Friday, June 3, 2016

41: Living the island life

Another nice day on the island! As Jeff puts it, 'they're all nice days on the island!'

Scene from the island

We rook a little trip to the other side to see American Camp - the site of the American troops sent here to protect the settlers. Ostensibly, it was from attack by the Native Americans, but the real reason was to ward off the British, who were also on the island and claimed it as theirs. You see, the Treaty of Oregon had established the boundary between the US and Canada. But when it came to the islands, the ambiguous language ('the middle of the strait') created a problem: there are two straits surrounding the San Juans, and each nation's settlers claimed the strait that gave them the islands was the one that was intended.

Tensions escalated when a pig was shot by a farmer tired of it rooting in his potatoes. So the American troops came, and the British troops came, and for twelve years they lived in camps on opposite sides of the island, eventually becoming entwined in the life of the islanders, until King Wilhelm of Germany, who had been asked to arbitrate the issue, finally declared that the islands should belong to the Americans. And so the British troops left, with not another shot ever fired. The Pig War, as it's called, is part of the island history and a nice example of how to run a war: balls and parties, not bullets and platoons!

Bring me a Shrubbery! From the British Camp
The British had the nicer encampment, but given that this was all taking place during the American Civil War, I'm thinking the US soldiers were fortunate indeed to be stationed here, instead of being embroiled in the battles back east.

While we were at the camp, we got to see an eagle's nest with two fledglings. Mom flew in with dinner and they both popped up to have at it.  Though seeing an eagle has become almost a daily event up here, I still get a thrill every time we do, and often have Roger stop the bike so that I can get a better look. It was a particular thrill to see the young.

Part of the fun visiting the camps was traveling along with Mark and Nance, Jeff and Gail's friends and also new to the island. Jeff, Roger and Mark rode over to American Camp, which means Roger now has 13 more miles than I do!  
Roger with Mark on the tandem
Given the circumstances, I will probably never catch up, but that's okay - it's not a competition, it's an Excellent Adventure!
A trip to Lime Kiln unfortunately did not reveal any whales for us on this day, but we enjoyed seeing the light house and scenery nonetheless.
Lighthouse at Lime Kiln

We finished the day with a fabulous pot roast and mixed berry short cakes, plus a couple hands of bridge. 
Oh yum!

My, oh my - this team can cook! If you have received an invitation to visit, you really should get yourself up here. Jeff and Gail have a great house and more importantly, a great home up here, and they take great pleasure in sharing it with their friends. 

We are fortunate indeed to be among them.

Four spades!
Jeff and Gail in the kitchen

1 comment:

  1. Kathy, we're doing well. That sign 1/2 mile to Leader Lake made us think we had a 1/2 mile to the turn. By the time we realized our mistake, we weren't reclimbing it! Friday morning at 0745 we're hanging out hoping the rain might lessen from the Bacon Bike Hostel- a great place in which we took a layover day yesterday. Great to meet you and best of luck on your ride!


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