garbage when we came through last year. Good mems but we decided not to stop at the Safeways just in case. After getting through Idaho we went back over the border which was almost so chill except when Sam and I said we had nothing to declare, but Grace felt strongly that she had to tell the Border Officer about her new Orcas Island hat from the back seat. I’m not sure if the Officer didn’t hear her or saw the panic on my face, but he let us go through and we made it back into Canada scotch free. We stopped for a cookie in Fernie and got back into Calgary in the evening. We unpacked our trusty girl Rhonda the Honda and said our emotional goodbyes, feeling happy and a little stir-crazy after 2000 kilometres and a weekend well spent. Orcas Island forever <3

Sarah ClarkComment