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explore:NW How a Pig Almost Started a War

The Official Magazine of

Savoring the Ocean’s Bounty

| Spring - Summer 2021

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Reflecting On 75 Years

jorge cavello photo

Todd Banks, President

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He believed people were the bedrock of our company. It’s a belief he instilled when I went to work for my grandin all of us, especially my father, Bob Munro, at Kenmore Air selling parts in the parts department. uncle Gregg Munro and my mother, Leslie Banks. Bob I was fortunate to work alongside my Munro’s values continue grandfather before he retired. And for that, I to guide our business and have given us the staying am forever grateful. power through several tumultuous periods in the company’s 75-year history. How have we evolved? For one He’d tell tales about how he and my thing, customers in our early days often grandmother, Ruth, grew the company owned small cabins in remote regions. from a single seaplane into what it is ey’d learn to fly at Kenmore and then today. I loved listening to those stories. buy an airplane so they could get out of I loved hearing how over the years town — sometimes to fish, more often Grandpa was committed to doing the to spend time with family. ese days, right thing. And most of all, I loved most folks would rather let a professionseeing him put that commitment into al pilot handle the yoke. However, our practice day-in and day-out. passengers are every bit as excited about While the company evolved, Grandgetting away for a fun adventure or to pa’s commitment to our passengers and relax in the beauty of our region. employees always remained a priority. HAD JUST GRADUATED FROM college

Although the company has grown and changed with the times, we’ve chosen to do so slowly and thoughtfully. is choice has been made possible by our many gifted employees. It’s also a decision that’s allowed us to weather storms — the most recent of which is COVID. To say it’s been an interesting time is an understatement. Fortunately, there is light at the end of the tunnel. We are climbing closer to normalcy every day. During the past year, we’ve leaned heavily on our maintenance shop and parts department. We were able to do so because our business model is diverse, which is a unique advantage when you consider most companies focus on one specialty. Diversifying was a conscious decision we made over the years, as we embraced new business opportunities when the right ones presented themselves. For instance, 15 years ago we invested in a wheeled plane division that has allowed passengers to fly in inclement weather conditions. e addition of a maintenance hangar at Paine Field in Everett, Wash. made it easier for us to cross-utilize our mechanics, as they are closer to our Kenmore headquarters. And most recently, the introduction of a Pilatus PC-12 to our fleet has expanded our charter service. We’ve already chartered passengers to Lake Tahoe, Palm Springs, and Sun Valley. ere really is no limit. e growth we’re seeing is exciting, but it doesn’t happen without good people. As my grandfather taught me, they are the foundation which makes Kenmore Air unique. To work alongside people who continue to care about our passengers and our company culture is a testament to “doing the right thing.”. When I look back on our 75-year-history, I like to think my grandfather and grandmother would be proud.


Contemporary Art, Jewelry and Functional Art Inspired by the Pacific Northwest

explore:NW Kenmore Air’s In-Flight Magazine Your Complimentary Copy Spring - Summer 2021, Volume 6, Issue 1 PUBLISHER Pat Hoglund EDITOR Mikaela Judd ART DIRECTOR Ken Cook CONTRIBUTING WRITERS/PHOTOGRAPHERS

Sara Satterlee, Mikaela Judd, Tim Irvin, Steve Kazemir, Jaahn Lieb, Kim Brown Seely, Mike Vouri, San Juan Island National Historical Park, Beinecke Library, Tomas Nevesely, Amehime, David Burn, Adrien Sala, Sean Airhart, Norris Comer, Carrie McCausland, Alicia Brattin, Zach Forster, WDFW, Shannon Haywood, Rachel Blomker, Shane Kempf, Alicia Brattin, Dan Ayres, Paul Reeves, Brian E Kushner, Shorex Koss, Ryan Stone, Kea Mowat, Richard Lee, Bryan Hanson, James Newcombe, Rachel McDermott, Rick Takagi, En Vie, Esther Ann BROOKWOOD PRESS, INC.

3439 NE Sandy Blvd., No. 108 Portland, OR 97232-1959 Office: 503-284-4383 Fax: 503-287-7210 www.brookwoodpress.com KENMORE AIR’S CORPORATE HEADQUARTERS

Kenmore Air Harbor, Inc. 6321 NE 175th Street Kenmore, WA 98208 Office: 425-486-1257 Toll Free: 866-435-9524 Fax: 425-485-4774

EDITORIAL INQUIRIES

Mikaela Judd, 425-466-3514 mikaela@makinglanguagecount.com ADVERTISING

Pat Hoglund, 503-702-1868 pathoglund@comcast.net Katherine Kjaer, 250-592-5331 katherinekjaer@gmail.com MORE INFO

www.explorenorthwestmagazine.com Follow Kenmore Air on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter

Explore:NW magazine, the official inflight magazine for Kenmore Air, is published by Brookwood Press, Inc., at 3439 NE Sandy Blvd., No. 108, Portland, Oregon 97232-1959. Copyright © 2021 by Brookwood Press, Inc. Published three times annually (Spring, Summer, Fall). Explore:NW is distributed free to Kenmore Air passengers. Along with free copies distributed during flight, the magazine is distributed at hotels and flight terminals. All rights reserved. No part of this magazine may be reproduced without permission of the publisher. Printed in the United States of America.

GRIFFIN BAY BEACHFRONT

Beautiful beachfront property on Griffin Bay overlooking Dinner Island. Close to town with over 215' of waterfront which includes gravel beach & rocky point. The 3-bedroom septic has been recently upgraded & the title includes the Tidelands & historic barn. Do not miss out on this great parcel. It is just waiting for your dream home. MLS#1745251 $1,200,000. Samantha Bryner samantha@windermere.com (360)-378-8184 Cell/Text

The owners, stockholders, employees, writers, editors, and/or other person(s) associated with, but not limited to, any and all creation of editorial, printing, writing and/ or distribution of Explore:NW does not in any manner whatsoever assume any liability from loss to persons or property which may be an indirect or direct result of participating in any of the activities described in this magazine. Explore:NW is provided to the public for information, education and entertainment purposes only and does not in any manner whatsoever qualify any activity based on merits of safety to person or property. Any activities described in this in this magazine are exclusively taken at the reader’s sole risk. Printed in the U.S.A.

A BROOKWOOD PRESS, INC. PUBLICATION


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So Much to Celebrate & Explore

rick takagi photo

Mikaela Judd, Editor

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toddler doing crazy toddler things, we both laughed. e lady smiled and said, there is a sense of relief at the “With the year we’ve had, return of schools, businesses, I’ll take it.” And we all went and travel plans long put on on our way, feeling a little hold. I’ve noticed friends and lighter and brighter about strangers alike are reveling at simple niceties the whole ordeal. Are we quite ready to that would have previously been overlooked, start hugging strangers? I or perhaps even scorned. doubt it. Most businesses are still requiring masks and physical distancing (even for those fully vaccinated). But Just the other day my 18-month-old with the rapidly improving health of ran up and hugged the leg of a perfect United States’ residents, I can constranger. We were at the dog park and I fidently say we’re all quite ready to was ambitiously wrangling two feet and celebrate — whether that’s exploring our four paws, that latter of which is 111 region or recognizing a big milestone. pounds. e hug was an act that in 2020 Kenmore Air, in particular, is would have sent the kind woman she celebrating its 75th anniversary. e accosted and me into a hand sanitizcompany’s rich history is a tale of hard er spin drive. While there was some work and perseverance, two traits which embarrassment on my part for a crazy fter a year of enforced patience,

