On Island Time

We've got a long history with the San Juans. 

I've been going there since I was a child, camping in Moran State Park, taking the boat to Friday Harbor, hiking Mt. Constitution

My husband's family has resided on Blakely Island for generations. His grandfather lived there, his father, his aunt, uncle... When Jake was a child, he lived on Blakely and spent his infant days rocking back and forth on his mother's back while she worked in the island general store (only store on the island). His father hand built himself a cabin on a nearby island in his twenties.. His uncle lives there still. His mom even spent her childhood sailing with her family through the islands. And she still does every summer, with her husband, as my parents also like to do in their sailboat. 

View from the ferry at sunset.

View from the ferry at sunset.

Ferry dock at Anacortes on the mainland. 

Ferry dock at Anacortes on the mainland. 

And we both grew up on an island of course. His family and mine both moved to Bainbridge Island when were were teeny tiny and spent our lives their until adulthood (although we didn't meet until much later on). 

View of Mt. Baker, Cascades, Canada, Bellingham and San Juan Islands from Mt. Constituion Lookout. 

View of Mt. Baker, Cascades, Canada, Bellingham and San Juan Islands from Mt. Constituion Lookout. 

Come the new year, and I go to a yoga retreat with my dear friend Josephine. And finally, my darling friend Anika lives on Orcas Island with her husband and little baby, where she was raised and where we went last week.

View from the top of Turtleback Mountain. 

View from the top of Turtleback Mountain. 

One of the things I love about Turtleback is the acid green moss blanketing the rocky terrain. 

One of the things I love about Turtleback is the acid green moss blanketing the rocky terrain. 

A fisherman in Mountain Lake. 

A fisherman in Mountain Lake. 

Lone sailor. 

Lone sailor. 

Above- the view from a hike up Turtleback Mountain. Velvety moss swallowing the rock. A fisherman in the lake we like to swim. A lone tree on a cliff. 

I couldn't say how many times I've visited the San Juans but for the last number of years my husband and I have had our annual retreat there, staying at the same hotel, swimming in the same lake and climbing (in one way or another), up the same mountains. 

This time I didn't bring my usual camera- the one I use for jobs and pretty much everything I shoot. I took with me a small point and shoot and, intentionally, didn't bring a back up battery or a charger. I wanted our time there to be about the moment- not dictated by the need to take photos. Should the battery die- so be it. I'd take it as a sign I needed to focus more on us and this place. 

My beach hangout spot for a few hours. 

My beach hangout spot for a few hours. 

Sea life. 

Sea life. 

Below, the grounds of the space where we stayed, which I wandered around back and forth for hours. 

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Although the islands of Washington are scattered across the northwestern part of the state, there are subtle distinctions one can make after spending time with them. The tall and rocky islands of the San Juans, formed volcanically, have sheets of exposed rock flanking the hills and cliffs, held together by thick-carpets of moss. The area is less wet than other parts of the state and the climate even milder. It rarely snows here like it does in the east, and the hawks and nettle groves run aplenty. 

Exposed cliffs at the water's edge

Exposed cliffs at the water's edge

Island Rock

Island Rock

Dock at the area we stayed. Sailors and those with yachts pull up here to stay in their vessels but eat at and enjoy the grounds. 

Dock at the area we stayed. Sailors and those with yachts pull up here to stay in their vessels but eat at and enjoy the grounds. 

Boats at the Marina. 

Boats at the Marina. 

View out the window at Doe Bay Cafe.

View out the window at Doe Bay Cafe.

Doe Bay.

Doe Bay.

During the days we rode bikes out to Doe Bay and up Mt. Constitution, stopping at the lake for an icy-cool dip to relieve our pumped muscles. We hiked trails, strolled downtown, and ate our fill (and then some), at a few of my favorite restaurants, a number of which Anika has introduced me to.

Small nursery in town. 

Small nursery in town. 

Pristine downtown Orcas. 

Pristine downtown Orcas. 

Back patio dining at Mijitas

Back patio dining at Mijitas

Raw milk ice cream over burnt brown sugar covered in "the farm" (flowers), at Hogstone. 

Raw milk ice cream over burnt brown sugar covered in "the farm" (flowers), at Hogstone. 

