It doesn’t matter how good the flight is, the trip from Greenville to Samish Island is always long and tiring. We awoke at 5:00 am EasternTime to head to the airport for our flight, and eventually got to bed at 9:00 Pacific, which would have been midnight Eastern. And because we are so far north, this time of year it stays light until nearly 10:00, then the sun comes back up at 5:00. When I awoke Saturday morning I was feeling the effects of both latitude and longitude.
Saturday was spent getting Laura’s mom settled back into her house. Her place overlooks the water, and the scenery is always spectacular. It’s tempting to keep taking photos of everything. It didn’t help that her yard was a riot of flowers.
There were several trips into town for supplies and things to do a few repairs. Along the way we noticed lots of activity on the island. Many mailboxes had yellow balloons attached to them, and there were cars parked in driveways and alongside the streets. It turned out that today was the day if the big island-wide yard sale.
After running our errands I decided to check out some of the yard sales. Unfortunately, it was rather late, so most of the items had been picked over, and some were calling it quits for the day. However, I did discover a new commercial venture on the island – a distillery.
Golden Craft Distillery is located in the island village. We had seen a sign on the way onto the island advertising the distillery and a tasting room, so I was curious to see what they had. When I got there I wasn’t sure if I was in the right place. I turned down a driveway and was met by two barking dogs. Fortunately, there was a sign saying that the dogs were friendly. They do serve as an excellent warning of visitors for the proprietors.
The place was quite literally in a garage. I was met by Bob Stillnovich, who gave me a tour of their operations, from where they grind their mash…
…to the still itself (complete) with resident dogs)…
…to the aging room with the charred oak casks…
…to their sophisticated labeling procedures.
Finally we reached the tasting room, where Bob’s partner, Jim Caudill, was manning the bottles.
The distillery offers several products. There is their basic whiskey, but they also have several types of brandy. I had a sip of several. I don’t drink whiskey on a regular basis, so my palate hasn’t developed so that it can distinguish good from excellent. Bad I think I can tell, and this wasn’t bad. However, I didn’t care much for their brandies. They had raspberry and apple flavored varieties, and both seemed a bit overpowering. Just to support the local economy, I bought a small bottle of the whiskey.
I enjoyed meeting Bob and Jim, and I hope they do well with their business.
When we first drove onto the island on Friday we came across a field that had been flooded. The place was covered with herons and other water birds. The way that they were backlit by the late afternoon sun framed a perfect photograph, but we were too tired from our travels to stop. Plus, my cameras were still packed in the back.
So, this evening after a simple dinner we headed back out to capture the shot. The lighting wasn’t exactly the same as that first view, but we still enjoyed watching the birds. Several other cars pulled up with ours. We were able to get a few shots, but it was never like what we first saw.
Somehow I managed to stay up past dark, and in doing so was given a treat. On the far side of Padilla Bay the Swinnomish Indian Reservation was having a fireworks show. The bursts were tiny from this distance, but it was a great way to end our first day on the island.