have held them in good stead as of late. ough the past year has indeed seen their operations shift, the core of the business remains the same; it’s a place where both employees and passengers are treated like family — the Kenmore Air family. (Learn more about Kenmore’s history on page 16.) A lust for adventure has always been part of Kenmore’s backbone. e nature of their small aircraft makes remote, outdoor excursions particularly exciting; and something I’m thrilled to share with others. As a child, my mom would always research our destinations. She’d find tidbits about a region’s history and share them as we explored. Understanding how a town or city was shaped by those before us helped me connect with and appreciate new places. You’ll find many such tidbits in one of this issue’s features which explores how a pig nearly sent the United States and Great Britain into war (page 46). Pay particular attention to this article if you’re flying over the San Juan Islands. Remnants of the standoff can be seen along the shores and hillsides, where several of the soldiers’ buildings have been preserved. If you’re looking for an activity that’s a bit more hands-on and down in the muck, then take advantage of the region’s shellfish bounty (page 34). A succulent treat, shellfish never tastes better than when it’s freshly harvested. And what better way to get it fresh than to harvest your own? So while the world hasn’t completely returned to ‘normal,’ it’s safe to say there’s plenty of reasons to celebrate and ways to do so. So cheers to pressing play on plans long ago paused. Here’s to a year filled with new experiences and interesting tidbits.


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Features

20 PHOTO ESSAY 32 HARVEST YOUR OWN SHELLFISH FEAST Discover the art of sea-to-table cuisine for everything from scallops and clams to mussels and oysters. 40 SPIRIT SEARCH An lovely, magical interlude into wilderness. 46 WASHINGTON’S PIG HEADED WAR As America and Great Britain both tried to stake their claim in the San Juans, rising tensions nearly exploded over a hog.

Departments

10 PRESIDENT’S LETTER 13 EDITOR’S LETTER 16 CHEERS TO 75 YEARS 18 A CLOSER LOOK Meet Kenmore Air’s Express Assistant Chief Pilot Christina Rzeplinski. 19 PHOTO CONTEST Congratulations to Jessie Tober for winning this issue’s photo contest. 24 ITINERARY & SHORT HOPS Learn how an island retreat was designed, savor some clams, discover a new hiking trail and more! 29 CROSSWORD PUZZLE 30 GEAR GUIDE Outdoor adventure gear that’ll keep you dry and ready for fun.

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ABOUT THE COVER A de Havilland Beaver takes off from the south end of Lake Washington. KENMORE AIR PHOTO


Scenic Clamming

Low tide during a brilliant sunset makes for a stunning opportunity to dig for clams (p.34). ESTHER ANN PHOTO

kenmoreair.com


Bob Munro, Reg Collins, and Jack Mines with Aeronca Model K on the ramp at Kenmore. This is only known photo of the three founders at the Kenmore Air Harbor site. The photo was believed to be taken by Ted Huntley, possibly on the day of the plane’s first flight.

The shingle mill site almost as Jack Mines found it. The Air Harbor has barely gotten started; the abandoned shingle mill and log deck beside the dredged channel are still in place.

Bob Munro working on a company Taylorcraft. The T-crafts were dwarfed by the planes that came later, but Munro and his pilots flew the tiny machines to every corner of the Pacific Northwest raincoast.

Beaver Six-Six-Zulu on a glacier. Six-Six-Zulu was the second Beaver Kenmore Air purchased and quickly became Bob Munro’s favorite aircraft.

Bob Munro, Munro’s son Gregg Munro, and Munro’s grandson Todd Banks stand on the float of a de Havilland Beaver.

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Cheers to

Years

A family-owned and operated business, Kenmore Air’s humble roots and people-first mentality can be felt to this day.

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IVE ACRES OF SWAMP LAND. One airplane. A single

hangar. It’s not a combination one would expect to become the largest and most respected seaplane operation in America. But that’s exactly what Kenmore Air became. ree high school friends — Bob Munro, Reg Collins, and Jack Mines — founded Kenmore Air without much time to ponder the future. As Munro explained: “Other than Jack’s ideas about a hotel we didn’t have much of a plan other than Reg and I would fix planes and Jack would give flying lessons. We just assumed it was going to work.” ere were many anxious moments in Kenmore’s infancy. From re-zoning the shingle mill site to a commercial seaplane base to petitioning the Kenmore community for support, it was a struggle at times to keep the Air Harbor afloat. e work was grueling — often requiring the men to work 16 hours a day, seven days a week. Not to mention the unpredictable spurts of Mother Nature’s fury which frequently had them scrambling from bed at odd hours to tie down planes. However, their people-first mentality and do-anything work ethic helped the

business grow. Seventy-five years later, Kenmore continues to operate under those same key principles.

A Growing Reputation

Initially, Kenmore chartered passengers throughout the Pacific Northwest and repaired small aircrafts. By the ’50s, the expanded operations also included selling Seabee and Cessna planes. However, it was in 1966 that Kenmore added the first de Havilland Beaver to its fleet — the model that’s earned them an international reputation for restoration and modification excellence. As of 2020, the company had either restored or modified 150 Beavers. In fact, the restoration program is so well respected, that planes refurbished by Kenmore are fondly dubbed ‘Kenmore Beavers.’

Still Home on Lake Washington

high-quality service and skip-the-roads sense of adventure. It remains homebased at northern tip of Lake Washington — a tiny airport that uses picnic tables for waiting rooms and greets many a passenger by name. e company’s check-in lounge is tucked within its humble administrative building and ringed by active maintenance hangars. And while waiting passengers hop on the free WiFi, don’t be fooled. Many are headed to remote docks, for adventures that tend to be a little slower and a whole lot more unplugged. Kenmore’s year-round service flies from Seattle to the San Juans. (As the Canadian border reopens, it plans to resume service to Victoria and beyond.) Its maintenance department and restoration program are thriving. So too is the company’s parts manufacturing department and its wheeled plane division — which now includes a Pilatus PC-12 NG. is new charter plane offers a long-range, luxurious option for those who want an intimate, flexible travel experience. Where’s Kenmore headed from here? e sky’s the limit.

In addition to Beavers, Kenmore’s fleet now includes de Havilland Beavers, Cessna Caravans, Cessna 180s, Piper Super Cubs, and a Pilatus PC-12 NG.

