image from San Juan Island DirectoryTo give you an idea of where in the world the islands are, here is a handy map. This is a map of the greater Puget Sound area. Seattle is in the lower right hand corner of the map. See the Straight of Georgia? Just below the "a" in "Georgia" is a mass of islands, those are the San Juans. To the right of them is Fidalgo Bay and Anacortes, WA, which was just in the news a couple weeks ago regarding the Tesoro petrol facility explosion. There is a state ferry that services the island from Anacortes, otherwise the only other way to get to there is by personal watercraft or aircraft.
I can only imagine that the islands were even more of an oddity back then, as the number of rich people building their summer houses out there was so few. Sady, now a mansion is a dime a dozen out there, especially on the water. But the cabin....aaah, i'd say it has more charm and worth than any of the big fancy houses. As Moose says, the cabin is a family treasure.
What little bit of the story i know is that Moose's great grandparents were looking for a place to settle down when they dreamed of building this cabin, a place their daughters could bring their families to visit. Moose's great grandfather brought his great grandmother up here to live in a tent for a year through the whole construction process. And with the kind of driving rain and winds they get in the islands, that is a fact that is hard for me to phathom--living in a tent in the San Juans in December. Oy! However, they were used to some of the harsher living conditions. Moose said at one point, his great grandfather was a tailor in a one of the Pac NW logging camps. Some of the materials they used to construct the cabin were recycled from other construction projects around the island at that time. Some of the foundations are cedar tree stumps from trees they cut to clear the spot for the cabin.
It's located on one of the numerous bays in the area, which makes great fun for the boaters in the family!! You can walk right out the front door practically, step in a dinghy and row to one of the majour attractions on the island.
Now, all this coolness and seemingly luxurious lifestyle comes with a price. It's not like Moose's family are a group of spoiled island hopping yuppies, or anything. The cabin is rustic, and by that i mean when you are staying here, you are basically participating in glorified camping.
The cabin hasn't any running water or electricity, save a car battery hooked up to a flourescent light above the dining room table. The only heat is a wood fueled stove. There is a propane stove and refrigerator and a sink.
My favourite feature is the outhouse! The view you get while taking care of business is amazing. Only drawback are the nights when you forget to cut your coffee consumption by 2pm. You could find yourself ankle deep in 'coons on your way past the compost pile to make use of the facilities.
The kitchen/dining area
The kitchen is a favourite of mine too! So cozy!
Just look at that sink and those metal cabinets!
To the right of the dining area is one bedroom.
This was Grandma's bed when i joined the family and started coming up to family reunions at the cabin. This is where we made sure Cookie Monster slept while we visited. Now she enjoys telling people that she slept in her Great Grandma's bed during our stay.
On the other side of the room from the dining room is the living area.
Cozy quarters, especially with an energizer bunny for a kiddo.
But oh so wonderful and special a retreat!
We just love how it's a place that is frozen in time. It's something you can always rely on. And it means planning out meals and snacks to bring with us, carrying all our water in, creative packing for easy "grab and go" early morning showers at the marina, which is a 5 minute drive away. Mainly, it's just nice to have a spot that is so quiet and filled with a variety of animals and activities that you can escape to every once in a while.
Beats living under the flight path south of Seattle, i tell ya!