Traveling to Doe Bay Resort and Retreat begins with a beautiful ferry ride from Anacortes to Orcas Island. We Wilderwomen absolutely love ferry rides! There is something about the ocean smell, the wind in your hair, and sun on your face that just makes you feel like a goddess, and in our opinion, we should all feel like goddesses all the time. After docking on Orcas Island and driving the 30 minutes around the South end, you land yourself at this perfect little retreat center tucked away on a winding curve of Point Lawrence Road. A dirt road leads you to the office and overlooks the rolling waters of Doe Bay and you cannot help but feel immediately at home. The retreat center is a glamper’s paradise: you can opt to stay in everything from a house to a single-tent campsite and use all the amenities on the property. We made great use of the camp kitchen and hot springs during our stay.
Day 1 was all about settling in, getting to know the amazing ladies, and taking in Doe Bay. Two women trekked over solo, contributing a ton of camping infrastructure, carrying dresses in tow for all the women to play with during photo shoots, and adding a furry friend to our Wilderwomen crew. The other carpool organized themselves and spent their travels bonding over bagel sandwiches and finding the best wiggles for a Boomerang.
From the start, these women were out to create new bonds and a community for the trip. Mary was the primary driver and organizer of the carpool crew, enabling so many of the women to focus on showing up and getting to know one another. Miranda was the logistics queen and left no detail unnoticed, which contributed to the sense of completion and ease each step of the trip. Tatum was full of kindness, asked insightful questions, prompted fantastic conversation, and could always be relied on for a big smile. Priscilla was always looking to serve and support the other women, whether it was doing their make-up for photo shoots, bringing 10+ dresses to share with the group, or assist with a shoot or social media efforts. Sam was a camping queen and borrowed tons of group tents and canopies to make our site feel like a mini home-away-from-home. Her genuine personality and furry companion lit up the campsite.
After an afternoon of relaxing, our bridal style shoots got started in full swing. Sam was our first to go and absolutely crushed it during sunset on the Bay. We enjoyed a taco dinner at camp and wrapped the night up with wine and yin yoga overlooking the water. After a day of travel, new friends, full bellies, and meditation, we zipped up our tents for a peaceful night of sleep.
Day 2 was about doing all the things. Jess and Miranda woke up at 4:30 a.m. for a sunrise photo shoot in the trees and meadows around Doe Bay. They came home to camp for a nap and re-welcomed the day with the rest of the Wilderwomen over french pressed coffee, scrambled eggs, hash browns, and sausage. We geared up and headed out to hike Twin Lakes towards Mount Pickett in the early afternoon, a wooded, gentle hike that let out at a clear, pristine lake view. We ate chipotle chicken wraps at the lakeside and channeled our inner mermaids. Tatum’s mid-day photo shoot started at the top of the lake and traveled down our descent hike to a couple of fun locations we scouted on the ascent.
Upon our return, we mobbed over to the hot springs to treat our muscles and chat over the significance of the Zodiac. After a home-style pasta dinner, we traveled to the top of Mount Constitution for sunset where Priscilla, Mary, and Tatum took golden (a.k.a. sherbet) hour photos from what felt like the top of the world. Sam and Kate scaled the side of the mountain to chat about their passion for yoga and snowboarding while watching the sun disappear over the Puget Sound. We returned to camp well-adventured and settled in for a long sleep after a cup of cocoa, s’mores, and breaking back into one of our cars. #welockedthekeysinthere #teamworkmakesthedreamwork #thanksAAA
Day 3 brought the final photo shoot and morning at Doe Bay. Priscilla was a boss and rose before the sun was up to do Kate’s make-up for a sunrise bridal shoot. We spent an hour traversing the island to find the right location and lighting. We landed in an inlet by Doe Island and jumped (or waded) into the water for an epic second wear out of Kate’s wedding dress. We managed to avoid the crabs and clams and escape with all of our toes to meet everyone back at camp.
We enjoyed more coffee, bonding, and breakfast before we broke down camp to head to the ferry. We were such a powerful group that we drained one of the car batteries, so we made friends with the neighbors and jolted the car back to life for our caravan to the terminal. While waiting for our ferry, we toasted the trip with ciders, wok’d up some stir fry, and dubbed ourselves the “Beta” retreat. We pledged to get together for a trip at least once a year because we became such fast, bonded friends. We made friends on the ferry ride home while doing yoga in the sunshine and sharing pretzels and tater tots. When we parted, it was bittersweet, but full with the promise of getting together for the photo reveal in just a month’s time.
Doe Bay, you were the perfect place to launch our new community of Wilderwomen Retreats. We will never forget you and we will DEFINITELY we back soon.
Love, Jess + Kate
Shout out to Bowman Design for creating the incredible flower crowns and bouquet pictured in our shoots. Thank you for elevating our photo shoots and revealing the goddesses within.