Today, Munro’s son, Gregg Munro; his daughter, Leslie Banks; and one of Munro’s grandson, Todd Banks, continue Kenmore’s rich tradition of kenmoreair.com

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Meet Your Express Assistant Chief Pilot

Christina Rzeplinski

KEY FACTS Name: Chistina Rzeplinski Occupation: Express Assistant

Chief Pilot Age: 29

Grew up in: Mendocino, Calif. Current Residence: Seattle, Wash. Years with Kenmore: 7 First job at Kenmore: Customer Service at Lake Union

Pilot’s License: 2011

FLYING WASN’T THE ORIGINAL PLAN

for Christina Rzeplinski. But after taking a private jet to tour colleges on the East Coast, the trajectory of her life was forever changed. Christina wanted to be a pilot. “I was really lucky. A girlfriend from high school took me with her to tour colleges. We flew on a private jet to New York, Boston and Connecticut,” Christina said. “Most people get on a private jet and think, ‘I wish I could always fly on a private jet.’ I got on and said, ‘I want to fly this thing.’ ” Despite college shopping on the East Coast, Christina ended up in Salt Lake City at Westminster College. ey offered a Bachelor of Science in Flight Operations — the first step in earning her stripes. Born and raised in California, Christina first visited the Seattle area during a college field trip. Her class toured Kenmore’s maintenance facility to learn 18

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about small companies that do their own maintenance. “I saw the seaplanes on the dock and knew I wanted to fly them. So I told myself after I graduated, I’d come back and get my seaplane rating — right there at Kenmore,” Christina said. And that’s exactly what she did. Christina moved to Seattle, earned her seaplane rating through Kenmore’s Flight Instruction program, and never left. Although, she didn’t end up flying floats. As with most pilots, Christina worked her way up the ranks. She was initially hired as a Customer Service Agent at Kenmore’s Lake Union terminal in January of 2014. Moving closer to the action in 2015, she joined Kenmore’s Dispatch Department — assisting with the company’s pilot and airplane schedules. “Dispatch really let me see the interworking’s of the company and get a feel for the life of a full-time pilot,” Christina

said. While Christina loved flying floats, working in Dispatch gave her a unique appreciation for the company’s wheeled plane division, Kenmore Air Express. “I really liked that the pilots got to fly through the clouds. With instruments, we can take off and land with less ground coverage. And we can fly right through weather,” said Christina. Named Assistant Chief Pilot in 2018, Christina has been flying the Express line for four years and, “Loves it just as much today as the day I started,” she said. Not to mention the fact that flying will forever be interwoven into her life. Her fiancé recently proposed during an empty leg to the San Juans. “I was getting ready to descend into Friday Harbor when I looked over and he’d pulled out a ring,” she said. You just never know what kind of magic will happen aboard a Kenmore Air flight!


explore:NW P H O T O

C O N T E S T

W I N N E R

Congratulations

to Jessie Tober for her photo of a Cattle Point Lighthouse in the San Juan Islands. Jessie is this issue’s winner. In addition to her photo being featured in the magazine, she received a $500 flight voucher from Kenmore Air. Jessie captured this image with a Canon EOS R6 while aboard a flight from the San Juans to Seattle. It was the culmination a fabulous weekend getaway with the family, during which time they hiked to this very point!

Entrants

PHOTOGRAPHER:

PHOTOGRAPHER:

PHOTOGRAPHER:

Joan Campbell

Tomoko Sudo

Nicki Sewell

TITLE: Such a fun little sunset flight with

TITLE: What a beautiful emerald city it is!

TITLE: Our mountain in all her glory.

gorgeous views of the NW!

If you have a photo to enter, we want to see it. You can send it to us at the email provided below, post it on Kenmore Air’s Facebook page or tag it on Instagram with #kenmoreair. In the next issue (Summer/Fall 2021),

we’ll publish the best images, including the winners who will also receive a $500 flight voucher from Kenmore Air. e Summer/Fall 2021 winner will be notified by the medium in which they made their

(Mount Rainier)

submission. Finalists’ photos will be posted on Kenmore Air’s Facebook page, Instagram account, and Twitter. e grand prize will be judged on composition, image quality and uniqueness.

SEND IMAGES VIA EMAIL TO Mikaela@MakingLanguageCount.com, POST IMAGES ON Facebook at facebook.com/KenmoreAir.

kenmoreair.com

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BALD EAGLES A PHOTO ESSAY

BALD EAGLES, WITH THEIR WHITE-FEATHERED (not

bald) heads and white tails, only appear bald in contrast to their chocolate-brown bodies and wings. These regal birds have been the national emblem of the United States since 1782 and a spiritual symbol for native people for far longer. Carnivores, they weigh between 6.5 and 14 pounds with a wingspan of six to eight feet. Capable of using their talons to fish, they more often scavenge their meals by stealing the kills of other animals. Believed to mate for life, bald eagle pairs construct enormous stick nests high above the ground where they tend to lay a pair of eggs each year.

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kea mowat photo

ryan stone photo

ryan stone photo bryan hanson photo

nathan anderson photo

brian e kushner photo


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james newcombe photo

paul reeves photo

richard lee photo

shorex koss photo

richard lee photo


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rachel mcdermott photo


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Hand Stamped in Seattle Clothing artist Devan Nichols has made a name for herself through creative designs and old-school stamping techniques. IT ALL STARTS WITH A responsi-

bly-made shirt. Because when empowering others to make a positive change is the mission — freedom needs to be the foundation. “High-quality, durable pieces are obviously a must. But for me, it’s more than that. I want people to feel free in my clothing,” Devan Nichols told me while we sat in her studio. “And for that

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to be the case, they need to know each piece started in freedom. So when I say ‘responsibly made,’ I mean I’ve spent hundreds of hours researching manufacturers to ensure the workers are free and earning a living wage.” Devan is the founder of Contour Creative, a hand-stamped apparel company based in the Seattle area. Graphics and materials are designed for the adventur-

ous spirit, meant to be cozy, hard-wearing, and fun. Her studio — a non-descript garage — sits nestled between two-plus acres of cedar forest and a sprawling grassfilled pasture. It’s ringed by old rhododendrons, which even after a generous pruning by Devan’s husband Dan threaten to block access to the entrance. Beyond the threshold is an array of


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Though Devan has carved stamps directly into wood blocks, she often uses a rubber block, a thick piece of rubber 1/4-inch thick, that she then attaches to a piece of wood. Carving in this way is easier on her hands and takes considerably less time, allowing Devan to experiment more freely with her work.

hobbies and business tools that seem to blend into one another. Ski boots sit facing dog chairs. Floor to ceiling shelves are lined with camping gear. Two industrial clothing lines span the ceiling, partially weighed down by freshly stamped tanks and sweatshirts. Devan’s platform workbench is covered in duct tape and on the shelf above it rests the magic — Devan’s currently active collection of hand-carved woodblock stamps. A skill most learn in middle school, Devan has turned stamp carving into a thriving business. e blocks, in their varying sizes, are labeled with names like Tree Flake, Sugarloaf, and PNW ing. Her oldest block stamp is called Mountains & Water. She carved it in 2015, at the birth of Contour Creative. “I always thought making graphic tees would be neat, but you had to make them in such huge quantities that it just never seemed feasible,” Devan explained. e unfeasible became a glimmer when Devan’s friend Bailey Arnone showed her the block print murals she was creating. “I immediately wondered if I could stamp onto shirts. After months of research, I showed my husband my ideas. He simply asked, ‘When are you going to order the supplies?’ And so I did,” shared Devan. Back then, Devan and Dan lived in a tiny home. With space at a premium, Devan launched and ran Contour Creative from a plastic tote. It slipped into

the cubby intended to one day house their single drawer dishwasher. Today, the tiny house would struggle to keep up with the demand. e fabric ink Devan uses takes a solid week to dry. And depending on the piece, it needs to dry hanging or laid flat. But Devan is committed to the process. Stamping by hand (or foot in many cases) with ink that practically bonds and dyes the fabric produces a highly durable finished product. Being married to the boss lady, Devan’s husband has

one of the first t-shirts she printed. “He wears and washes it at least once a week. And it’s still in great shape. To me, making clothes that are going to last and keep getting used is one of the best things I can do for the environment,” Devan explained. e stamps she creates are inspired by the region. Icons like trees, mountains, and moons dominate her apparel line. But recently a butterfly has made an appearance. “Butterflies aren’t the norm for me. But I just keep hoping that we all emerge from 2020 like beautiful butterflies,” Devan said of the maroon hoodie she was wearing. e process of stamping isn’t simply nature and whimsy. Stamping each of her larger pieces takes between three and five deep squats — an endeavor that makes printing days quite the workout. Occasionally, Devan can be found at local farmers’ markets. But primarily, you can see her apparel line on her website — contourcreative.us — while supplies last! MIKAELA JUDD kenmoreair.com

