Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Roche Harbor, San Juan Island, Washington, USA

Roche Harbor is a prep's paradise.  One must take a plane (preferably float plane), ferry, or private boat to get there, as it is in an island chain ("The San Juans") between the large Vancouver Island and the Washington mainland.  It may be the one place in Cascadia where embroidered shorts, "red ochre" shorts, seersucker pants, and all that other prep regalia are NOT given a second look.  Ahhh, to be back in one's spiritual homeland. Birding and general naturalist activities are strongly encouraged here. Mac's Field Guide to the Gulf and San Juan Islands is sold in virtually every country store, marina, and activities shop. Roche Harbor even has true presidential credentials - Roosevelt (Teddy) slept here!  With whom, I am uncertain, but I'm sure it was a rough ride.

If you visit, you must attempt to stay at Roche Harbor Resort. It is not inexpensive, but it is worth it. Stroll the grounds, play tennis, swim in the heated outdoor pool, meander the boat slips, imbibe at the Madrona Grill, and play bocce ball (I prefer pétanque.) Do this amongst the well-educated, well-clad and well-heeled without seeing black "Tap Out," Mixed Martial Arts (MMA), NASCAR, or Harley-Davidson t-shirts anywhere.  

On our annual visit last week, we were upgraded to the Quarryman Hall Deluxe Suite, since our stay the year prior was disrupted by an out-of-control late night wedding reception. Needless to say, this upgrade has ruined me... the bar has been raised as has the room rate. Ah, but it will be worth it.
view of the marina from the room

Quarryman Hall
Madrona Bar & Grill and McMillin's Dining Room
a 7-yr old bocce prodigy
(Should I tell her I'm closer? Nah!.)

The author in poolside repose wearing tired
Tretorns and J. McLaughlin swim trunks

True Cascadian colors - green and blue

Roche Harbor on San Juan Island - a true Cascadian, Northwest, and American Treasure!


  1. Hope you had a great time. Roche Harbor will always be a fond memory for me although we haven't been there in over 20 years; not the least because my wife and I, while on a trip thru the San Juans, Victoria and Lake Louise found out we were about to become first time parents. (when my wife tried to join me in a canoe on Lake Louise she knew something was up)

    Randy Ventgen
    Portland Oregon

  2. Excellent, Randy, and thanks for the comment. Roche Harbor, for us, is a place we are very fond of, as my wife and I got engaged there 11 years ago. Very memorable, but that could be due to the fact that my black lab (recently died) was jumping all over me while I was on one knee trying to propose.

  3. Love the shoes and the hat. I am wearing them both at this moment. New follower.