South Whidbey Record


LETTER TO THE EDITOR | Quiet lessons work best for visitors

December 21, 2013 · Updated 1:40 PM


There is a rather peculiar sign on the beach just as you head south from the parking area at the west end of Hastie Lake road. It mentions all the sins you are not to commit on the community’s beaches, like lots of other signs on the Island explaining that it is our beach, not yours.

Then it says, “trespassers welcome.”

It makes me want to go to each residence and thank the owner. Perhaps this letter will accomplish that.

Of course there are the many other signs telling us that we are treading on private property, risking prosecution to the fullest extent of the law.

Our beaches are a delightful resource, but with the variety of ownership schemes most of the beaches are not really “ours,” as they are in Oregon. Fortunately those of us who visit the beaches and treat them with respect are usually tolerated and often welcomed. An interesting example is the Rocky Point area, on the naval reservation, with miles to walk and just a few minor restrictions.

On our beaches, the visible evidence of events of the deep past is waiting to be seen and imagined. There are even things that happened before the glaciers shaped the island and Puget Sound — it was not dug out by Paul Bunyan and Babe the big blue ox.

Given that the beaches are so important to both on- and off-islanders, it seems to me that The Record could find value in putting forward stories about the beaches, the people who find peace there and the people whose homes are there.

There are stories in the peculiar sights to be seen across the water, in the cliffs and atop the bluffs. At the same time some quiet lessons in the care of the beaches would be calming to residents who are nervous at the idea of strangers wandering past their homes.



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