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Island Home Spotlight: Lone Madrone An Orcas Island Retreat At the edge of a windswept shoreline, nestled into the rocks and trees on Orcas Island, rests a 3-bedroom, 2-bathroom house that shouts luxury. A CUSTOM LIFT-SLIDE DOOR system

allows the main living spaces to open completely on the north (inland) and south (towards the water), while the spacious kitchen opens onto an adjacent rock. e result is a home that lives much bigger than its 1,600-square-foot size. To provide protection during winter storms and security when unoccupied,

the major openings are outfitted with rolling wall panels. A garden roof seeded with native, drought tolerant vegetation was utilized. It replaced more than 90% of the vegetation footprint lost to construction. is helped avoid habitat loss for near-shore insects — a critical food source for endangered juvenile chinook salmon.

Designed to mimic the hillside, this Orcas Island gem is tucked within a natural depression in the rocky shoreline — limiting its visual impact on its environment. Local materials were utilized throughout the design, including Douglas fir (floors, trim), western red cedar (siding, walls, and ceiling cladding) and Pacific madrone (furniture). Located within the San Juan Islands National Monument, the home’s drainage system was designed to capture runoff along the up-slope footing and disperse it in an un-concentrated 1/1 ratio just downslope of the structure. This design replicates the pre-construction runoff condition as closely as possible, helping to maintain the Island’s water quality. SEAN AIRHART PHOTOS

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Project Team Architecture Heliotrope Architects Interior Furnishings Ore Studios Contractor David Shore Landscape Architecture Garden Artisan Structural Engineering Swenson Say Faget


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CLAMS WITH BACON & GARLIC One of the easiest

foods to prepare, clams simply need a pot, a lid and some moisture. But the natural brininess of this beautiful bounty is taken to the next level with the addition of white wine, garlic, and bacon. is recipe yields more broth than one might expect, a fact that welcomes a crusty loaf of bread. Proportioned to be an appetizer for four or five people, quantities can be adjusted to serve larger crowds or provide a main course. 30 littleneck clams 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil 3 strips bacon, cut into lardons 1 medium-sized shallot, diced 4 cloves garlic, diced 1 cup dry white wine 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth 1 tablespoon butter ¼ cup parsley, chopped, for garnish 1 loaf crusty Italian bread, for serving Scrub each clam under cold water to make sure that there’s no sand on the exterior. Fill a large tub with cold water and allow the clams to soak for an hour to release any sand trapped inside. In a large, heavy (preferably cast-iron) pot with a lid, add the olive oil and bacon and render the fat from the bacon over medium heat. About halfway through the process, add the shallot and garlic. When crispy and golden brown, increase the heat to high, stir in the wine and broth, and reduce by about a third. Add the clams to the pot, and cover. (e clams should open up after only a few minutes; at this point they’re done cooking so you should turn off the heat.) Stir in the butter until it melts, divide the clams among serving bowls, and ladle the liquid over them. Garnish with parsley as desired, and serve with bread.

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Obstruction Pass Trail: Saltwater Shoreline Paradise One of the few public beaches on Orcas Island, Obstruction Pass State Park spans 76 acres and offers more than one mile of saltwater shoreline. THE PARK’S CRESCENT-SHAPED COVE

is particularly unique, in that its beach is a made up of ocean-smoothed pebbles — a stark contrast to the rugged and jagged rocks found throughout most of the San Juan Islands coastline. Located at the southern tip of Orcas Island’s eastern horseshoe, it is home to nine first-come, first-served primitive campsites. From the parking lot, you could take the center trail and cut straight to the water. It’s a relatively short .6-miles (1.2 miles round trip). But for a more scenic route, the slightly longer 1.4 mile ‘trek’ treats you to more forest-filled adventures. From the parking area, you’ll pass through a stile. e trail will fork to your right or head straight. To reach the water faster and enjoy a smaller incline on the return, go straight. You’ll almost immediately start descending into an open forest, rich with Douglas-fir, western red cedar, and madronas. roughout the hike you’ll see interpretive panels that offer context about the area ranging from plants to geological features. e trail continues past the first campsite and to a fence-lined bluff where you’ll enjoy views of Obstruction Pass and Blakely Island across the way. Following the bluff left, a small beach access trail will appear on your right. Head down to explore the beach at your leisure. As you’re ready to continue, follow the beach access back to

the main trail. Back on the trail you’ll scramble up a somewhat exposed section of rock. A large brown sign with an arrow pointing into the woods indicates a trail inland. is is where you turn left and back towards the parking lot. A gentle climb will take you back through a similar, though less trafficked rout, known as the Highlands Trail. e slight incline will ultimately end with a final descent into the first junction point and then the trailhead. Distance: 1.4 miles, round trip Elevation Gain: 232 ft. Dogs: Permitted on leash Difficulty: Easy to moderate Trail Type: Loop Trail Pass: Discover Pass (required)

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EXPLORE The DALLES

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Ocean Watch Built in 1988, Ocean Watch is a 64-foot steel sailboat designed for long-range voyaging. With up to 100,000 pounds of tonnage capacity, it is equipped with two cockpits and a main solon that spans more than 200 square feet.

CAPABLE OF CIRCUMNAVIGATING BOTH NORTH and South America, it

The Dalles area Chamber of Commerce 404 w 2nd st. the dalles, or 97058

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was the first sailboat to complete the voyage in 2009. An ideal platform for marine-science research and liveaboard cruising, it was purchased by Karl Kruger of Krüger Escapes in May of 2018. It is now often seen in the waters surrounding Orcas Island. Used for day or multi-day charter sails in the local region, Karl plans to soon skipper the second Around the Americas Expedition. e global discovery expedition, called Project Ocean Watch, will include monitoring nano and microplastics levels, adding to the catalog of marine biodiversity, and tracking and deploying ocean data monitors. While on the expedition, Ocean Watch will be available for on-board charters. Participants will have the opportunity

to live aboard an active science vessel and participate in the daily happenings. To learn more about this unique boat, available charters, and the upcoming expedition visit: krugerescapes.com.

ANSWERS TO CROSSWORD PUZZLE ON PAGE 29.


CROSSWORD PUZZLE

ANSWERS TO CROSSWORD PUZZLE FOUND ON PAGE 28.

