On Thursday, July 9th, Nick Teague (Fearless BLM Ranger) and I met a group of 25 Senior Citizens at the Lopez dock for a day trip to Patos Island. This event had been in the planning for months, ever since Nick had talked to the Seniors some time ago about the wonders of Patos Island back in the spring.
As the ferry docked on Orcas, we headed up to Brandt’s Landing, aka “The Ditch”, which was our departure point with Outer Island Expeditions. Unfortunately, one car seemed to be missing, so our trip planner drove out to look for it, something one must not do as it is similar to staying put when lost in the woods. Sure enough, the missing car and its passengers showed up and we were left sitting at the dock waiting for the now missing lead car! Since our time on the island was short anyway, the decision was made to take off for the 20 minute ride over to Patos Island.
Our captain drove around Alden Point for beautiful photographic views of the lighthouse and then we landed on Minnie’s Beach in Active Cove.
We could see visitors at the lighthouse plus members of both the Lopez (LICC) and San Juan volunteer youth coprs who were camping out on Patos. Those seniors who were fit and nimble climbed off the boat and hustled up to the lighthouse. The slower people were helped up the trail by willing volunteers, some strong ones from the youth group, and the lighthouse’s 2nd (or 10th?) hand wheelchair was put into service to help.
Our ever ready Lighthouse Docents, Barb and Buzz, were at the lighthouse, greeting visitors and telling the stories. Pictures were taken, views were marveled at and some even made it down to the beach to gaze into tide pools.
Soon, too soon, it was time to return to the boat for the return trip. We all ate our lunches onboard and when we returned to the Ditch there was our missing tour leader (with her husband who had stayed behind) looking red faced, but pleased that we had all thoroughly enjoyed our most memorable trip to Patos Island!