Monday, April 17, 2017

San Juan Islands - Day 2 - Roche Harbor Resort

We end our first day pulling into the dock at Roche Harbor Resort. 
It was a short walk to our hotel.
While checking in we’re told there is only one restaurant that is open for dinner and we should make reservations.  Since we were pretty tired and had a very light lunch (tomato bisque soup with artisan bread) on the boat, we got a 5:30 reservation.

Our room is on the third floor in the newest addition, Quarryman Hall.  Our room is fabulous!  King bed, fireplace, large sitting area, balcony, and the bathroom floor is heated. 

Our room.
When we signed up for this trip everything was included in the price except dinner for two evenings.  I had looked the restaurant up on the Internet so we were prepared for a very expensive meal.  The food was good.  $110 later, we were finished with dinner.

We moseyed on over to a small grocery store right on the dock where we picked up something for dessert and a few souvenirs.    
 A few magnets for my collection.
It was great to get out of the cold and wind.  We took our dessert back to the room, turned on the gas fireplace and settled in for the night.

The next morning we’re up early for a 7 a.m. bird walk with our guide/naturalist Bob.  It’s cold and raining lightly and the turnout for this walk is slim.
Morning bird walk.
We’re not seeing very many birds on the walk but the most interesting stop was the McMillan Family Mausoleum known as Afterglow Vista.

This is an excerpt from a sign at the entrance:

The McMillin Family Mausoleum was built by John S. McMillin as a memorial for his family, and for the things in which he believed.  It incorporates symbols from Masonry, the Bible, and the Sigma Chi fraternity, all of which were important to him.  He also incorporated his own views of family unity.

The structure is approached by two sets of stairs, representing the steps within the Masonic Order.  The stairs on the east side stand for the spiritual life of man.  The winding in the path symbolizes that the future cannot be seen.  The stairs were built in sets of three, five and seven.  This represents the three stages of life (youth, manhood, age), the five orders of architecture (Tuscan, Doric, Iconic, Corinthian, Composite), the five senses, and the seven liberal arts and sciences (grammar, rhetoric, logic, arithmetic, geometry, music, astronomy).
Stairs leading to the Mausoleum.
The columns were created to be the same size as those in King Solomon’s temple.  The broken column represents the broken column of life - that man dies before his work is completed.
Broken column.
The center of the mausoleum boasts a round table of limestone and concrete surrounded by six stone and concrete chairs.  The chair bases are crypts for the ashes of the family, while the whole represents their reunion after death.
The construction of the mausoleum began in 1930 and was completed to its present state by the spring of 1936 at a cost of approximately $30,000.  McMillin had planned to erect a bronze dome with a Maltese cross atop the edifice.  He had ordered the dome, but his son, Paul cancelled the order, as the company did not have the $20,000 it would cost.

Next time:  After breakfast, we're back on the boat.


  1. The room sounds great, the weather not so much.

  2. It always amazes me that there are interesting historical/cultural sites out in the middle of nowhere. It is so fun to find them and learn about the people involved.

    1. There are some pretty interesting things in this world.