San Juan Island Camping Trip

Our summer schedule is in full swing and we’ve crossed another trip off our list already! Recently we went on our first family camping trip. The last time we camped was when Ben had just turned two and I was about 35 or 36 weeks pregnant with Hannah. Needless to say, we were not in a hurry to get back into a tent again.

This camping trip started as a school trip. Ben’s whole school was invited to go camping for three days on San Juan Island together. Our family rallied and geared up to attend. Early the morning of the trip, we were informed that it had officially been canceled due to the teachers testing positive for Covid. After taking our own Covid tests and connecting with some other families, we decided to move forward with the trip as it was originally planned.

Our travels took us over the mountains and right by a mama bear and her cub – our first sightings of the year!

About an hour into the drive Hannah got car sick. With nowhere to pull over immediately, we found ourselves with quite a mess to clean up. That was no fun! Pro tip: a gas station poncho works really well as a barrier between a kid and a wet car seat!

A definite highlight of our travel day was the ferry ride. It was a BLAST. We saw a bunch of their friends and they got to pal around with them while we enjoyed the ride.

The kids had the best time running around for hours and hours at the campsite as all the parents got set up. They made themselves at home in the campground and palled around with all the other kids.

Ben and Hannah stayed up extremely late both nights. It would have been impossible to get them to sleep on time with how light it was and the fact that kids were running around all over the place. Once it was finally dark, the kids curled up in their sleeping bags and were out like a light. They slept SO well. We all did, thankfully!

We really only had one full day on the island and it was chock full of adventures. Our first stop was the whale museum, where the school had organized a tour for us.

Next on the list was Lime Kiln Point State Park.We primarily stuck close to the coast and the lighthouse and tried to keep Ben from running on the rocks and falling off a cliff. Luckily, we were successful in that endeavor!

Ben and Hannah loved getting close to the waters edge and checking out the scenery. They found all sorts of crabs and barnacles and little sea creatures.

By this point, we were looking to find some space for the kids to run around, unrestricted and in a safer environment. It turned out, the perfect place exists: South Beach! South Beach is around two miles of costal shoreline and was just what we were looking for.

While I am so disappointed for the kids who were unable to come on the trip due to the cancelation, Alex and I were really happy that because of the cancelation, we could be more autonomous and didn’t have to stick to the schedule or with the group the whole time.

We had so much fun relaxing on the beach and letting the kids roam and play. They were both in their element and I think they really enjoyed the down time.

While we were at South Beach it was just our family. We enjoyed having some time and space to be on our own and catch up with the kids. As it turned out, about a dozen other families came on the trip, which I believe is close to half the number who were initially planning on attending.

We ended our day on the complete opposite end of the island in Roche Harbor at the sculpture park.

The sculpture park exceeded my expectations. It was expansive {over 20 acres!} and wild and engaging and whimsical.

Our trip came to a close officially the next morning when we packed up and headed home. It was so so lovely getting to see Ben and his classmates mixing it up and playing in a completely unstructured environment. Alex and I really enjoyed spending time with other families in the school.