Friday, September 14, 2012

Airplane Camping on Orcas Island, WA

The summer crowds are gone, so Wayne and I decided to take a quick flying trip in 997. There are lots of interesting flying destinations nearby in the Pacific Northwest. For example, the San Juan Islands are just a twenty minute hop away. This week we returned to Orcas Island Airport (KORS) with our tent and sleeping bags in tow. We landed on Runway 34 with a slight headwind.

The runway is 2900 feet in length, plenty of room even for our cityfolk Piper Arrow. There's a small terminal, but it's only open when a commercial flight is scheduled. If you go around to the front of the building there's a pilot's conference room that may be open. Inside you will find pilot information and space for flight planning. Transient parking is available on the tarmac or in a large grass area.

If you're just coming for a day trip, park at the southeast corner. This is the closest location to the exit gate and trail towards town. If you want to camp, go the large grass tiedown area midfield on the east side. It is well maintained with clearly marked parking spots, some with hooks to attach your own ropes. There's a portable toilet next to the self-serve fuel building. And for those needing to file an international flight plan, there's free WiFi . Overnight parking is just $6 including camping.

Last time we flew to Orcas we walked the well marked trail to the village of Eastsound. That time we ate a The Sunflower Cafe. This time we decided to try the Madrona Bar & Grill. It's right on the water with a quaint atmosphere and a fabulous view down the u-shaped sound to the south. Since we were spending the night, I could enjoy a Mac & Jacks with our leisurely meal on the deck.

We walked back to the airport for a quiet night of reading in the tent. All went well until the wind picked up in the early hours of morning, rattling the tent. We took off the rain fly, allowing us to sneak in a few more winks before we packed up. Rather than walking back to town for breakfast, we flew south to Port Townsend to eat at the Spruce Goose Cafe. It was a great outing for 997 in the skies over Puget Sound, and her owners alike. -- Margy


  1. Do you get out in her very much Margy, with you up the lake and her in the US of A?

  2. Not as much as we would like Paul. But one good overnight trip like this makes up for it. - Margy

  3. You guys live an interesting life.

  4. Airplane camping. I love it. We have adventures, yes, but of a more ordinary sort. Most likely we'll never go airplane camping.
    Good stuff, Margy. Keep it up.

  5. Beautiful shots. Happy sky watching.


  6. Pretty handy way of getting around Margy. It's almost like cheating a little.

  7. Airplane camping. This is a hoot.
    Hope things are going well with your mom. It's a tough go, I know.
    Cheers from Cottage Country!

  8. Wow! It airplane camping sounds really fun...
    How I wish I could try one too.

    elle @