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The Island Known For Its Tiny Tame Deer

We left Cypress Island around noon today and headed for Jones Island State Park. Here's an eagle we saw on our way over:



(The new Nikon D7100 with the 18-300mm lens is KILLER, by the way.)

We grabbed one of the three free mooring buoys (one was taken), did some more work, and then headed into shore for some more exploring and another hike (and to see the famous deer).

Airship from the shore:


Where the dock usually lives during the "on" season:


Looking north from shore:


Okay, and now back to hiking The Island of the Tiny Tame Deer:

From the Washington State Parks website:

Jones Island State park is a 188-acre marine camping park with 25,000-feet of saltwater shoreline on the San Juan channel. The park features a beautiful loop trail down the center of the island then around the western shore. A herd of black-tail deer live on the island. The deer have become habituated to the presence of humans and are quite tame.

From Wikipedia:

The park features a dock, four miles of hiking trails, and 24 primitive campsites, two of which are reserved for non-motorized voyagers traveling along the Cascadia Marine Trail. The park's population of black-tail deer have become accustomed to human presence and will allow themselves to be fed by hand, which activity is, however, illegal.

We got to shore and headed across the island to the south cove, and from there we hiked both the SW and NW loops (two-ish miles). The trail along the shore was gorgeous:


Picnic table out on the rocks (taken while standing in a gorgeous campsite):






Beautiful isn't it? This was a spectacular hike…hilly, mossy, a little bit of a workout, and amazing views.

Oh, and the deer? We saw zero deer. Not a one. We hiked half of the island and saw no deer. Maybe they're too small to see with the naked eye. 

There ARE about eight thousand kinds of moss on Jones Island though, and it's real pretty:


And mushrooms. Lots of mushrooms:


But when people tell you about Jones Island, they don't say "Oh yeah, you gotta check out that island …the one with eight thousand kinds of moss and lots of mushrooms growin' on stuff." They say "Hey, definitely stop at Jones Island! The one with all the tiny tame deer that you can feed by hand (even though you're not allowed to, technically)."

But whoa, would you LOOK at all that moss!


We finished our hike and got back in the dinghy and decided to go for a spin around the island.


It had clouded over a bit but was still pretty, and relatively warm. (Deer? Nope. No deer.)

Airship with a lightning branch in the background:


We had a glass of cider and a little charcuterie board on the top deck a little bit ago and pretty soon we'll make some tacos for dinner. Tomorrow morning we intend to hike the other half of the island…looking for the tiny tame deer, of course. 

Here's today's course (20.4 nautical miles):

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One Comment

  1. Wow, what an adventure! And classes…sometimes I think I should take a class on my next RV destination. Looking forward to hearing all about it.

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