The Kitchen indoor seating area.

The Kitchen indoor seating area.

Lunch at Doe Bay Cafe. 

Lunch at Doe Bay Cafe. 

Pastries at Brown Bear Bakery. 

Pastries at Brown Bear Bakery. 

We found it very hard to leave. Island life slows you down, puts you in no hurry, gives you peace- all things we struggle with in this chaotic, overly busy world. But the moment we rolled into our towering mountains in the purple-golden evening light, when the days's warmth meets the night breeze, It felt good to be back home. 

Olympic Peninsula and The WA Coast

Olympic Peninsula and The WA Coast

Blog of Seattle based travel, food and lifestyle photographer Shannon Douglas, shooting commercial and editorial for local and international clients. 

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A New issue of Honest Mag, A New Year & More

A New issue of Honest Mag, A New Year & More

Blog post of Shannon Douglas, Seattle food, travel and lifestyle photographer shooting editorial and commercial for cookbooks, advertising, magazines, packaging and more. 

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Honest Magazine | The GROW Issue: Seeds & Weeds

Sunshine. Saltwater. Markets. Rivers. Hikes. Grilling. Flip-flops. 

Summer is here and berries are filling out (as are bikinis). Every year as the heat begins to roll in so does the craving for simplicity. Days are spent swimming in the river, hiking up rocky trails to epic viewpoints and licking sticky fingertips at the park. 

With summer, comes the new issue of Honest Magazine: The Grow Issue, Seeds & Weeds.

This year, the Honest Magazine theme is "Living Off The Land." The year began with FORAGE, where we learned how to hunt for berries, greens, herbs, mushrooms and more and how to take it back to the table, highlighting the beauty of the flavors without masking them. 

Moving from the Forest we ventured to the SEA where we continued to forage for bounty from the ocean deep. Clams, Crabs and Sea Plants inspire beauty and flavor alike. 

With all of this bounty among us at different times of year we need a way to capture and preserve it for the off months. The CURE issue comes in just in time to teach us just that. Preserve. Can. Dry. Smoke- we've got it all covered. 

And here we are now, with the harvest of it all- SUMMER

Ingredients are at their best and require nothing more than a salty cheese, a crusty grill mark or a fluttery topping of herbs. It's the time of year for enjoyment. 

A colorful New Potato Salad with Dill, Cherry Tomatoes and Snap Peas.

A colorful New Potato Salad with Dill, Cherry Tomatoes and Snap Peas.

Snacking and swinging a giant hammock cover the laid back side of things but gardening brings a whole new type of pleasure to the heart. We teach children the cycle of life through the sprouting of a seed, the blossom of the flower to the harvest of the squash. It's a beautiful lesson and one I don't think we should ever stop learning. Nurturing a seed from sprout to harvest brings us a feeling of care and a witness to life. Bringing it back to the table, dining al fresco in the shade of your garden = perfection. 

Grilled Lamb Burger with Feta, Pine Nuts and Tzatiki Sauce

Grilled Lamb Burger with Feta, Pine Nuts and Tzatiki Sauce

Grilled Corn with Honey-Sriracha Butter. Lamb Burgers with Feta, Pine Nuts & Tzatzki. Snappy fresh Guacamole with Homemade chips. Stuffed Zucchini Blossoms with Basil and Ricotta. Homemade Fruit Leathers. Sour Cherry Smash. New Potato Salad with Cherry Tomatoes, Dill and Snap Peas. 

Zucchini Blossoms from the garden

Zucchini Blossoms from the garden

A colorful issue with a complete guide to the State's Best Markets and a Restaruant Guide highlighting farm to table leaders. 

As always, the issue finishes with a cook/garden book roundup including our local favorites. 

Grilled Corn with Honey-Sriracha Butter.

Grilled Corn with Honey-Sriracha Butter.

So check it out. Whip up some spiced honey butter, slap a couple cobs on the grill and clink frosty glasses with friends. 

Cheers,

Shannon

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Trove Noosa Yoghurt Campaign, the San Juans and a good cup of Joe.

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A recent campaign shot for Noosa Yoghurt. Produced by Oui Productions. Concept by Vox Media. Published on Eater.com. 

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