Thursday, June 22, 2017

Some History, and a Mushroom -- Monday, June 19, 2017

There are many trails on Susia Island, and this morning we want to visit the Mushroom Rock.  What we can’t quite figure out are the clicking sounds we hear first thing in the morning.  The Canadian geese swim near the ramp leading to shore, and we wonder if they are the culprits.  Someone on the dock says it sounds like chickens, but we don’t hear it any other time of the day.  The sounds come from the direction of a nearby privately owned island.  We may never know.

Children discover a cave (China cave?) and explore, possibly making a hideout from the ‘enemy.’  A close look finds someone in a red jacket across the expanse of the rocks by the ramp on a falling tide.

This trail is mostly level, with quite a bit of grassy meadow.  Herb enjoys watching the tide wash off the beach.

At the Interpretive Panel we read quite an indepth explanation of how the Mushroom Rock is formed, and I quote: 

“Overhanging walls develop on coastal cliffs as a result of ‘surface hardening.’  This unusual phenomenon occurs when weathering causes certain types of rocks to get harder rather than softer.  At some Sucia Island sites, weathering causes some of the minerals in the sandstone to dissolve, releasing iron, calcium, silica, and other elements.  If these elements precipitate near the rock surface, they have a cementing effect, strengthening the sandstone.  If this hardened exterior zone is breached, the weaker interior stone rapidly erodes, producing a mushroom shape.”

Another hiker catches up with us and is intrigued by my careful photography of 
the ‘flower of the day.’  He tells me it is a native wild rose. 

In order to get a better cellphone signal, we walk farther to the west, and can actually see the towers on Orcas Island.  Great reception, and we read and respond to eMails from family and friends.

The boat behind us at the front of the dock leaves, so Herb and I walk Willie’s Tug back to the vacated space, making room for boats of various sizes to best utilize the room at the dock.

Hearing a boat coming into the bay, we look up to see a small ‘fast-boat’ speeding really fast.  Oh, no!  We are holding our bow and stern lines to take our boat alongside the dock, and do not want a wake.  

We get a wake.

Two young men tie next to us in the space we made available, and once we are safely retied, Herb greets the men and gently tells them about our precarious position when they arrived.  They apologize and we visit a bit.  

They are so excited to be on a guy trip, having young children, they got a ‘pass’ from their wives for only one night away from home.  My thinking is that the young mothers got sitters for the children and went to dinner and a movie.

On our walk today I stop at the interpretive panel near the ramp to learn some of the history of Sucia Island. Washington State Parks acquired one-third of Sucia Island in 1952.  Concerned about plans to develop the island into vacation homes, Seattle yachtsman Everett Henry founded the Interclub Boaters Assn. of Washington, who raised $25,000 to purchase island land for public use.  In 1960, the property was donated as a state marine park. In 1972 State Parks purchased remaining parcels.  Members of local yacht clubs are active volunteers for park improvement projects.

A humorous fact was that Captain Hamden, one of the early settlers, built a stone cistern on a ridge.  It collected water pumped from a well in the valley, and he built the cistern after his wife threatened to leave him if she had to continue to haul water to their cabin.  Sounds reasonable to me.

The many geese feed on grass during the day and cause one to watch his step.  I call this area by the ramp from the dock, “No-Step Hill.”

When a C-Dory Venture 23 cruises up to the dock, Herb and I go to assist and visit.  They introduce themselves as Mark and Brock, and of course do know Pat and Patty, so we share stories of cruising with the Andersons, and also about when Pat loaned his 16 foot C-Dory, Crabby Lou, to Herb before we bought Willie’s Tug.

A mostly yellow sunset amidst the varying shades of gray clouds bids us Good Evening, after another day of exploring the island.

Willie of Willie's Tug,
   and of Walldog, Willie and Jake
   Monday, June 19, 2017