San Juans: Eagles Overhead, Whales Below

Rarely can you report that the best part of your wonderful, three-day island get away came during the trip home. But on my ferry ride back to the mainland from Washington's San Juan Islands in February, I had one of those "it doesn't get better than this" moments. Before me towered the awesome snow-capped bulk of 11,000-foot Mt. Baker; to the south stood the sawtooth peaks of the Olympic range. And all around, the sea and sky were clear and bright blue.

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