Doe Bay is paradise, so when Bobby Bare, Jr. asked me to tag along and open up for him there in December, it was a quick yes. And when Doe Bay asked me to come back in January to play another show it was an even quicker yes.

Bringing the whole band wasn’t gonna work out, so I had planned to do it solo-style, but at the last minute I talked my drummer Tox into packing up his suitcase drum set so we could do it up junkyard style. Nicole packs pretty light for a girl, but between the three of us the Tortuga was packed to the gills (wait – mixed metaphor… turtles don’t have gills, do they?).

We drove up to Anacortes, WA and boarded a ferry for maybe the most beautiful trip across water I’ve ever taken. The weather was perfect, the sky was clear, and with each of the San Juan Islands that we passed I grew more envious of the folks who’ve made their lives in such a tranquil part of the world that, until a couple months ago, I didn’t even know existed.

We drove off the ferry and across the island to our destination, Doe Bay Resort & Retreat.

Here’s a video mashup of our weekend, and there’s a photo gallery at the bottom of the post!

Doe Bay Resort & Retreat

It reminds me of the place I used to go forsummer camp as a kid – there are cabins, yurts, and tent-camping sites, but it happens to be on the edge of an island and the bay is gorgeous. You can do everything or nothing at this Doe Bay and either would be awesome. There are trails and lookouts and a garden. There’s a fine restaurant and a chill community kitchen. There are massage and yoga studios and saunas and three outdoor hot soaking pools that overlook a waterfall and the sea. You could pick any spot on their acres and find peace and inspiration.

Sunday Morning Impromptu Breakfast Set

Our show was scheduled for Friday but we came a day early to enjoy Thursday’s open mic in the cafe. There’s a lot of talent on that little island. Memorable sets were Hayley’s little sister Anwin joining her onstage for a song, and a reading by a poet who has created a “messages in bottles” project, which is exactly what it sounds like. Also Tox took his frame drum up there and stole the show with a solo drum performance.

The show on Friday night was great. We made some cool friends around the campfire (Mark, are you out there? Email me, I forgot to get your contact info!) and relaxed the rest of the weekend.

Sunday morning before we left, Tox and I set up on the deck of the community kitchen and played a breakfast set for whomever wanted to gather around and listen. It was a hoot!

It was hard to leave. However, the Doe Bay Music Fest is in August and we’ll be there! Hopefully we’ll be part of the lineup, but we’ll be there regardless.