An afternoon tour of the east side of the island includes sights such as the famed Bicycle Eaten by a Tree—a Douglas fir that’s engulfed a rusty bike. Near the hamlet of Burton, the Judd Creek Bridge provides a tree-framed view of Quartermaster Harbor, Maury Island, and Puget Sound; snowy Mount Rainier shines in the background. From here, it’s a short ride to the stately red-roofed Point Robinson Lighthouse, which has guarded the east side of the island since 1915 and still dutifully emits two white flashes from its 38-foot tower every 12 seconds.
We’d had enough exertion, so the next day we avoided all nonessential physical activity and slipped into the Vashon Bookshop, where I fished an impeccable used copy of Ken Kesey’s Sailor Song from the shelves, then walked a few steps to the Vashon Tea Shop to lounge and read in a wicker chair the rest of the afternoon.
Back at the cottage that night, we set out on a starlit walk. But bright as the stars were, we couldn’t see our hands in front of our faces, let alone navigate a path in the dark. Instead, we sat on the porch in the inky darkness. The car-clogged city felt farther away than ever, our closest companions the unseen crickets and that frog chirping away in the pond.