Creative photos and essays from the San Juan Islands


Weekend Safari

Weekend Safari

I live and work at the Village at the Harbour, THE premier assisted-living facility in Friday Harbor, Washington. This van is used to transport residents about town when family members aren’t available, and we do four scheduled rides about the island each week.

I refer to them as “anti-cabin fever” outings, and I do the weekend rides, while Jose does the Tuesday and Thursday rides.

We don’t, unfortunately, stop and wander, for most of the riders are not that mobile, but with large windows and a knowledgable tour guide, we make the rides interesting, even if the rain and fog are waiting for us. No point going to the vistas at the south end if you can’t see much!

On a recent rainy ride I entertained the residents with audio clues to how hard it was raining: I’d park in the open and have them listen to the drumming on the metal roof, then I’d pull ahead under an oak tree and they could hear the heavier drops off the tree, then I’d pull the van under a gas station over-hang and the noise would go away completely.

The day in the photo we were out at False Bay at low tide (see photo below.) The island is only about eight miles wide and just under twenty miles long, so there are only so many places to take the riders, but with the tame deer out at the Friday Harbor Labs, or the foxes at American Camp, I seem to usually find something different at which to gander. And another saving grace is that the memory retention of many of the residents is not that great, so what to me is repetitive, to them is fresh and interesting. In this case, that’s a good thing!

August 2011 009


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