Monday, August 20, 2012

Discover Lummi Island – northern San Juan jewel

You’ll have to leave the RV in the shell-strewn lot at the Gooseberry Point ferry dock in Whatcomb County. But you can bring your tow car, your bicycles, or your kayaks aboard and take a 10-minute ride to this tiny spec of paradise.

Lummi Island, two hours north of Seattle and a 14-mile drive from Bellingham, is the most northerly of the San Juans. It’s quiet and serene, without the bustle that now overtakes the main islands of the archipelago, such as Orcas or San Juan Island. As you explore the 18 miles of country roads, you’ll happen upon killer views of Rainier and the mainland, sweeping beaches and bays, the second highest point in the island chain (after Mt. Constitution), and the kind of still-wild charm that’s classic Northwest. Eagles soar overhead and Orcas are frequent visitors to offshore waters. Lummi is also the proud home to a reefnet fishing industry – only one of three places in the world that still uses this time-honored, Native-American technique. 

If you go on a Saturday morning (May through September), you can bring dinner back to the RV; the Farmer’s Market is well stocked with fresh live crab and prawns and organic produce. The Country Store is a great place for a hearty sandwich to take along on that bike ride, and of course there are several options for espresso (tiny island or not, this is Washington after all!). 

Here’s a good list of RV parks and campgrounds in the Bellingham vicinity.

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