Creative photos and essays from the San Juan Islands


Utah Rock

Utah Rock

I like the symmetry of this scene on False Bay road. There’s a welcoming feeling to this drive into who knows who’s property. I was looking at it recently from a satellite photo from Google Earth, a program that allows us to look at nearly any spot on earth from 6,836 miles up, to about 800 feet or so elevation before the scene blurs due to lack of resolution. But even from 800 feet up, the detail can be amazing. I could easily see the pine tree I planted in the back yard of my boyhood home in Portland, Oregon, then, in a newer satellite image, its absence after the present owner cut it down, probably because it had grown too big. The photos are updated about every two or three years, or not, depending on the area of the world being looked at.

The time I was searching for items of interest on San Juan Island, I noticed that Google Earth was noting a feature called ‘Utah Rock’ in an empty field just to the left of this shot. I’m assuming the “rock” was actually in the sea some 500 yards to the south. I always wonder who places these features, yet-alone who determines they are worthy of inclusion. And how is it that in a world of infinite accuracies does a rock get moved so far inland?

Never mind, the superior entertainment I get from searching old haunts like my Grandmother’s place at Lincoln City, Oregon, or remembering the last hike I took along Jurassic trail while visiting with my daughter Jamie in Mountain Village, CO where she lives…priceless! These satellite photos are a blast for trips down memory lane!


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