25. Long stretch of history 26. Large clam that is around 8 inches across 28. Type of clam 31. Shellfish stew 35. In addition 37. Compass direction 39. Wriggler 40. Shellfish hunter’s equipment 41. Have a clam, say 42. __ Capitan

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Across

1. ey might be pink, spiny or purple-hinged (mollusks) 7. Bit of video gear, for short 9. Head cover 10. How oysters are eaten 12. Watch closely 13. Where a river meets the sea 14. Promotional pieces

15. You have to get one of these from the Washington State Department of Fish & Wildlife if you want to hunt for shellfish 18. Try a small portion of food 20. ey are the source of innovations 22. Shellfish offerings at a bar

1. Mollusks 2. Small island on a coral reef 3. Satisfied a seafood craving, e.g. 4. Bitter fruit often used with oysters 5. Dried plum 6. Settled on the sofa 7. Seafood often used in chowder soups 8. Mollusks that adhere to rocks in tidal waters 11. Pique, as one’s appetite 16. Transparent, as waters 17. erefore 19. Appropriate 21. Observe 22. Working 23. Mollusk’s home 24. Fine to consume 27. Tree resin 29. Tiny island 30. Overnight stay place 31. Young bear 32. Evil warrior in “e Lord of the Rings” 33. Pastry choice 34. Quarter of four 36. Observe 38. Silent Beach’s state, abbr. kenmoreair.com

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Sturdy gear designed to keep you comfortable, dry, and ready for fun — no matter what weather the Pacific Northwest throws your way. Because whether you’re prepping the day’s catch for dinner or taking a trail break, comfort and convenience are always the top priority.

Orvis Women’s Pro Wading Jacket

From the dedicated angler to the enthusiastic Washington adventurer, Orvis’ Pro Wading line features highly durable shells that are both waterproof and breathable for both men and women. With a slightly tapered waist, the Women’s Pro Wading Jacket allows gals to move freely while staying dry. e integrated Dolphin Skin Cuff system is of particular note, as it prevents water from running up the arm even when reaching beneath the water’s surface. $349 orvis.com

Gill Fishing’s Active Bib Trouser

Waterproof, breathable, and durable, Gill Fishing’s Active Bib Trouser ensures you can wade and cast, without getting wet. e abrasion resistant panels on the knees give these trousers added endurance, while the knee length zippers are protected with double storm guards. ese are an all-day-wearing bib built for fun. $159 gillfishing.com

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Filson Backpack Dry Bag

e sleek design of this backpack gives the traditional, somewhat awkward, dry bag an easy-to-carry upgrade. It’s constructed with 840-denier nylon tarpaulin fabric coated with thermoplastic polyurethane — making the bag not only waterproof, but light weight, flexible and abrasion resistant. A generously proportioned main compartment is outfitted heavy duty TIZIP zipper, ensuring neither the Pacific Northwest drizzle or an unexpected wave douse your day’s load. Plus, the thoughtful (and removable) waist belt helps to every disperse the pack’s weight, making it easier to carry when fully loaded. $295 filson.com

Bubba 7” Tapered Flex Folding Knife

is highly portable folding fillet knife is built for anglers on the go, who need a knife that’ll last a lifetime. e folding blade makes storage effortless. e non-slip grip keeps your hand steady in the messiest of environments. And, the titanium-nitride coated, high carbon stainless steel blade is the perfect combination of strength and flexibility. $57.99 bubba.com


Hillsound BTR Stool

Adventure hard and relax anywhere with Hillsound’s BRT Stool. Ultra-lightweight thanks to the aluminum alloy tripod legs, this packable stool folds into a slim frame, making it simple to carry wherever you go. $55 hillsound.com

YETI Daytrip Lunch Box

From snacks and lunch to an evening charcuterie session, this easy-to-clean lunch box offers the on-the-go sustenance you’ll actually look forward to enjoying. Built with YETI’s rugged insultation in mind, the sturdy foam sides allow it to hold its own in a backpack or bag. $79.99 yeti.com

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Big rainboots help a mom and daughter navigate the mud while digging for clams.

Harvest Your Own Shellfish Feast The Pacific Northwest is a land of seafood bounty. Herein are the basics on how to gather a world-class shellfish meal out of the muck. By NORRIS COMER

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HOT BOWL OF NOURISHING clam chowder

or flawless cioppino seafood medley are usually enjoyed on special nights out to our favorite restaurants. But why pay top dollar for world class, locally sourced seafood when you can dig it out of the muck yourself? For Pacific Northwest lovers of beach days outside and fresher- than-fresh seafood, shellfish harvesting is fun and delicious. Best of all, harvesting shellfish is a family-friendly activity that only requires a bit of preparation and tools you likely have lying around the home to get started.

The Quarry

Many delicious shellfish call the Pacific Northwest home. Knowing the basics 32

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After catching the manila clam limit, it’s time for dinner.

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Because digging for razor clams is determined by the tide, it’s not uncommon to harvesting to happen at night — making headlamps and lanterns an essential tool.

about your quarry are as important to the shellfish harvester as fungus knowledge is to mushroom hunters. You also need to know what you’re gathering to be in compliance with state harvest quotas. “I dunno. I have 11 shell thingies of some kind,” won’t please a fish and wildlife officer during an inspection. e broad-brush categories of note are scallops, clams, mussels, and oysters.

Scallops: Local scallops include the pink scallop, spiny scallop, and purple-hinged rock scallop. Both pink and spiny scallops are relatively small at around 2 inches across. Substantially larger, the purple-hinged rock scallop often spans 6 inches across. Scallops do not burrow, rather filter feed on the seafloor and are surprisingly capable swimmers. A favorite of many, properly cooked scallops have a buttery and delicate flavor, often compared to lobster but with a firmer texture. But one generally has to dive in deeper waters to find them. Harvesting scallops merits a different conversation than the beach-based harvesting topic at-hand. Clams: Pacific Northwest clams are a large family, ranging from the smaller (1- to 2 ½-inch across) Manila or Japanese littleneck clam, native 34

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littleneck clam, and bent-nose clam to the larger (5- or 6-inch across) butter clam, softshell clam, and razor clam. A heavyweight is the horse clam at a beefy 8 inches across. ey all have their unique characteristics and quirks. For example, razor clams often expose their siphons above the sand as the surf recedes (a practice called necking) and have relatively brittle shells that make them vulnerable to harvesting tools like rakes. e razor clam’s especially sweet and delicate taste is a crowd favorite. Of course, the most iconic of our clams is the yellow-orange foot colored, undeniably phallic geoduck—the world’s largest burrowing clam and mascot of Evergreen College. e difference in tastes between the clams can be bantered about by foodies for a lifetime, but generally clams have an unapologetically, but not overbearing, briny taste with chewy texture. Notable for the hunter is that clams live a burrowing life and can be surprisingly quick to escape attack, not unlike how a mole can glide through soil to easily evade an excited pooch. Underestimate at your expense.

Mussels: e most common mussels are the bay/blue mussel (around 3 inch-

es across) and the California mussel (around 8 inches across). Unlike burrowing clams, mussels affix themselves to tidal surfaces like rocks or piers with their strong byssal threads. ey will not make a hasty retreat as you go to harvest them, but you’ll need a tool like a flat-edged knife to carefully but firmly


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reove them. Most consider the taste of mussels as a milder, less briny and less chewy clam.

Oysters: Puget Sound’s oysters are world

famous and include the small (1 to 2 inches across) Olympia oyster and larger Pacific oysters (up to 8 inches across).

e Olympia oyster is the only oyster species native to the Pacific Northwest and a true shooter-worthy delicacy by which many of the local oyster farms, like Taylor Shellfish, have made their names. e larger Pacific oyster is also delicious, but most prefer to cook them. rowing Pacific oysters right on the

barbeque cup side down so that the oyster cooks in its own juices (known as oyster liquor) until it opens up is a classic Pacific Northwest move. What is there to say about the taste of an oyster that hasn’t been immortalized in great literature? For some, the slimy texture and strong briny taste are kenmoreair.com

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The beach offers a fabulous opportunity for those young and old to clam together, while physically distancing.

