The trouble with pausing an Alaska adventure with a month on Orcas Island is at some point you have to make yourself leave the island. With decent weather, the boat in the water and a full hook-up site with a gorgeous view, it gets harder every day.
And time does seem to fly here on the island, with the exception of when you are looking for your blind and nearly deaf dog. Then it crawls to a dead stop.
Coming back from fishing one day, Rosco was anxious to get out of the boat. So as soon as we were near the dock, I jumped out, helping him onto the dock. I removed his life jacket and then watched as he made a bee-line down the dock and up the ramp. Since the ramp ended at a locked gate, I just assumed he would wait for us up there and set about tying up Boatie.
A few minutes later, I looked up the ramp and was startled by the absence of Rosco by the gate. I began walking down the dock, then, as my heart began to pound, running down the dock, River & Opus in tow. Out of the corner of my eye I saw a white form swimming in the boat channel and thought, “Oh, a baby seal.” Then my stomach dropped as I realized it was Rosco out there.
Blind, nearly deaf, and 15 years old he was also entirely wet—he must have gone completely under when he fell off the dock. He was swimming in circles with a panicked look on his face. I yelled down to Alan who came running with the boat hook. Desperately trying to get Rosco’s attention, we were yelling and clapping like crazy (for some reason, he can hear a loud clap on occasion.) Our yells combined with Opus and River scratching at the dock and barking, brought out all the look-i-loos from the condos lining the marina. (Being new to boating, we are almost always a cause for entertainment when we return but that day they really got their money’s worth.)
Rosco was still swimming in circles as Alan began to clear out his pockets in anticipation of jumping in. Then something got through and Rosco headed toward the dock; Alan laid down and grabbed Rosco’s halter just as he was headed under the dock, hauling him up to safety.
Man was Rosco proud! He ran around like he had visited the waters of Lourdes rather than those of Puget Sound.
But not all days bring such excitement; some just cause you to rethink the entire next stage of your life.
Strolling around Eastsound one day on our way to getting some coffee, we stopped and looked at listings posted in the window of real estate office. There sat a 10-acre, waterfront parcel, reasonably priced on Lopez Island. What we didn’t say is, “We have no time to shop for real estate, we are headed to Alaska in a week.” What we did say was, “Let’s go!”
Two days later we were on the ferry headed to Lopez, “The Friendly Island” as it is called. The 10-acre parcel didn’t ring our bell as we thought it might but we stopped in at the local realtor’s office, met a very nice agent, who asked us a few good questions and then said, “I think I have just the spot for you.”
And she was right: Four acres, 250’ of waterfront, with a small log cabin looking down the green, open field to the water. (The picture above was taken on the land.) At the time of this writing, we are still negotiating—with the sellers and with ourselves. Time will tell but we do have to leave Orcas on June 12th as our spot is rented from then until August 20th. One way or the other, we will be on the road but we may not make it to Alaska at this point; for sure we will make it into B.C. and up the Cassiar Highway.