Mamma always said “There’s no such thing as a stupid question”, and we all know that Mamma knows best! So when you’re traveling, especially if you’re headed to an environment that you’re less than familiar with, it’s a good idea to remember Mamma’s advice and ask a few questions so you have a better idea of what to expect when you get to your destination. A good portion of our time here at Lakedale is spent answering questions and offering advice, so we decided to put together a list of answers to some of our more frequently asked questions. We’ve even included a few…let’s call them “creative” questions!
1. What time do the whales swim by Lime Kiln State Park?
The resident pod of Orcas that lives in the waters around the San Juan Islands frequently swim past, and sometimes stop to feed or play just off shore from the lighthouse! Of course, they’re in their natural habitat, and there are no “show times” or schedules that they’re forced to keep, so there’s never a guarantee that you’ll spot whales when you go to Lime Kiln. However, you can increase your chances of seeing Orcas if you pack a lunch and spend a few hours there in June, July, or August. With all of the other wildlife and scenery at Lime Kiln, it’s a great way to spend a day! And yes, Orcas come out in the rain!
2. Are there a lot of mosquitoes at Lakedale during the summer months?
You might spot the occasional mosquito while you’re at Lakedale, but they’re actually pretty rare! Our three lakes aren’t stagnant, and we’ve got very healthy populations of bats, birds, dragonflies, and fish that love to snack on all kinds of insects. Lakedale just isn’t a very hospitable environment for mosquitoes, which makes it a fantastic place for humans to enjoy nature without having to deal with constant itching and shooing. But hey, if you’re nervous and it’ll put your mind at ease, pick up a can of bug spray as a backup. We won’t make fun of you for being prepared!
3. Is Lakedale open year-round?
Our Lodge Rooms, Log Cabins, Lake House and Yurts are open every day of the year! The Campground is open from April to October, and our Canvas Cabins & Cottages are open from May through October. Lakedale’s General Store is open seasonally (weekends in May & September and almost every day in June, July, and August). Whether you’re looking for high energy, family fun in the summer sun, or a quiet and relaxing winter breakaway with that special someone, we’ve got you covered!
4. How big are the bundles of firewood that you sell, and how long do they last?
Our firewood bundles are about this big. Oh, you can’t see my hands right now…right. All of our bundles are produced either here at Lakedale or at the saw mill just down the road, so there’s a little variance from bundle to bundle, but they’re all bigger than most bundles you might be able to purchase at a grocery store. Of course, campfires are exactly as varied as the people building them, and so is the length of time that they’ll burn. “Your mileage may vary”, but the majority of our guests get between one and two of hours of campfire from a single bundle. Don’t be afraid to let us know if you need advice or help with your campfire and we’ll be happy to assist!
5. What is that stuff that you spray on the roads in the summer?
We treat the roads at Lakedale with a product called Lignin Sulfonate two or three times a year based on need. Think of lignin as the natural “glue” that keeps the cellulose fibers together inside trees. Lignin is a natural byproduct of turning trees into paper, and it’s non-toxic and non-corrosive, making it totally safe for wildlife, foliage and the water surrounding our roads. We use it to control dust and maintain the integrity of the roads for the safety and comfort of our guests. You can drive, walk, or ride on the roads immediately after the application, and if you happen to get any of the lignin on your car, shoes or bike, it will come right off with water alone in most cases, or water plus mild dish soap.
6. I don’t enjoy being around wildlife, can you please get rid of the bullfrogs, deer and foxes on the property?
7. Are Lakedale’s lakes swimmable?
Absolutely! Tons of our guests enjoy swimming, paddling, and fishing in and on our lakes every year. Our three lakes are healthy environments, so you will encounter several different species of plants and fish while you’re swimming. In fact, we host the Three Lakes Triathlon every third weekend of June, and the swim portion of the triathlon happens right here on Neva Lake! We’ve even got a small beach area with a roped-off shallow section for the little ones to enjoy!
8. Is there Wi-Fi service in the Campground or in the Canvas Cabins or Cottages?
Close your eyes for a moment and imagine camping outdoors at night, under the stars and amongst the tall trees, with a crackling campfire and…TEXT AND EMAIL NOTIFICATIONS, and the sweet, sweet sounds of people playing Candy Crush and streaming Netflix or YouTube on their mobile devices all around you. Just…no! Don’t worry though, you’ll be able to smash those like buttons, post your selfies, tag all those hashes, and reply to all those work emails in and around our General Store, where we have complimentary Wi-Fi service and a phone charging station. Better yet, inhale through your nose, hold it for a couple of seconds, slowly exhale through your mouth, then lock your devices in the car and enjoy the quick disconnect from daily life. You’ll thank us later!
9. Do I need to make a ferry reservation to get to San Juan Island?
A little spontaneity in life can be fun, but we don’t usually recommend it so much when it comes to the travel part of travel plans. Washington State Ferries usually holds a few standby spots on each sailing to San Juan Island, but we think that banking on a standby spot adds unnecessary stress to the travel process. Even if you are a fan of gambling, we still recommend making an advanced reservation for the ferry ride! When you’ve got a reservation for the ferry, and a place to stay once you get here, your vacation can start as soon as you leave home, making the entire trip more enjoyable! We’ve got some tips and tricks that might make this process easier for you, so feel free to contact us for ferry advice, especially if you’re a first time visitor!
10. What’s the weather going to be like at Lakedale during my stay?
Sunny, no clouds in the sky, 0% chance of rain and the thermometer reads 46 degrees Fahrenheit. Wait, that’s today (February 28th, 2019). San Juan Island is located on the edge of a weather system commonly referred to as the “Olympic Rain Shadow”. Because of this, we experience less rainfall, more sunny days, and milder temperatures throughout the year than the surrounding mainland areas. Less rain + less hot + less cold = a pretty decent recipe for enjoying the outdoors, any time of the year! We’re in the Pacific Northwest though, so we always recommend being prepared for both rain and sun. And while we don’t have the ability to predict future weather patterns, we’ll be more than happy to tell you exactly what the weather is like at the exact moment that you ask!
Life is too short to not have a little fun with everything that you do. We think that being better prepared and better informed can only increase the potential for fun when you’re getting ready for a getaway. I always tell my brother: “Mamma didn’t raise TWO fools”, so keep the questions coming, we’ll keep the answers coming, and we’ll see you soon at Lakedale!