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Though typically smaller than a geoduck, horse clam’s are often bigger than the palm of your hand.

too overpowering. For others, it is the meaning of life.

Before You Go

Arguably the biggest hurdle to the harvest is the research you need to do before heading out the door. Many macro-level variables are at play in the game of shellfish harvesting ranging from seasonal cycles and permits and regulation to ideal tide windows and marine toxin closures.

License: All Pacific Northwest shellfish harvesters need to hold the proper state license from Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife (WDFW) or Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife (ODFW). e best resources to acquire said licenses are the organizations’ websites, wdfw. wa.gov and myodfw.com respectively. Prices vary by state residency status and permit type, so see what you need and get ticketed up. You can purchase your permit online or at listed locations. ID Quarry and Location: Before going out,

identify what shellfish you’re targeting and the location from the listed areas on the aforementioned websites. One cannot roam their nearest local beach grabbing what they bump into from a legal nor successful tactic approach. Take the time on the website to make sure there is an opener for your desired

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shellfish at the desired location. Being flexible is key. A state’s logic around shellfish openers may be mystifying for the lay harvester, but all shellfish openers are the result of codified rules balancing agreements to different interest groups with sustainability. In Washington state, longstanding treaties with Native American tribes entitle those communities to a subsistence harvest quota prioritized before recreational harvesting. Additionally, fishery scientists are constantly evaluating the health of the shellfish stocks and determining sustainable harvest levels. Just know that there is a method to it all and we all do our part by playing by the rules. Deciding to harvest without a permit during a public closure is poaching, a serious insult to the Native American tribes, your fellow citizens, and Mother Nature.

Toxin Watch: e bad news about wild

shellfish is the risk of marine pollutants such as naturally occurring toxic algae. e good news is that state agencies, like the Washington Department of Health (WDOH), are on the watch year-round to open or close recreational shellfish opportunities based upon rigorous testing. Domoic acid is a specific measurement of note, a naturally occurring

compound produced by toxic algae linked to Amnesic Shellfish Poisoning (ASP). WDOH has determined that domoic acid levels above 20 parts per million are unsafe for human consumption. Constant in-field testing ensures that recreational shellfish harvesting is closed when levels exceed the threshold. Closures due to domoic acid are announced on the websites of both Washington and Oregon departments of fish and wildlife.

Ideal Tides: You got your license, identified a beach with an opener for your target shellfish quarry, and the waters are clear of toxins. Great! In the hustle to get out the door, it’s easy to forget to time your harvest with an ideal tide. From the burrowing clams to the affixed mussels, the general rule is that the lower the tide the better. Receding tide windows, that is a high tide transitioning to a low tide, are ideal for many kinds of clams like the razor clam. If the ideal tide is before or after daylight, you probably want to bring along a flashlight or headlamp.

What to Bring

One of the joys of shellfish harvesting is that you don’t need much to be in business. In addition to wearing weather appropriate clothes, a simple pair of knee-high waterproof boots suitable for tromping in shallow—but cold—tidal waters with warm socks is important. Angler-style waders are welcome but not strictly necessary. Shells can cut the


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The Pacific razor clam is beefy and can grow as long as six inches.

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Digging for razor clams at sunset sets the stage for an epic, evening feast.

hands of careless diggers, so work gloves like gardening gloves are popular. Most of these shellfish live in the muck, so getting messy is part of the fun. Besides attire, you’ll want a gathering bucket or a clamming bag (nice for affixing to a belt or backpack). Not only is this common sense, but state regulations require all harvesters to carry their own “transport vessel” for ease of inspection by a fish and wildlife officer on patrol. Have your permit handy and double check your research the day of harvest to be 100% sure your quarry and beach are open to the public and toxin free. Bringing along a tide book is a good idea too, as you will be busy harvesting during low tide but should be able to reference when high tide rolls in. 38

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Hunting tactics are all over the map. e typical seasoned harvester will have a favorite shovel they deploy when they see a promising hole or indentation in the sand, known as a show. Some prefer to use a clam gun, essentially a cylindrical shovel, while others use their bare hands. Bay/blue mussels are sometimes pursued with a rake. Asking around and cruising the internet for tips is a good idea. e specifics of your hunting style are where you get to write your own story.

Got ‘Em! Now What?

If your first harvest goes well, you’ll have a bag or bucket full of the tastiest most ethically gathered seafood on the planet. Congratulations! e rule of

thumb for all shellfish is to keep them cold and eat them sooner rather than later. Putting your catch on ice in a cooler or in the fridge is the goal. Eating them for dinner day-of is ideal. Clams and mussels are generally steamed or boiled and can be served right out of the shell with light seasoning like garlic butter and lemon. ey can also be a part of an epic seafood dish like paella or cioppino. Geoducks can be a little more complicated due to their huge size and various body part uses, so a bit of online research is recommended. You can cut strips of the geoduck as a great chowder ingredient. e culinary sky is the limit, but the best seasoning of all is the spice of an adventure well rewarded.


Solace and solitude miles out at sea.


A mammoth Spirit Bear ambles through a stream in the Great Bear Rainforest.

Spirit Search A journey deep into B.C.’s coastal wilderness in hopes of seeing the rarest bear in the world.* By KIM BROWN SEELY

“J

UST LOOK FOR SOMETHING YELLOW,” Marven

Robinson says when we finally take off in search of the spirit bear. We’re speeding past British Columbia’s massive, uninhabited Princess Royal Island in his aluminum fishing skiff. “e bears sometimes come down here to feed.” I look and look. Each white-yellow patch along the rocky shore turns out to be something else: a cedar stump, a weathered log, a boulder. But my husband, Jeff, and I are finally here – here in the epicenter of B.C.’s Great Bear Rainforest! – home of the legendary Kermode bear (or spirit bear), one of the rarest animals in the world. I smile. is is what I’ve been hoping for. If we didn’t understand just how wild and remote and storm battered this stretch of the Pacific Northwest Coast was when we first left on this epic sailing journey weeks ago, we do now, flying across the water with Gitga’at

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First Nation wildlife guide Marven Robinson in his small boat, cold fresh air streaming off the Pacific. We’re here in British Columbia’s Great Bear Rainforest, part of the planet’s last large expanse of coastal temperate rainforest, looking for a 42

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revered creature: what the Gitga’at call mooksgm’ol, a white black bear. Neither albino nor polar bear, the spirit bear is a white variant of the black bear born with a double-recessive gene causing white fur. It is rare – more rare than the giant panda (current estimates are 200

to 400 in existence; with wild pandas just over 1800). And it’s found almost exclusively in the Great Bear Rainforest on two rugged, densely forested islands – Princess Royal Island and Gil Island. Seeking an adventure, my husband and I had set out by sailboat weeks ear-


Kim Brown Seely takes notes while looking for Spirit Bears. Below, Gitga’at First Nation wildlife guide Marven Robinson.

the “spirit bear whisperer,” about the rich history and culture of the Gitga’at people. e Gitga’at, who live in the close-knit fishing village of Hartley Bay, a boat ride away, are one of 14 bands that make up the Tshimshian people of B.C.’s northwest coast. ey’ve lived

alongside these bears, an important symbol in Gitga’at culture – keeping their exact location secret to protect them – for thousands of years. Marven dropped us off on the shore of Princess Royal with a handheld radio and a canister of bear spray. “Ever use one of these?” he asked, handing over the spray as we scrambled out onto the mudflats. He raked the bristly hair atop his head. Marven was in his mid-forties, with a handsome face, a direct gaze, a thatch of black hair. “Only use it if the bear is five feet or less from you, and if his ears are back,” he said, then shrugged in a fatalistic way. “If his ears are forward, he’s just checking you out.”

