Bald eagles and whale-spotting, blood-orange sunsets and salmon on the grill, plus cold plunges into piney mountain lakes makes this largest of the San Juan islands worth the distance.
Please do some soul searching (all y'all) about what all this increased tourism has done to the island communities in the Salish Sea. What eating salmon is doing to our endangered resident orcas. What the plethora of single family homes being turned into vacation rentals has done to the working folks who can no longer afford to live where they work (let alone provide the much needed labor force that all these amazing restaurants, shops, etc. depend on to serve tourists and summer-only residents). What it's like for those of us who live/work on these boat-access only islands, who can no longer afford to stay in our homes because of WA State's (IMO punitive) taxation system. What it's like to have to give up a home, a community, a deep sense of place, so that rich, entitled, spoiled and demanding tourists and newcomers can buy up those same houses for hundreds of thousands more dollars than we paid for them, driving those property taxes ever higher, sending more and more of us packing. And lastly, what our VERY broken WA State Ferries system has done to full-time residents who must rely on those ferries to get them to/from cancer treatments, visiting or caring for elderly and/or terminally ill friends and family on the mainland, etc. There is a serious housing crises on Orcas. On ALL of our islands. Ask the business owners. The residents. The teachers in the schools. The camp counselors at those swanky summer camps. The servers in the restaurants who have to sleep in their cars because there isn't an apartment or house to rent. Yeah, we've come to rely on that summer money. But that's no way to live. And we're slowly dying. Slowly becoming Nantucket. Mercer. Martha's Vinyard. The cat is out of the bag, to be sure. The rest of the world has "discovered" the PNW. And now you want to come here... and I get that. It's stunningly beautiful, calming, and heart-filling to live among red cedars near the Salish Sea. But something's got to give. SOMETHING has got to give. So, again... I ask you to do your homework, THINK about what your love of a place you do not live in does to those who do. THINK about what promoting a place so that many more will come might do (IS doing) to the flora/fauna of that place. The goddamn cruise ships. The Tech industry that has ruined the face of Seattle forever. The Tech-Bros who will move on from this place to wherever it's hip to go next, and the empty buildings their employers leave behind. The increased air travel, flying low over our homes every two minutes, dropping jet fuel, and the most horrific of noise pollution, onto our decreasingly rural and idyllic, quiet lives below.
I say this as much to myself, as to you. I was once a transplant myself. Do better, America. PLEASE do better. There is soooooo much here to lose.
My whole family lives on orcas. ( parents, siblings)I raised four kids there . It’s an incredible place to be from
Are your kids at FWWH? My son and daughter atttended for many fun and wonderful years. The camp experience had such a profound influence on their lives and long friendships.
Beautiful! Looks great.