Orcas Island and the San Juan Islands

The San Juan Islands. Until a few years ago I couldn’t tell you where you’d find them. Northwest somewhere, or I could be wrong, maybe somewhere down in the Caribbean. My sad lack of knowledge changed a number of years ago when I was forced to figure it out. A group of lady taildragger pilots wanted to fly to the San Juan Islands and I was going to be the person organizing it. Time to get my act together since the destination was Orcas Island in the San Juan chain!

Our WingX flight of the day picture: Olympia to Orcas Island, WA

I couldn’t attend that fly-in myself but, ever since reading up and seeing all the romantic pictures of the area, I’ve wanted to fly there too. Thank heaven Boyd and I decided to fly the perimeter of the U.S. -  I’m not sure if, or when, either of us would have made it this far northwest. Overflying the islands and landing at Orcas Island Airport are some of the many beautiful surprises we’ve encountered on this incredible journey. 

We delayed our departure from Olympia Airport due to low ceilings along our route. Because of mediocre forecasts we were only slightly hopeful we’d make our intended lunch destination, KFHR, Friday Harbor. Even so, with a restaurant on the field and great recommendations from other pilots, we were anxious to stop there.

Unfortunately, low ceilings persisted and a deviation to KPWT Bremerton was soon a necessity. Touching down and rolling out on the runway we couldn’t believe what we saw – Bonanzas, and a few token Mooneys, completely covered the ramp. It turned out to be a formation clinic prepping for OSH, and very entertaining for us while we dined in the airport restaurant on the field at Bremerton.  🙂

The 2 hours we spent on the ground at Bremerton played out perfectly for a gorgeous arrival to the Islands.

Check out our RV7 arrival at Orcas Island Airport!

Orcas Island Airport, KORS

What a treat to find LLT member Roni, and hubby Stewart MacPherson, working away in their hangar at Orcas.  Stewart gives biplane rides for hire part of the year in their 1927 TravelAir (one of two they own!)  Many thanks to Roni for suggesting we borrow her van. We jumped at the chance – the perfect way to see Orcas Island!

Orcas Island TravelAir sightseeing tours:  https://www.orcasbiplanerides.com/

It was a great visit to Orcas Island but sad to see this beautiful Piper Pacer, all messed up, at the south end of the field. A local pilot told me it had been ground looped but even more damage occurred when it was moved to a different location on the airport. Ouch!

Orcas Island today. More mountain flying tomorrow!!

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