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Mist covers the Broughton Islands, in a magical start to the day.

lier from our home near Seattle, about 500 nautical miles south. Our only goal? To point ourselves north toward the white bear and these two remote islands in hopes of glimpsing something rare and beautiful. We also hoped to learn more from Marven, sometimes called

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Yikes! I thought. It was a raucous scene: squadrons of while gulls shot past, wave after wave of them, followed by lines of frantic, electrified terns. We watched salmon leaping, bald eagles soaring, herons squawking. e Great Bear Rainforest is sanctuary to a stunning diversity of wildlife, nourished by one of the most productive oceans on the planet. ere were more birds than I’d ever seen in a single place, canyon walls reverberating with crazed caws and cries. “Are you guys ready?” Marven asked, plunging into the forest. “e bears have been gorging themselves here for the past few weeks.” Hearts beating, we trailed him toward the head of a copper-colored creek. We crept through thickets of thick spongy moss, over fungus-wrapped trunks edged with devil’s club, and past thousand-year-old cedars, trying not to snap any twigs. Fortunately, the forest floor was clotted 44

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with leaves that dampened our step. ere was so much moss cloaking the branches it looked like there’d been a green blizzard. e leaves sucked at our boots. We found a log buried in a bed of wet ferns and crouched down on the bank, waiting for bears. Seeing bears is all about waiting, I was learning. And quiet. We hunkered down while rain slid down the branches and leaves, plumping the mosses. We poured coffee from Marven’s thermos. Adjusted our Gore-Tex. Sat and waited some more.

Planning for a Future Visit

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The Great Bear Rainforest is home to towering trees and a lush, moist forest floor.

“Spirit bears are shy,” Marven said, leaning in close. He smelled like pine needles and mint. “ey could be right here and we wouldn’t even know.” We made ourselves still. Slanted late-afternoon light haunted the centuries-old forest. Everything felt verdant and ancient. We waited and waited. Rust-and cinnamon-brown leaves shuttled downriver. Everything seemed to be flowing into the river, except the fish, which were going back up it. In the river salmon were packed so close fin to gill it seemed like you could almost walk

A lodge-based excursion allows for an extended stay in the remote region. While King Fish Lodge has closed, Spirit Bear Lodge, located in the heart of the Great Bear Rainforest, offers wildlife tours and experiences that are second to none.


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Streams and moss abound in the Great Bear Rainforest, making it rich habitat for the endangered Spirit Bears.

across their backs. Sight quickly loses its supremacy, I realized, in dense forest. Hearing, however, is honed. e silence is rich. Even the slightest rustle grew audible, and soon it was as if we could hear for miles and miles, every sound clear and distinct. I heard the tiny splashes and sucks of the river, ravens, leaves falling, stones turning, fish jumping… sitting side by side I heard everything, the river muttering in a language that lifted through stones, air, and sky on its way to the sea. None of us said a word for a long time. e creek hummed with the sound of fish jumping and river stones jostling and spruce needles dripping. A gang of ravens went by croaking and cawing and flying so low I could hear the shhh-shhh-shhh sound of their wings. My joints started to ache and my foot was falling asleep, and it hadn’t even been an hour. “Listen,” Marven whispered, his head slightly cocked as he caught my gaze intently. “We never spoke of mooksgm’ol – the white bear. My grandmother, Helen, tells the story of Raven. How Raven made one in every ten black bears white to remind people of a time when the world was all snow and ice, so people would be thankful for the lush and bountiful land of today. Many of our people believe mooksgm’ol holds supernatural powers – that the white bear is a special creature left to remind us of that earlier time when everything was covered by glaciers…” “You mean like an ice age?” I said, thinking how fragile this forest felt. How perhaps the challenge of our modern times is to hold two things in our hearts at once: the beauty of our planet and the threat of what we stand to lose. “Yup…” Marven nodded gravely, his voice trailing off. at’s when we saw the bear ambling up the river. e bear was midsize, lovely, but it wasn’t a white bear—it was another hungry black bear, Ursus americanus. It pawed at a pile of dead salmon it had stashed on the riverbank. Our quest to see the spirit bear, I realized, was just beginning. *An excerpt from Uncharted

Write for Submission Guidelines for Freelance Writers & Photographers Explore:NW focuses on personal essays about regional travel and destination spotlights. We accept tips, article submissions, and photo submissions throughout the year. Please familiarize yourself with the style and tone of the magazine before sending us your targeted pitch. Submissions will be accepted via email at: Mikaela@MakingLanguageCount.com

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Washington’s Pig Headed War The killing of a pig nearly plunged the United States and Great Britain into war in 1859. Fortunately, cooler heads prevailed. By MIKE VOURI

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ONG BEFORE THE SAN JUAN

Islands were a vacation destination, they were the focus of an international crisis ignited by an unlikely incident: e shooting of a pig in a potato patch. is was the famous Pig War of 1859, when military and naval forces of the United States and Great Britain almost came to blows in midsummer after the death of a Berkshire boar. But in the end, not a single shot was fired. e nations opted for peace, an outcome that was commemorated more than 100 years later with the creation of San Juan Island National Historical Park. e issue, aside from mid-19th century notions of honor, was mainly about real estate. After the Oregon Treaty of 1846 divided what was then known as the Oregon Country along the 49th parallel, the two nations were at loggerheads over the water boundary between Vancouver Island and the mainland. e coveted San Juan Archipelago lay in the middle. It didn’t help matters that U.S. settlers were vying for the land where the Hudson’s Bay Company raised more than 4,500 head of sheep, or that the

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English Camp today.

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A launch from HMS Satellite makes for the Griffin Bay shoreline on July 27, 1859 in this watercolor done that very day while on deck of the British warship. Pickett’s tents can be seen ashore. Below, a painting of English Camp c. 1868, by a Royal Navy officer.

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court martial boards that mainly tried drunks and deserters, he relished the opportunity to confront the British on San Juan. However, his enthusiasm overreached common sense. Despite being ordered by Harney to merely show the flag and protect U.S. citizens, Pickett posted a proclamation near his Griffin Bay camp. e third proviso read:

British were uneasy about Americans observing ships transiting Victoria Harbor from San Juan’s southwestern shore, only seven miles across the Haro Strait. Following a number of clashes over land and taxes that culminated in sheep rustling, the dispute boiled over on June 15, 1859. A failed American miner named Lyman Cutlar found a company pig rooting in his meager subsistence garden, and snapped. He seized his rifle and shot the intruder. is was the heinous act that nearly plunged the United States and Great Britain into war. 48

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Cutlar was threatened with arrest by British authorities if he did not make fair restitution for the pig. He refused and went into hiding. is compelled Department of Oregon commander Brig. Gen. William S. Harney to dispatch Company D, 9th U.S. Infantry to San Juan Island in July, 1859 under the command of Capt. George E. Pickett. is was a great tonic for Pickett, a Virginian and Mexican war veteran and the same officer who would one day lead his Confederate division at the Battle of Gettysburg. Bored with frontier

