Say hey, or at least say Hi to Camano Island. What? But this blog is About Whidbey. Yes, but the world is more than one island. Lots of businesses are named Whidbey this or Whidbey that, but lots of them are also named Island this or Island that. (Almost as if there was only one or two islands in the world. People in Hawaii may have opinions on some of our names.) They’re referring to Island County, which includes Whidbey Island but also includes Camano Island; and Camano Island is part of the view to the east or north from Oak Harbor to Langley. Hello, Camano. (Sounds like it should be a bumper sticker.)
Camano seems like the quiet sibling, sometimes purposely glad that someone else gets the spotlight and the noise and attention that goes with it, but also doesn’t want to be left out. Have you been there? It is close and far away. (a familiar motto)
Camano Island is only about two miles away from Whidbey at their closest. Some intrepid swimmers have probably made that transit, hopefully safely supported. Then back? Hitch a ride? It would make for an interesting bus trip.
Or, drive from the southern tip of either island over Deception Pass to the southern tip of the other island and measure up over a hundred miles for the trip. Your times will vary. According to Google that is 2:22 hours by car (the bus doesn’t go that far), 9 hours by bicycle (and your times may really vary), or by walking – well, evidently Google Maps doesn’t think you can get there from here, wherever here and there are.
Considering that the County Seat is in Coupeville it is a surprise that the County doesn’t have a fleet of boats to make the crossing. Helicopters would be fun, but not likely. Drones, though?
Camano Island may be quieter, but that is also part of its appeal. It also has artists and parks and stores and whales and – lots of the same things Whidbey has, but without some of the bigness that’s on the bigger island.
Camano also gets to skip the ferries and the narrow, iconic, but narrow bridge. Instead Camano has a narrow, less iconic, but saner causeway. Want something more? Navigate the traffic to shop in Stanwood, or along I-5, or of course, the rest of the continent.
And then there are the islands that are even smaller (and thank Wikipedia for listing them because it took longer on official sites like IslandCountyWA.gov): Baby, Ben Ure, Deception, Kalamut, Minor, Smith, and Strawberry. Don’t look for them on the ferry schedule. You might have to squint with most maps. They have fascinating stories too, but maybe that’s another post.
For now, wave at Camano, if you get the chance. If they’re part of your view, then you are part of their view – and they may be watching.
3 thoughts on “Say Hi Camano Island”
In 1858, 3 years after the first settlers appeared on Camano Island, Thomas Cranney and Lawrence Grennan, pioneers of Whidbey Island, built a large sawmill at Utsalady at the northern end of Camano. One of the first sawmills in the area. Flora Augusta Pearson Engle persuaded shippers to bring back excess milled planks to Coupeville and then persuaded local farmers to pick up the lumber in their wagons and put in a wooden sidewalk so that she could walk from Prairie Center to the Methodist Church in town without getting her skirt and boots muddy. The History Museum in Coupeville has a display and exhibit on the Utsalady mill.
In 1858, three years after the first pioneer settlers appeared on Camano Island, Thomas Cranney and Lawrence Grennan, pioneers of Whidbey Island, built a large sawmill at Utsalady at the northern end of Camano. It was one of the first in the area. Flora Augusta Pearson Engle persuaded the shippers to bring back excess milled planks from the mill on their return trips to Coupeville. She then persuaded the local farmers to pick up these planks in their wagons and install a wooden sidewalk from Prairie Center to the Methodist Church so that her skirt and boots would not get muddy on her weekly Sunday walk to Church in town. The History Museum in Coupeville has a display and exhibit on the Utsalady Mill.