Yes, the property IS available…for ALL! This wonderful acreage, acquired by the San Juan County Land Bank, is open to the public forever! Some easy to navigate trails have been constructed that lead down to the water, but for the less able, the view from the parking area (limited parking for about five vehicles) isn’t bad. The photo was taken through the windshield of a van.
“That’s sick!” would be the younger person’s exclamation, (which means the opposite of what it says, go figure) while I just label it “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” and leave it at that! The peaceful, meditative moments available to those who seek them are abundant: Rocks, grass, miles of water, wild fragrances, usually you’ll have the place to yourself, and the occasional Orca whale in the summer.
I took off-island visitors there as a pod of killer whales obligingly came by just off the kelp line. I was a hero to that group for the rest of their visit, for as we had gotten to the shore with no whales visible, but with my local knowledge I spied a gaggle of kayakers and sight-seeing boats just rounding the point to the south. Knowing the whales were coming, but not yet visible, I said aloud, “Let’s see if I can call them. . .Here Orca, Orca, Orca!” and not five seconds later the Orca whales hove into view to the south. My visitor friends were amazed at my powers, and pleased with the show I conjured up! Unbelievably, as icing on the cake, a mother and calf came flying, at speed, out of the water and each did a perfectly synchronous barrel roll side by side right in front of us.
Nearly 15 acres and over half a mile of shoreline make for a wondrous retreat. The light traffic (speed limit 20mph) on West Side Road can hardly be heard down near the water, and the few trees provide shade rather than obstruction to the view.
As important and enjoyable as the view is, the ancient prairie ecosystem represented here on the rugged west side of San Juan Island is equally significant. What with the Limekiln State Park, the Deadman Bay preserve, and the two separate parcels of Land Bank, this entire area offers the public a HUGE amount of recreational public land. I use recreational in the soul sense. There are no ball parks or children play areas, this is nature at her best, for young and old.
For camping, boat launching, and other family recreation, there’s the San Juan County Park about two miles north of the State Park.