Thursday, August 30, 2012

Less Than Six Degrees of Separation...

Or...How a Box of Tomatoes Leads to My Cousins

It's funny how the title of a blog post often comes from something that happens at the end of the day. So, as usual, I'll start at the beginning and work my way to the box of tomatoes.

After stopping to post the last blog, I left the overly high priced campground of Lakedale to head to a much nicer and also much cheaper campsite at San Juan County Park. My plan was to visit the places along the way, get to the park, set up my site, and go check out the rest of the island. Well, most of that happened.

My first destination was Roche Harbor. This was another place I had been to when I was a kid. In 35 years the place has changed quite a bit. I guess not so much changed, as grown. Where it used to be just the Hotel de Haro, a restaurant, store, and the pool, there are now lots of condos and townhouses. The old stuff is all still there (even the pool), there is just a bunch of other stuff.

I restocked my produce at the store and perused the artisan booths (there was a candy place specializing in various types of licorice--there was also chocolates and other sweets--I bought a few...) before I made my way back up the hill. A gentleman I passed going up the hill said, "Don't you wish there was a tow-rope?". I said I wanted to know where the elevator was!

Before I left Roche Harbor altogether, I stopped at the Sculpture Park. It reminded me of the Monarch Sculpture Garden at home except it was in better shape.

The next stop was at English Camp. This was a camp occupied by the British during a dispute regarding a pig and who really owned the San Juan Islands--the Americans or the British. Of course, it was eventually decided that it belonged to the Americans. There are a few structures still standing, and it is on a nice little bay. It is run by the National Park Service. As an aside, there is also American Camp. It is on the southern end of the island. I've seen it from Shark Reef on Lopez Island.

Returning to the main road, my next stop was the park. San Juan County Park sits near the water looking directly West. It has a Hiker/Biker site that costs $10. It has flush toilets and water close by. The H/B sites have the best view of the water. In short, a much better deal than last night's accommodations (even though there is no shower here).

I arrived at about 12:30. Remember, my plan was to set up my camp and continue riding around the island. I set up my camp and...decided to stay put. Afterall, I will ride the rest of the way around the island tomorrow on my way back to the ferry.

I spent a leisurely afternoon looking out across the water watching for whales (didn't see any). I even spent a couple hours in my house ( tent) reading my book and looking out the window (fine...the tent door) at the beautiful view. I even watched the inside of my eyelids for awhile (took a nap). All in all, it was a wonderful afternoon. Oh, and a couple I had met while in line for the ferry yesterday (Patty and Gary from Florida) also stopped here on their tour around the island. So I talked to them again.

After my nap I went up to the lovely flush toilets to, well, you know. At the sink (yes, a sink with running water AND paper towels!!!), there was a box of tomatoes that said, "Free, Organic, Eastern Oregon Homegrown". There were about half a dozen tomatoes. I took two.

I cooked my dinner and then watched a beautiful sunset before doing my dishes. Like I said, the park faces directly West, so that makes for some spectacular sunsets and tonight's did not disappoint!

Later, when I was in the restroom doing my dinner dishes, a gal came in to dump some dish water. She commented on how nice it was for someone to leave the tomatoes. She wondered who it was. I said it was someone from Eastern Oregon. She said she was from Central Oregon. I asked where. She said Bend. I told her I have a cousin in Bend named Pat Brown. Here's the weird part. She said, "Oh, I know the Browns. I went to school with Vince. I grew up in The Dalles. I knew Jeannie and Erin too." Her name is Carrie French (French is her maiden name). I told her they are my cousins. She said she would message Vince on Facebook right away that she met me! Such a small world!!!

So there you have it! A wonderful day topped off with a chance meeting!

Here's some photos from the day. Arrrggggg! I wish I knew why this app mixes up the photos! I'm sure you can figure out the correct order.

No comments: