Out & About
The morning was quiet, with a hint of autumn in the air. We launched our kayaks from the docks at Orcas Island’s Deer Harbor Marina and paddled toward two smaller neighboring islands — McConnell and Crane islands. As we dipped our paddles in the water, a curious harbor seal surfaced to watch our colorful flotilla. We spotted a group of marbled murrelets, who quickly dove underwater as we came close. Soon the sun burned away the morning clouds and a perfect day unfolded as we approached the Wasp Island group. We explored an historic farm on Crane and a paddled past a nine-acre preserve on McConnell. Both of these properties are permanently protected by the Preservation Trust. Neither is open for public visitation without permission.Read more
Each year, the San Juan Preservation Trust offers a variety of member events and outings that provide a rare opportunity to visit places that are not easily accessible, either because they are privately owned or located in far flung places not serviced by ferries. Rick and Meredith Machin, longtime supporters of the Preservation Trust, recall a memorable field trip to Point Disney Preserve on Waldron Island. “As recent transplants to the San Juans, it was eye-opening to visit an island with no public transportation and to see in person the value in preserving that kind of place.”
Last spring, Victoria Chaussee woke at 3 am to make the drive from her home in Kenmore to Anacortes, and then board the ferry to Orcas Island for a hike at Hogback Mountain. “It was my first (Preservation Trust) field trip and also my first time hiking in the San Juan Islands. What a great way to be introduced to the islands! We hiked up through forest and meadows, and learned about early settlers on the island .” At the top of misty Hogback Mountain, the group wandered among gnarled old Douglas fir in search of wildflowers. As the fog lifted, the hikers were treated to an impressive panorama of islands spreading eastward below. “I like that the Preservation Trust provides these outings for someone like me who doesn’t live in the San Juans, but who can hike with locals to learn about the land. I’ve now done three hikes with the Preservation Trust this summer and they have all been wonderful, each in a different way,” remarked Victoria.
Recent member outings have also included a Lopez farm tour by bicycle, a sunset sail on a classic wooden schooner, a fall mushroom foraging trip, a walking tour of Stuart Island, and several very popular trips to Vendovi Island Preserve.
Members receive priority registration for these popular events which often fill quickly. The perks are obvious—getting an inside view of SJPT protected land while learning the history and natural history from our staff with firsthand knowledge of these special places. Next spring, watch for our 2016 outings including our newest public preserve on San Juan Island, Mount Grant!