Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Spencer Jack's PNW Island Orcas Mystery Solved

Incoming email this morning from Spencer Jack and his favorite dad, my nephew Jason, with a subject line of...

"Beautiful PNW Day".

Text in the email asking...

"Do you recognize this PNW location Spencer and I visited today"

For those not familiar with the PNW abbreviation, PNW abbreviates Pacific Northwest.

The email included three photos, including the one you see above.

And the one below.

I was fairly sure I knew the location in question when I saw the photo at the top. The second photo confirmed that I knew the location I was looking at.

Behind Jason and Spencer Jack in that second photo you are looking at a structure constructed by the Civilian Conversation Corps back in 1936, modeled after a medieval watch tower.

The CCC was an evil socialist plot launched by FDR during the Great Depression. There are CCC structures in parks all over the Puget Sound zone.

This CCC structure is an observational tower atop the summit of Mount Constitution.

Mount Constitution is the most prominent feature, elevation-wise, of the San Juan Islands, which means Spencer Jack took his dad on a ferry ride to Orcas Island, which is where Mount Constitution is located in Moran State Park.

In addition to being the highest spot in the San Juan Islands, Mount Constitution is the second highest mountain on an island in a ocean location in the lower 48 American states.

For those reading this in Fort Worth, Texas, who do not know what an island is, what you see behind Spencer Jack, surrounded by water, are islands. Spencer Jack is standing on an island. These islands were not created by digging a ditch into which polluted river water was diverted. These are real islands. Lots of them, as in hundreds of islands of various sizes make up the San Juan Island archipelago.

No bridge connects the American mainland to any of the San Juan Islands. Access to these islands is via boat, small and large, with the large boats being the multiple ferry boats which take one from Fidalgo Island, and the town of Anacortes, to the islands.

Fidalgo Island is not one of the San Juan Islands. One does access Fidalgo Island via several bridge options, all of which were built over actual water in way less than four years, including that iconic PNW actual signature bridge connecting Fidalgo Island to Whidbey Island over the swift moving tidal waters of Deception Pass.

Meanwhile in that aforementioned Fort Worth town, we are almost to year six of trying to build three simple little bridges over dry land, to connect the Fort Worth mainland to an imaginary island.

I doubt ferry boats will ever be needed...

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