I had returned to Eagle Harbor and stayed for a couple of days not only because I like the tranquil bay and the lush forest ashore, but because it takes me back to one of my earliest explorations of the San Juans with my three daughters. Lisa and I went ashore here to explore and, though we didn't go far, we enjoyed what we saw. I intended to go further today and ended up with a few interesting adventures.
My first was a brush with death before I even left the boat. Luckily, the death wasn't mine, although my imagination led me to think it might have been. Carol, it's all your fault. That soup you gave me was great. I've enjoyed a couple of mid-day meals appreciating it, but at least one yellow jacket did NOT. I'd heated up a bowlful and sat down in the cockpit to slurp it up when one of the buzzy little buggers (they fly rampant around here) decided to sample the fare. In trying to swish him away from the soup, I'm afraid I swished him into it and had to extricate him with my spoon. He was a little soggy, so I left him to recuperate on the deck while I had a few bites myself. I looked down not thirty seconds later and the poor dude was on its back, legs curled towards the sky.
Yep. I poked him with my spoon and he was dead as a doornail. Having consumed some of the (I imagined) deadly stew already, I waited to see if I felt a similarly fatal compulsion and wondered if someone would come across my boat to find me curled up, legs skyward too in a couple of days. Nope, you're off the hook, Carol. No serial killer reputation for you. It must have been the heat, not the content. Whew!
Cypress Island is known for its wooded hiking trails that lead you to scenic lakes and overlooks with expansive views toward the San Juan Islands. I set off after surviving lunch to try out the Duck Lake loop trail. Thinking I'd end up in Smugglers Cove, I turned instead toward Duck Lake, opting for the shorter loop over the middle of the island rather than the out and back trip that would have been a mile or two longer. That decision put me in the right spot in the universe at just the right time to catch this dragonfly hovering over the lily pads.
Hiking along the trail, I was reminded of a local author by the name of Clyde Ford (see Thrilling Detective
) whose main protagonist is a retired USCG officer and up and coming detective, Charlie Noble. Charlie lives and works out of his boat at Bellingham Harbor and often finds that the San Juan Islands have become settings for death and skullduggery. In particular, Cypress is a waypoint for human trafficking in the book Precious Cargo, with illegal immigrants being marched over the same trail I was hiking, a few of them ending up as crab bait right where I was anchored. Oooohhhhh. Here was death looming its ugly head twice in one day!
But wait, there's more! Early in the hike I took a short side trail to a nice little bay just north of Eagle Harbor. The scenic islands and Cascade vista to the east caught my attention and, as you'll see in the Eagle Harbor at Cypress Island sub-album under Local Cruising - 2013, I took several panoramic pictures from there. The macabre bit come as you look at the picture below.
Look closely at the tree on the left. Is that a skeleton hanging there? I was curious enough to row out to and around the islet after I returned from my hike. Here's a closer shot I took from the dink.
Now is THAT a freaky thing to see after dealing with dying yellow jackets and fictional murderers? Don't worry, it's only rubber, ...I'm PRETTY sure. Someone has a sick sense of humor, though.