III. This being United States territory, no laws other than those of the United States, nor courts, except such as are held by virtue of said laws, will be recognized or allowed on this island. An outraged Vancouver Island Gov. James Douglas volleyed by dispatching Capt. Geoffrey Phipps Hornby and the 31-gun steam frigate H.M.S. Tribune. Hornby was commanded to order Pickett off, and if the American did not comply, to refuse reinforcements or the erection of fortifications. British naval officers in Victoria warned Douglas that Hornby’s orders were too provocative. e Royal Navy’s mission, they stressed, was to maintain the peace, not start wars. But the governor countered by suggesting that Hornby land Royal Marines on the island equal in number to Pickett’s soldiers: 64. To lend weight to the proposition, two more warships dropped anchor in the bay. Pickett refused to comply, and threatened to open fire should the marines attempt a landing. One pioneer account, written 40 years after the fact, offers a


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heroic portrayal of Pickett blustering, “We’ll make a Bunker Hill out of it!” But with 64 British naval guns pointed at his camp, he instead pleaded for reinforcements and lamented that his company was, “no more than a mouthful,” for the British. He was unaware that Hornby had no intention of forcing the issue, choosing instead to sit tight and await the return from sea of his superior, Rear Admiral R. Lambert Baynes. He was confident his inaction would be affirmed, and that is exactly what happened when the admiral learned of the incident a few days later. “Tut, tut, no, no, the damned fools,” Baynes was said to have exclaim in his characteristic dry wit. However, the crisis was far from over. On August 10, U.S. Army Lt. Col. Silas Casey arrived in the bay aboard the steamer Julia Barclay. is swift little sternwheeler ordinarily was a common and inoffensive sight on Puget Sound and the Northern Straits since her completion at Port Gamble the year before. But she had suddenly been “requisitioned” into a troop and munitions carrier to deliver more than 170 soldiers and three field pieces on South Beach just hours before depositing lumber and ammunition (and Casey) on the dock in full view of the by-now troubled Hornby. Four days later, Hornby was aghast to see eight, 32-pounder naval guns landed on the beach under his very nose. ese were to be mounted in a redoubt overlooking the bay, and with a range of over a mile, could easily drive his ships from the harbor. He immediately sent a dispatch to Baynes asking if he should land the marines and spike the guns. Baynes’ reply was swift and firm: No. Hornby was to stand fast and await a diplomatic solution. A hand-carried telegraph and a messenger were already on the way to the East Coast. When word reached Washington of the contretemps in September, officials from both nations agreed the situation called for a peacemaker on site. e obvious choice was U.S. Army commander Lt. Gen. Winfield Scott, who had calmed northern border crises in Maine and

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Old Town Lagoon on Griffin Bay, then and now. It was here that Capt. George E. Pickett and his 64 soldiers landed on July 27, 1859 prompting the British to respond with three warships. The town full of saloons and bordellos sprang up almost as soon as the soldiers landed.

New York in the late 1830s. But by 1859 Scott was 73 years old, weighed nearly 400 pounds and was so immobilized by gout and dropsy he had to be hauled from shore to deck by crane. Following a six-week voyage via a rail connection across Panama, Scott stopped first at Vancouver Barracks on the Columbia River. On learning that Pickett happened to be on post, he yanked both Pickett and Harney into his cabin and scolded them for their “little

conquest.” He next relieved Harney of command and steamed on to the San Juan Islands, where it required only a week for Scott and Douglas to negotiate a stand down. e American force would be reduced to a company, and a British warship would remain on call. By December, the two governments decided on a formal joint military occupation of the island. e Americans would remain on the southern end of the island, while the Royal Marines kenmoreair.com

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would eventually establish a camp 13 miles north on Westcott Creek, now Garrison Bay. e contingents were to be limited to 100 men each and no artillery. Before leaving, Scott was more than happy to comply with a back-channel request by Douglas to deny Pickett’s company the honor of being the first official U.S. contingent. e governor was still seething over what he considered the Virginian’s provocative and “punctilious” behavior that summer. But believing he had only been following orders, Pickett was distressed by the slight. And his frustration grew when the ship returning his arms and stores to the mainland foundered in a December blizzard, and his men ended up spending the winter in a barn. But Harney was not done. Restored to command on Scott’s departure, he ordered Pickett back to the island in April, when he then declared Scott’s agreement null and void. For this, he was quickly sent packing back east. Meanwhile, Pickett had learned the “arts of peace,” and established with his counterpart, Royal Marine Capt. George Bazalgette, a precedent for friendship and cooperation between the two garrisons that would continue through 1872. In fact, before the final decision, they would spend holidays together, marching en masse to the respective camps to engage in athletic contests (including log rolling), picnicking, drinking and horse racing. Unfortunately, not everyone agreed with the diplomats concerning jurisdiction. Fueled by wishful thinking and misinformation campaigns, citizens and elected officials living in Washington Territory still believed the San Juans belonged to the United States alone. at was one issue. e other was the American distaste for martial law in any form, which dated to the occupation of Boston on the eve of the American Revolution by these same Redcoats. British civilian authorities were not allowed on the island, so incidents between British subjects and Royal Marines were rare. Not so among the Americans. While most willingly accepted, and profited, from the tax-free status and frontier security of military camps, friction prevailed on the southern end of San Juan. ere, a noisy minority based in San Juan Village was eager 50

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amehime photo

American Camp today.

to smuggle or distill whiskey, purvey prostitutes and thumb their noses at the law in any guise. is created no end of frustration for U.S. military commanders, who finally resorted to evictions to maintain the peace. Finally, on May 8, 1871, the Treaty of Washington was signed by the British and Americans and ratified by Congress the following month, proscribing that the dispute be settled through binding arbitration by a third power—Imperial Germany. Kaiser Wilhelm I selected a three-man commission that met in Geneva over the next year to determine whether the boundary should be Haro Strait or Rosario Strait. e commission voted two to one that the Haro Strait be designated the “southerly channel” dividing Vancouver Island from the mainland, as cited in the Treaty of 1846, because it touches Vancouver Island. e Rosario Strait does not. e ruling was issued on October 21, 1872. A month later the Royal Marines marched peacefully out of English Camp leaving behind a tidy garrison replete with two docks, cisterns, gardens and 27

structures, four of which can be visited today in the National Park. e Americans immediately rushed in with a huge garrison flag to proclaim their “victory,” but arrived to find the 80-foot pole had been chopped down. In 1998 the United Kingdom replaced a replica pole, underscoring the peace and goodwill that has endured for a century and a half. American Camp’s garrison departed two years later. Buildings that were not auctioned off became barns and farmhouses, and the prairies were cultivated for cereal crops. e one feature left untouched was the Redoubt, the earthwork engineered by Henry M. Robert for the placement of naval guns. is young officer would one day write “Robert’s Rules of Order.” Today the Redoubt remains as sound and recognizable as it was the day the Army left, with a sprinkling of wildflowers every spring and 180-degree views of humpbacked islands and faraway peaks. More importantly, it remains the only tangible reminder of that intense summer of 1859, and the “war” in which the only casualty was a pig.

Continued Reading

Dive deeper into drama of defining a Northwest boundary in Vouri’s lively, in-depth account. Introduce your kiddos to this bit of history with Emma Bland Smith’s new children’s book.


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