Are We Walking to Alaska

Are We Walking to Alaska
Are We Walking to Alaska - A True Story

Sunday, January 15, 2017

A Trip to Guemes Island

We spent Saturday on Guemes (gwee - muss) Island - it is the smallest and closest of the San Juan Islands off the NW coast of Washington State.  The ferry ride is less than 5 minutes.  One of our favorites - we decided that a nice chilly sunshiny day in January was a perfect day for a picnic (eaten in the car with the sun shining in on us) 
 One of our favorites - well kept and with a great fence
 Down a huge hill and in a valley - a very typical size and shape for our area
 Not a barn - but this trip we also saw a lot of the tiny original cabins on Guemes - this one was next to a water tower in town, with a large family home next to the water tower - used before town supplied water - sometimes a dog or a goat was trained to run on a treadmill inside the tower to pump water if there was no wind for the windmill on top.  Or the children might have to run on the treadmill if there was no dog or goat. 
 A woodshed with a quilt design on it.  Wood is one of the main sources of heat on Guemes - there are no natural gas lines and if you use propane it has to be brought over on a separate ferry/barge in a large truck - so the cost is much higher than on the mainland.

 A tree house - with stained glass windows designed by the chidren

 Another old original log cabin - this one was in fairly good condition
 For its age. The logs had been faced with wood planks at one time - and there is a water spigot under the windows.
In the same yard - just next door to the old cabin was a new log cabin - perhaps a studio or a guest cottage
 On the way home, some drive-by photos on Hiway 20.  Most of the farms no longer use the barns, but the land is given over to growing crops instead of raising cattle
 The barns are melting away
Just as you leave the valley and head up into the mountains towards Bellingham, and home, is one of our favorite farms, still used and well kept - and Saturday there were Trumpeter Swans and ducks in the fields in front of the farm.  A great way to end a great day.


KathyB. said...

Beautiful pictures. It looks like a lovely and scenic trip.

I often wonder who lived there so many years ago and what animals found shelter in their barns. Plus, it must make some sad to see barns that were so important to a family and farm in such states of disrepair. Hopefully someone documented the history of the farm.

We have some farms near us and some have been restored and are fully functional and beautiful ( in our area the Mennonites seem to revive a great many farms and turn them into very productive farms too), others are falling down in ruins and you can tell they were once very well kept and loved. Just like homes and houses I guess.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Lovely trip around the island - thank you for that.

eileeninmd said...

Hello, great series on the barns. I like the barn quilt on the wood shed, very pretty. The tree house with the stained glass windows is awesome. Wonderful photos. Happy Monday, enjoy your new week!

Tom said...

WOW JoAnn, what a gorgeous collection that you have here. The woodshed is great. This would be an area right up my alley. Thanks for taking me along for the tour. I hope that there are more barns in your life to share!

Michelle said...

I just adore that woodshed. So charming with the barn quilt hanging on it. This looks like a place I would love to visit.

The Furry Gnome said...

Did you know the San Juan islands went to the U.S. instead of Canada as a result of the 'Pig War'? It's a neat story I just read the other day when reading some Canadian history.

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

I can't even tell you how much I now want to visit that Island (had never heard of it before reading this) . I loved this tour!!!

Small City Scenes said...

We like
guemes Island too. We like to go to Agate Beach and find pretty stones. We even (several yrs ago) bought a rock polisher and boy do they shine up nice.

J said...

Fascinating. It's almost like reading about another far away country. The citizens were so self sufficient and must have been glad to exchange their hard work for the serenity of this place.

Julie Fukuda said...

Those fields should be well fertilised with swan poop.
The island houses look inviting for summertime.

Amy at love made my home said...

A lovely place to go for a day out. I like the tree house with the stained glass!

Rose said...

Oh, JoAnn this was sure full of photos I loved, and wishing I were seeing them for myself!

Kay said...

You've shared some great finds! This looks like a wonderful little island.

Powell River Books said...

It's hard to imagine a ferry would be offered for such a short distance. Ferry service is such a costly operation. We are getting a new ferry for the run across to Vancouver Island. It's very good looking too. Our old ferry is always breaking down, especially in bad weather. - Margy