“There are two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle; the other as though everything is a miracle.” attributed to Albert Einstein.

IMG_3382Day 3:   I am definitely miracle minded!  We slept in until 8:00 :-), had strawberries, apples, banana, yoghurt mixed with Lisl’s almond muffin and our trail-mix crumbled on top, plus our home-made lattes in Juniper’s kitchen.  Oh my!

We set off, by perfect weather, sans panniers, on one of the cross island routes, heading north toward Roche Harbor on Egg Lake Road.  Just so happens the sign had been stolen recently and we almost drove right on by. Street names like Dragonfly Drive, Woodpecker and Swallow Lanes suggest the rich bird life on the Island. And we did see many specimens. List to follow.

IMG_4612We stopped for a break overlooking Roche Harbor, a ritzy, yachty community, then turned south along the west edge of the Island.  Passing English Camp (of Pig War notoriety), we checked out San Juan County Park — worth keeping in mind for future visits. Good camping sites, flat playing field, fabulous views, put-in spots for boats, and adequate facilities.

Winding our way through a magical forest, perfectly dappled, mixed aged trees and shrubs, flowers and ferns, we came to Lime Kiln Park and the Whale Watching Point. We were graced, as we lunched on our kale roll-ups, hummus, cheese, garlic sausage… by a lone seal, some cormorants and eagles. The upwelling, which brings nutrient-rich waters to the surface was bubbingly obvious, and fun to watch. It really cooks.IMG_3392

On our way to South Beach and American Camp, we were stopped short by a derailleur disaster on my bike. An apparently faulty down-shift, and there was a horrible crunching sound.  Bike trip all over. Fatal flaw. Couldn’t even roll the thing. As Lisl was extracting it from he spokes, a San Juan Island Tour Mini-Van rounded the corner.  I flagged them down. They graciously took us aboard, and with an Island Tour included, they dropped us at the doorstep of Island Cycles.

Two hours, an iced latte and treats later, we were on our way again. Thank you Sam and Paul (who shoots deer with bow and arrow)!!  This time we headed south on rolling Cattle Point Road, toward American Camp, which had been our destination before disaster.

The whole incident was story-book perfect, and a fine introduction to one of the highlights of the trip. We stood on the windswept, rugged bluffs — overlooking driftwood beaches with views to the Olympics — dotted with historical markers from Pickett’s Pig War era, enjoying the warm, slanted afternoon light.

When we headed on toward the lighthouse at the end of the point, we saw two Gray Partridges scuttle into the underbrush. And then, probably because we were several hours on into the afternoon, the perfect time for wildlife – kit foxes emerged from the brush, gambolling a few feet from us, unafraid, even occasionally coming closer to check us out.  Electrifying. Most probably a once in a life-time thing.IMG_4623

Also saw rabbits galore, deer and fawn, glorious light and views. We scoped out Jackle’s Lagoon for future beach walks, and then enjoyed tail winds home to our home-made gourmet dinner. We sat on Juniper’s deck to discover an eagle directly overhead, and watch the sun sink below IMG_4645the bucolic horizon.

Highlights and insights:  When there’s trouble, angels appear.  Nothing quite like evening light.  Gifts come in unexpected packages!  Always handy to carry along derailleur hangers in your tool kit (we didn’t have any, but got lucky).

Jill Schroder is the author of BECOMING: Journeying Toward Authenticity.  BECOMING is an invitation for self-reflection, and to mine our memorable moments for insights, meaning, andgrowth.  Check the website for a sample chapter, or see the reviews to get a flavor for the volume.  Follow me on Twitter, let’s be friends on Facebook :-)

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