Creative photos and essays from the San Juan Islands

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Arial Access

Ariel Access

Three ways to move your body and belongings from the mainland to the islands are: ferry boat, private boat, and airplane. I haven’t seen anyone walk here, probably aren’t drumming up enough faith!

As a non-pilot I have neglected the aerial approach, but only because I can’t afford this option and I’m jealous! Imagine how nice it would be to zip to Anacortes or even Seattle for the day and get a thrilling view of the islands as a bonus. Most world travelers move about via airplanes. I myself am not well traveled, so even having lived here for over four decades, I’ve flown over them only five times.

Thanks to pioneers like Roy Franklin and the flying doctor Malcolm Heath, airplanes have provided an essential service to islanders for at least seventy-five years. Times change and technology does too, so one day we’ll (not me, I’ll be dead) be flying about in our silent (love silent aircraft) flying saucers and taking them for granted. I play a game with myself occasionally and imagine what it would be like to be, say, Captain George Pickett on duty at American Camp in 1859 and see a flying machine (or whatever they would call it) pass overhead…kinda react, no doubt, the way people do today when they witness a UFO.

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