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July 22, 2013

Western Wanderlust // Liz on San Juan Island

This Monday morning, I have the honor of introducing you to Liz, of Yellow Finch. Liz is a rare soul who's just that -- soul. She threads words together with grace and imagination, and takes her readers to other worlds with her photography ...

Traveling is a part of my life. It's a part of who I am. I've seen Canada, I've seen parts of Mexico, I fell in love with Paris and I've been fortunate enough to travel through many parts of Eastern Europe. My husband and I are drawn to wine country, we could visit Colorado yearly, we love spending time with family in Maine and North Carolina, and Vermont, well, I'll take your outdoor country scenery any day of the week. But let me tell you about a piece of land that takes the breath away, that touches the soul, that leaves a mark on your heart. 

Let's go back in time to when my husband was in college. A  poor student working just to get by, enjoying the life around him, friends and music. Always music. On a whim, he decided to move out to Harbor for a summer with a friend who had family on the island. I like to think that this was the summer that changed him. This was a time when his breath was taken away, his soul was touched and his heart opened. The San Juan Island will do that to you, or at least to this Ohio girl.  

How do I describe the sound of ocean waves that softly lull over forgotten drift wood? Or what about the moment when you watch an orca emerge from water with such strength and grace. In that small moment  you realize you are witnessing the power of nature. The strength and beauty. The grace. There are no words for the sunrise that slowly makes it's way over still tree tops, over open waters and into vast skies. And in the distance, you can see an endless mountain ridge quietly painted into the background. Olympic, Victoria, and on a clear day Mt. Rainer. 

We played our guitars, we wrote our stories. 
And all around the island songs surrounded us. The scuttle of fox feet running in the distant wood, midnight waves slapping against rough rocks, the silent hum of boats traveling through the Strait of Juan de Fuca. 

At one point during our trip, I sat silently upon the drift wood in Eagle Cove. I had a moment to observe the world around me and I found such peace in my scenery. My children dancing along a rocky beach that was dusted with hints of sand. Rays of sunlight that fell into our hair quickly soaked into our skin. Into our hearts. 

I couldn't help think, Did Jon realize what he found years ago during that college summer? Did he know that he would visit this special place years later with a wife and three children? There was something unique he found here, something he just couldn't part with, something that brought him back. 

These lands, these islands, in the Pacific Northwest hold a sense of magic. An unforeseen beauty that quickly unfolds before your eyes. A pure inspiration to the creative soul. Every direction you turn a new sight of nature faces you like a remarkable painting that hangs in quaint gallery. Your breath is taken away and your heart is opened. 

If you ever have the opportunity to visit San Juan Island I say go, jump on that ferry and don't look back. Embrace every moment and every space on the island. Make sure to visit each and every little beach and cove, strike up a conversation with the locals at Lime Kiln. Become knowledgeable about the orcas, if you get a chance watch them, because one day they may not be on this earth. Put a couple rocks in your pocket and take them home to treasure. Go on a hike in search of a bald eagle's nest. Capture every memory that you can and hold on to them forever. You will not be disappointed, I promise!  


  1. Thank you SO much Katie for having me.

    1. Thanks-a-million, Liz, for guest posting for me! xoxo